M. G. Evangelakis A MANUAL FOR RESIDENTIAL AND DAY TREATMENT OF CHILDREN Springfield, III.: Charles C Thomas, Publisher. 1975. 369 pp.. $14.50.
The author calls this book an "operational guide" or manual for a residential and day psychiatric treatment program. Its contents are structured according to the author's philosophy and to the needs of a specific children's division of a state hospital. Thus, in one sense it is a book that will appeal to a limited readership - i.e., administrators of children's inpatient and day programs or heads of services therein. However, in another sense the author appeals to a much wider authence of child mental health professionals, parents, legislators, and others, in that he does not limit himself to the bare outlines of an operational manual. He waxes eloquent at times on a number of subjects, ranging from the strictly clinical to the more philosophic.
The residential program itself consists of a center for 48 emotionally disturbed and mentally ill boys and girls between the ages of six and 12. The day program has a capacity for 30 children. There are seven buildings on the grounds, two of which are residences for the children.
The author does a thorough job of presenting in text and tables a detailed procedural and operational manual for what would appear to be an admirably conceived and staffed program. Administrators will be interested in his comments on methods for supervising and evaluating staff members in order to ensure coordination and integration of the program. There are chapters on the admissions procedure, on the duties of the "child psychiatrist-chief of residence," and on the psychology, social work, school, adjunctive therapies, paraprofessional education, research, psychotherapy, and nursing services. A final chapter describes the day trea tment service. In addition, there are appendices that include copies of various important administrative forms, as well as a copy of the "child's life history" questionnaire to be filled out by the parents.
The reader will find something of interest in every chapter. The author does not hesitate to take controversial stands or to criticize approaches he disagrees with. Briefly, he favors a firm but child-oriented approach; he prohibits "isolation rooms" under whatever name; he favors parents (and, by implication, staff members) who take "gutsy" stands with children who test limits; he prohibits the giving of "edibles" to the child in therapy sessions or at any time other than mealtimes or special celebrations. There is a prescription fora well-organized psychotherapy service with adequate provision of individual, group, and family therapy for each child. Parental cooperation is insisted upon before, during, and after admission.
In a less clinical vein he expounds, occasionally at too great a length, on ancient history (e.g., as it relates to music therapy), education, and the philosophy of psychiatric practice.
Each chapter is filled with practical instructions, lists of "do's" and "don'ts," job descriptions, and outlines of reports. There are several long quotations from articles by recognized authorities. The references at the end of chapters are somewhat limited and selective. One gains the impression that the author must be a thorough, clinically sound person who above all focuses on the real needs of each child as he administers a complex program. Anyone engaged in running, planning, or evaluating an inpatient or day psychiatric program for elementary and junior-highschool children will benefit from studying this work.