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Strangers bearing gifts: a retrospective look at the early years of community mental health center consultation
Am J Psychiatry 1984;141:868-871.
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Abstract

Many early community mental health center (CMHC) consultations floundered when consultants attempted to apply Gerald Caplan 's community consultation theory, which the author describes as based on a private consultation paradigm, to the very different realities of government-mandated public paradigm consultation by CMHCs to public agencies. CMHC consultants were often perceived by consultees as "strangers bearing gifts" due to the lack of clarity concerning the rationale, contracts, roles, responsibilities, evaluation, and consultant- consultee exchanges of their public paradigm consultations. The otherwise disastrous recent losses of financial support for CMHCs are beneficially forcing them to shift their community consultation practices toward the private paradigm.

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