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Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

With the publication of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, William Anthony, Mikal Cohen and Marianne Farkas have given the professional rehabilitation community a book which is important in several ways. The authors present one of the most clearly articulated discussions available on how and why this rehabilitation philosophy and approach to serve delivery differs so drastically from other intervention models common to human services and so often based on the traditional medical model of pathology. The explanations clearly point out the differences among models that emphasize diagnosis and treatment and those which stress the rehabilitation constructs of skills and supports. In effect, this contrast is what allows all human service professionals to look not at categorical labels, but at how people with disabilities of all kinds will realistically live and function in a complex society.

The authors do not simply define a model for psychiatric rehabilitation, they describe its history, evolution, philosophical rationale, and its current application to the mental health field. Rehabilitation professionals working with clients who have severe and persistent mentall illness will find this book of immediate value because it constructs a solid foundation on which to build not only understanding, but practical methods for rehabilitation planning and services. Even though there appears to be some redundancy in the book, the overlap from chapter to chapter solidifies the philosophy that underlies the rehabilitation model presented. Much of the explanation of the rehabilitation model revolves around specific activities and tasks through which the professional can help clients move toward their desired outcomes. Anthony and his co-authors offer in particularly clear fashion an explanation of "how-to" methods the professional can utilize to conduct a diagnosis from the perspective of the rehabilitation model.

For example, the book describes the components of a psychiatric rehabilitation diagnosis in terms that can be easily understood by clients with mental illness searching for ways to achieve community integration. This diagnostic approach allows both the client and the professional to identify perceived desires as legitimate rehabilitation goals and tasks. Coupled with this goal-setting is a rehabilitation assessment which identifies and evaluates those skills the client possesses which will help him or her achieve the goals and desires.

This pragmatic approach to rehabilitation diagnosis is not dependent upon any theory of causation of mental illness, but remains centered upon the client's actual life situation. Anthony, Cohen and Farkas link such methods to rehabilitation policies and programs to promote continuity of services and philosophical orientation. They illustrate and rebuke myths about mental illness that are held by many uniformed human service professionals. Through this exposition of myth, the authors reveal the need for the psychiatric rehabilitation model in community-based service such as those offered by vocational rehabilitation agencies and community mental health centers. Additionally, they summarize earlier research upon which the model is built, so that the reader can appreciate the continuum of information which includes research, methods, application, and, most important, rehabilitation outcomes.

Although this book should be of interest to any human services professional working in the field of mental health, it may appeal particularly to rehabilitation counselors and to rehabilitation psychologists familiar with the client population and earlier research conducted by the Center for Pscyhiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University. For these professionals, the book reflects a culmination of more than a decade of research into the actual needs of people with severe and persistent mental illness and who for so long have lacked alternatives for services at the community level.

For the same reasons, Psychiatric Rehabilitation will appeal to rehabilitation educators charged with the task of preparing future professionals for mental health and rehabilitation settings. Here again, the comprehensiveness of the book is a positive feature. In this single volume educators will find "clinical" methods tied closely to history and philosophy in such a way that students can better understand the contextual variables of mental illness and helping strategies. Beyond this, however, is the value the book holds for people experiencing mental illness. Professionals who are trained to see the "world" from the prspective described in Psychiatric Rehabilitation will most likely have something to offer their clients that promises improved quality of life. In this regard, consumers of mental health services are the people who may benefit most from the book. At the end of the book Anthony, Cohen and Farkas portray a vision of the future in which mental health services will conform to the psychiatric rehabilitation model and will thereby help meet the actual, everyday needs of those with mental illness.

The authors deserve professional praise for providing a work which offers so much. Accordingly, rehabilitation literature has in this work a new classic which will help shape future policy and practice in rehabilitation services resulting in expanded alternatives for people who may experience discrimination or adjustment difficulty

Psychiatric Rehabilitation (1990). William Anthony, Mikal Cohen and Marianne Farkas. Boston: Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Sargeant College of Allied Health Professions, Boston University. ISBN 1-878512-00-5.283 pages. Hardcover, $36.57. due to mental illness.
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Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Kuehn, Marvin D.
Publication:American Rehabilitation
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 22, 1990
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