David H. Looff GETTING TO KNOW THE TROUBLED CHILD Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1976, 250 pp., $5.95 softbound.
Here is a good book, clearly written, without much technical terminology, and interesting. For those who are unfamiliar with procedures for working with children and parents, this is an excellent short manual. For "veterans" it is useful and stimulating to read the specifics of how one's colleague approaches and carries out his interviewing with parents, child, and adolescent. His way of organizing workups, the brief type and the extensive, is helpful. Although he is not saying anything "new," the personal flavor is a real contribution to professional literature. It is an excellent refresher manual as well as a guide for students.
The 10 chapters cover quite thoroughly the entire evaluative process. Chapter 9, "Elective Procedures in the Evaluation," is particularly interesting. He describes in vivid detail a home visit and the use of photo albums as well as a home movie. The 40-page appendix includes a good developmental questionnaire, a few useful psychologic tests (portions of the Bender-Gestalt and Graham-Kendall tests), outline of a neurologic examination, and finally a history outline and psychiatric examination.
Throughout the entire 200page text, Dr. Looff recounts his own clinical experiences with an easily readable style that can be one model for writing up clinical findings, in records and for articles and books. The author is a child psychiatrist and Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at the University of Kentucky and author of a previous book, Appalachian Children. This soft-cover book is selling at a reasonable price, and it is well worth it.