Szurek, S.A. and Berlin, I.N., eds. CLINICAL STUDIES IN CHILDHOOD PSYCHOSES: 25 YEARS IN COLLABORATIVE TREATMENT AND RESEARCH. The Langley Porter Children's Service, New York: Brunner/Mazel. 1973, 780 pp., $20.00.
This volume represents a testimonial to the 25 years of collaborative treatment and research in childhood psychoses, carried out under the direction of Dr. Szurek at the Langley-Porter Clinic. Fortunately for the reader, this task was motivated by love and respect for their teacher which spurred the various contributors to give of their best and resulted in a book of lasting quality. The book is more than a reprinting of old papers. The editors chose to interweave carefully chosen papers of classical quality with new material, molding them all into sections which follow each other in logical order, from introduction and historical aspects through clinical research to various papers on therapeutic experience and outcome of the treatment of psychotic children and their parents.
No matter what the bias of the reader may be in regard to etiology and treatment of childhood psychosis, he or she cannot help but respect the evidence of therapeutic success which is represented in many of the outcome papers. They appear all the more creditable when failures are reported as often as successes. Hopefully this book will help to dispel some of the pessimism that has crept into the current literature on the prognosis and treatment of childhood psychosis.
Lest the title be misleading, this book will be of interest to a wide audience in the general field of psychiatry, psychology and social work, since many of the lessons portrayed in research and treatment are applicable to all forms of psychopathology. It will be especially appreciated by those who continue to apply themselves to the demanding task of long-term psychotherapy for these children. It would be all too easy to fall back on the pessimistic statistics and give up the fight to search for causes and work towards cure for psychotic children. These studies now published serve as rallying points for those who thought their work went unnoticed or unappreciated and may spark the production of more publications of this nature.