“The More Things Change…”

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(10), 747–748. Reviews the book, Disturbed Children and Their Families: Innovations in Evaluation and Treatment by Alfred P. French (see record 1979-04118-000). This title of this book is misleading: first, it is largely a book about diagnostic and assessment models in child-centered psychiatric practice, and says virtually nothing about treatment. Second, despite the subtitle and the endorsements of the book on the dust cover, there is little in this book that is innovative. French is concerned about the “lack of structure in assessment, formulation and treatment” in child psychiatry and has attempted to correct the situation by integrating some old models and offering some new ones. French's early presentation of general systems theory and of Piagetian structuralism is much too brief for the novice in the field and leads, thereby, to some significant oversimplifications. The most important of these is the failure to distinguish between general systems theory (GST) and family systems theories, and to distinguish among the different dimensions of GST emphasized by different leading family theories. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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