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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Brett C. Plyler, M.D.(Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
Description: This is the third edition of a review of the current and historical data and treatments for psychiatric patients in need of psychiatric rehabilitation.
Purpose: The purpose is to detail all levels of psychiatric rehabilitation and note what has changed over time as well as what has proven most effective, given that each patient is in need of different services.
Audience: Although intended primarily for mental health professionals involved in psychiatric rehabilitation, the book can be used by laypersons as well.
Features: The first two parts of the book present an understanding of the nature of mental illness and psychiatric rehabilitation principles and methodology, which are self explanatory. The final part, the lengthiest, is on the application of psychiatric rehabilitation principles and methodology and covers a wide range of topics — health and wellness, day programming, assertive community treatment, and employment, among others. It addresses all of the possible areas of psychiatric rehabilitation and how to implement each one. Each chapter itself is filled with charts, tables, graphs, or stories about fictional patients. There are thorough summaries at the end as well as class exercises. Inset topics in each section address controversial issues — harm reduction vs. abstinence for substance abuse, for example - in an objective fashion, presenting opposing viewpoints as well. The historical aspect of psychiatric rehabilitation is interwoven into the discussions on current treatment principles and methodologies. The indexes, glossary, and references are extensive and helpful.
Assessment: This is an excellent guide to understanding how far treatment of mentally ill patients has come. From institutionalization to assertive community treatment and independent living, the field has changed significantly in a short period of time. Although there is a foreword, I would have liked more of an introduction before diving into the first chapter on mental illness. The principles espoused here are person-centered and empirically validated treatments, which are so needed in the field of psychosocial treatments. Anyone who reads this book will be well prepared to start working in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation. I highly recommend it.