In this important new volume, Michael Robbins presents an exploration of schizophrenia unique in both its breadth and depth. His work renders this mysterious condition much more comprehensible, and offers both theoreticians and clinicians of different scientific orientations new possibilities for treatment and interdisciplinary collaboration. The book interweaves an explication of the nature and treatment of schizophrenia, drawn from interlocking perspectives including organic, psychological, interpersonal, familial, and socio-cultural, with five of the most detailed case reports of treatment to be found in the literature.
Part I introduces the work by covering basic definitions of schizophrenia, the hierarchical systems model for mental illness, issues concerning the data presented in the book, and the methodology used to gather information. Representing the extremes in outcome, Part II comprises two extensive case studies: One is the story of an unusually successful treatment; the other is a case that proved to be a multisystem failure. Chapters in Part III synthesize what is known about the disorder from the perspectives of neuroscience, psychology and psychoanalysis, family systems, and society and culture, incorporating Dr. Robbins' original ideas in these areas. The contributions of such factors as constitutional vulnerability are also explored.
Chapters on treatment issues in Part IV cover evaluation and treatment planning from a systems perspective, and review studies of the efficacy of a psychological approach. Technique, process, and the stages of psychotherapy are discussed in detail, as are issues of hospital treatment, pharmacologic and somatic modalities, and family treatment. Part V consists of three complete case studies that are illuminating reading for professionals and students alike. Covering the cases from inception to termination, and spanning the gamut of clinical experience, they include one case that had a positive outcome, one in which the patient seemed to choose to remain ill, and one successful treatment of a chronic schizophrenic. Rounding out the volume is a chapter that summarizes the work and points the way for future research.
This thought-provoking book is basic reading for all human science professionals interested in the study and treatment of mental illness, in philosophical and practical questions about the relationships among the scientific disciplines, or in broad questions about the connections among the individual, the family, and social structure.