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August 1967

Patient Predicament and Clinical Service: A System

Author Affiliations

Rockford, Ill
From the H. Douglas Singer Zone Center, Illinois Department of Mental Health, Rockford.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(2):204-210. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730260076011

THE TERM "system" as used in this report refers to (1) a method for analyzing a problem: cataloging its parts, the setting, and their interrelationships; (2) a method for designing a response to that problem, taking into account the several parts to the whole; and (3) a method for monitoring, controlling, and changing the response so it may continuously meet changes in the reality of the problem. System concepts are a way of describing reality drawn so as to conceive a certain "whole" divided into "parts" in specified "relationships." The description is designed so the behavior of the parts is generally and substantially explained by a small number of specified relationships of the parts, or "states," of the whole. A system has a "boundary," includes certain elements which are "in" it, and includes a much larger number of elements defined as "outside." The definition of system in

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