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September 1969

Mental Health ConsultationA Psychoanalytic Formulation

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic Community Study Center, University of Pittsburgh (Dr. Hitchcock), and the St. Francis Mental Health Center, Pittsburgh (Dr. Mooney).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(3):353-358. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740210097014

THE PROCESS of mental health consultation involves an interaction which can be understood in psychoanalytic terms. Further, the psychoanalytic framework provides a basis for ordering the data, and this extends and deepens our understanding of the mental health consultation process.

We will first present a brief description of mental health consultation, and then examine certain aspects of the process from a psychoanalytic view point.

Mental health consultation is here defined as an interaction between a mental health specialist, the consultant, and a person or persons, the consultee or consultees, who believe that they have a work problem which can benefit from the expertise of the mental health specialist. In this type of consultation, the professional responsibility for the client remains entirely with the consultee. (``Client'' would be the appropriate term if the consultee were a social worker, ``parishioner'' if the consultee is a clergyman,

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