Training In Psychiatric Social Work

Facilities for training psychiatric social workers represent provision for a relatively recent specialization in the field of social work. The multiplicity of changes in content and method of training which has taken place in the short time since it was established, indicates the extreme fertility and rapidity with which this branch of social case work has developed. The concepts and philosophy of social psychiatric therapy have been and are still being modified by the thinking of psychiatrists and psychiatric social workers, and by experiences in non-psychiatric agencies where the formulations of psychiatric social work are constantly being utilized. Present trends had their origin in the earlier historical phases of mental hygiene and it is there that the sources of the modern social psychiatric point of view will be found. During the first quarter of the century, there were indications of a new and more hopeful approach to the problems of mental illness. Great progress was being made in understanding the purposiveness of human behavior, and the causative factors underlying the social or asocial responses of the individual to his environment. From this understanding a marked therapeutic advance in the treatment relationship developed.