The Social Relations Department is offering for the first time this fall a course involving case work with mental hospital patients. The course, Social Relations 188, was suggested by undergraduates, and grew out of a case work program run by Phillips Brooks House.
Its limited enrollment of 15 was filled yesterday, after a series of interviews with Charles W. Slack, assistant professor of Clinical Psychology, and David Kanter, the two men teaching the course. Kanter was a supervisor of the PBH program.
Each student will work for the whole year primarily with a single patient at Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham, Slack said yesterday. The students will meet patients for an hour each week, will discuss the cases together for another hour, and will have individual consultations with Slack and Kanter.
Three students suggested the course to Talcott Parsons, chairman of the Social Relations Department, last spring. The three were: Peter R. Breggin '58 and Michael C. Dohan '58, co-chairmen of the PBH mental hospital program, and Andrew P. Morrison '58, head of the program's case work committee.
The content of the course, Slack said yesterday, is not fixed. "The reading and lectures," he said, "will stem directly from the experiences of the students in contact with the patients and each other." He added that the course was not intended as preparation for professional work.