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?Relational Mental Health: Beyond Evidence Based Interventions?

Autor/autores: José Guimón
Fecha Publicación: 29/11/2010
Área temática: .
Tipo de trabajo: 

RESUMEN

 The present volume, authored by one of the most prestigious European psychiatrists, offers a refreshing, actual, broad scope perspective on the profession of psychiatry and its role in the field of mental health.

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Avances en Salud Mental Relacional / Advances in relational mental health
Vol.3, núm. 2 - Julio 2004
Órgano Oficial de expresión de la Fundación OMIE
Revista Internacional On-line / An International On-line Journal

Crítica de libros
Books Review
"Relational Mental Health: Beyond Evidence Based Interventions"
Author: Jose Guimon, M.D.
Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, New York, 2004, 414 pages
233 Spring Street, New York, New York 10013

Preface
Otto F. Kernberg, M.D.*

The present volume, authored by one of the most prestigious European
psychiatrists, offers a refreshing, actual, broad scope perspective on the profession of
psychiatry and its role in the field of mental health. It offers the reader a clearly stated,
balanced view of where the field of mental health delivery systems is moving at this time,
and the role of psychiatry and the mental health profession at large in this rapidly
changing professional area. Its main purpose, excellently achieved, is to provide the
psychiatrist, the biological researcher, the psychoanalyst, the mental health practitioner,
the educator and the researcher in these areas with a broad overview of the concepts of
mental health and mental illness, and the present controversies regarding etiology,
psychopathology, treatment and prevention. Dr. Guimon's text is one of the very rare
ones that combines a deep understanding of biological determinants of illness with the
psychodynamic concept of personality development, and the contribution of the social
sciences to both.

ASMR Revista Internacional On-line - Dep. Leg. BI-2824-01 - ISSN 1579-3516
CORE Academic, Instituto de Psicoterapia, Manuel Allende 19, 48010 Bilbao (España)
Copyright © 2004

Avances en Salud Mental Relacional / Advances in relational mental health
Vol.3, núm. 2 - Julio 2004
Órgano Oficial de expresión de la Fundación OMIE
Revista Internacional On-line / An International On-line Journal

For the American reader, the information about recent developments in psychiatry
in Europe, integrated with a thorough understanding of corresponding developments in
the United States provides a critical perspective regarding the issues the psychiatric
profession is struggling with today. Thus, it helps to transcend the potentially restricted
viewpoints determined by any local scene. The fact that a broad historical perspective
introduces many areas of contemporary controversies regarding etiology, diagnosis, and
treatment also contributes to elevating the level of discourse beyond narrow speculations.
Guimon elegantly indicates how the revolution in the neurosciences can be
complemented

with

a

contemporary

psychoanalytic understanding.

psychodynamic

approach

derived

from

He appropriately challenges the psychoanalytic

profession to reexamine its responsibility toward both the scientific development of its
field and its social responsibility in the prevention and treatment of mental illness. While
clearly sympathetic to psychoanalytic approaches, Guimon points to both strengths and
weaknesses in psychoanalytic contributions, and is critical of psychoanalytic education as
well as of frequently narrow perspectives in psychiatric residency training. His critical
review of psychodynamic research approaches strengthens this critique.
This book examines lucidly the contributions of transcultural studies in the
evaluation of etiology, frequency, and symptoms of mental illness as they are influenced
by socio-cultural factors, and explores the integration of this perspective in the clinical
management of the main psychopathological constellations.

The overview of the

treatment of organic mental disorders, the major psychoses, and the personality disorders
is enriched by this combination of biological, psychodynamic, and socio-cultural

ASMR Revista Internacional On-line - Dep. Leg. BI-2824-01 - ISSN 1579-3516
CORE Academic, Instituto de Psicoterapia, Manuel Allende 19, 48010 Bilbao (España)
Copyright © 2004

Avances en Salud Mental Relacional / Advances in relational mental health
Vol.3, núm. 2 - Julio 2004
Órgano Oficial de expresión de la Fundación OMIE
Revista Internacional On-line / An International On-line Journal

perspectives. The reader will find up to date summaries of the present strategies of
treatment that reflect this integration of approaches.
The major emphasis of this volume is on psychosocial modalities of treatment,
both in the context of institutional therapeutic programs as well as in the individual
treatment of patients. In this context, it provides the reader with detailed information
about the present state of group and family interventions, that are taught in a rather
perfunctory manner in most texts of psychiatric therapeutics.

Guimon provides

thoughtful information regarding areas where evidence based treatments may contribute
significantly to clinical practice, and areas where this is not the case: he presents an
original exploration of the natural limits of evidence based treatments.
Nowadays, there are few comprehensive texts in psychiatry still written by a
single author. The field of psychiatry has become so broad and complex that multiauthored textbooks are the order of the day. Guimon's volume shows that an extremely
knowledgeable, original and passionate scholar still may provide a synthesis that enriches
the field, stimulates the reader to become concerned with it beyond his or her limited
personal sphere of activity, and, in explaining the present in terms of its development
from the past, signals new roads and challenges for the future.

ASMR Revista Internacional On-line - Dep. Leg. BI-2824-01 - ISSN 1579-3516
CORE Academic, Instituto de Psicoterapia, Manuel Allende 19, 48010 Bilbao (España)
Copyright © 2004

Avances en Salud Mental Relacional / Advances in relational mental health
Vol.3, núm. 2 - Julio 2004
Órgano Oficial de expresión de la Fundación OMIE
Revista Internacional On-line / An International On-line Journal

ASMR Revista Internacional On-line - Dep. Leg. BI-2824-01 - ISSN 1579-3516
CORE Academic, Instituto de Psicoterapia, Manuel Allende 19, 48010 Bilbao (España)
Copyright © 2004

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