Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Manuale Di Psichiatria

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Manuale Di Psichiatria

Article excerpt

RENATO PICCIONE: Manuale di Psichiatria. Bulzoni Editor, Roma, 1995, 1067 pp., Lir 160.000.

This Italian handbook is a guide to what is best in the Italian approach to New Psychiatry. I firmly believe that it will become an international handbook. Manuale di Psichiatria is dedicated to Franco Basaglia, well known as the father of anti-institutional psychiatry, whose influence helped reduce commitments of mental patients to asylums.

Renato Piccione, Professor at Rome Catholic University and Chairman of Rome's NHS Psychiatric Unit, takes us through the most important aspects of psychiatric work. He believes that: (1) mental illness at this moment could be understood only in terms of biopsychosocial experience, but the psychosocial aspect is prevalent; (2) psychiatry is more related to human sciences than to natural sciences; (3) we need an unified psychiatric language and at this moment the I.C.D. 10 is better than any other; (4) The Mental Health Department (Diparatimento di salute mentale) is the most important venue for psychiatric research; (5) the mental health service is an integral part of the National Health Service, particularly in regard to technical and scientific matters.

The book is divided into three parts. It contains clear and useful flow charts. The first part deals with epistemological, cultural, historical, and legal aspects from the time of the mental asylums to the present-day Mental Health Department, and includes some elements of the history of psychiatry in Europe from ancient Greece to the present.

The second part covers the clinical aspects of mental illness. Many interesting clinical cases, presented from the point of view of the New Psychiatry, add a lively personal touch to the descriptions. …

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