Lewis H. Curtis

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

Physical Description

55 Pages


Elahan Center for Mental Health and Family Living, Community mental health services -- Evaluation




Evaluative research in the field of mental health is carried out pursuant to several goals. One is to study a very particular intervention on a very particular client (or client population) in a controlled way with the aim to test a theory of intervention. This form of research requires basically an experimental research design. It also requires rigorously defined and measured intervention and a good control for factors other than intervention. The requirements for this form of research are stringent and the number of such projects reported is, therefore, rare.

The present study was done as a pilot study for the Elahan Center for Mental Health and Family Living (formerly Clark County Mental Health) in Vancouver, Washington. This agency has recently undergone much change. About eighteen months ago there was a change of Directors. At about the same time, though unrelated, the agency was involved in a public scandal around the drug program. As a result of much inter-agency strife and the change in administration, few employes from the old staff remain. The new administration is dedicatedly behaviorist in therapeutic orientation, as are some of the therapists. Use of para-professionals in professional capacities is high and most of tile para-professionals follow the behavioristic bent of the administration.


A practicum submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work, Portland State University.

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