1. propose that the practitioners attempt to achieve an optimal balance between a responsive and a systematic style of communication...
Until you get something more detailed, I'll venture to comment that the approach Kanter says that Reid and Epstein propose is one that combines empathic understanding with systematized advance toward a goal task. Based on the information solely available in this fourth paragraph, it seems that this pragmatic advice is not something that is easily disagreed with. If empathy is the only communicative mode, nothing is addressed, achieved or improved. If directives toward a goal comprise the sole communicative mode, feelings are neglected, which may result in animosity.
2. While these guidelines are reasonably clear and specific, the case material that Reid and Epstein present serves, in many instances, to obfuscate the contraindications to task-oriented casework that they have outlined.
As to the whole article, Kanter is objecting to Reid and Epstein's approach and to their inability to successfully delimit and delineate for whom the "task-centered approach" is not suitable while clearly defining why it is not suitable for these; the emphasis here is on unsuitability for the more challenging end of the client spectrum, e.g., alcoholism, neuroses etc. In general, Kanter's argument, objections and criticisms of Reid and Epstein cannot be disagreed with since Reid and Epstein admit to the inapplicability of the approach to all cases and admit to a less than precise definitive delineation of applicability: "serve as a basic approach for the majority of clients served by clinical social workers" (Reid and Epstein, p. 98 qtd in Kanter).