This is a curious and, in many ways, tantalizing, book. It is curious because, in one brief volume, the authors have attempted to write both a handbook for a mental health crisis team and an abbreviated and not very satisfactory basic textbook of psychiatry. It is tantalizing in that one gets only glimpses of how the crisis team operates, how its members are trained, and how they work together.
The opportunities afforded for crisis intervention in a variety of psychiatric and psychophysical illnesses are well described. The history of the Yale-New Haven short-term inpatient unit and the decisions regarding the use of multiple roles by members of the team are interestingly developed and seem to have wide applicability. Particularly noteworthy is the amount of time and effort spent by the team on monitoring interactions among team members as they relate to contacts with the patient and those in his surroundings.