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Dissociation in Children and Adolescents


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. The Nature and Effects of Childhood Trauma and Maltreatment
3. Influential Factors and Common Themes in Maltreatment Outcomes
4. Introduction to Dissociation
5. Pathological Dissociation
6. Trauma, Dissociation, and Memory
7. Toward a Model of Pathological Dissociation
8. The Discrete Behavioral States Model
9. The Developmental Basis of Dissociation
10. Altered States in Everyday Life
11. Dissociative Presentations: Clinical Vignettes
12. Clinical Phenomenology and Diagnosis
13. Philosophy and Principles of Treatment
14. Individual Therapy
15. Dissociative Families and Out-of-Home Placements
16. Psychopharmacology

About the Author

Frank W. Putnam, MD, is a leading authority on dissociative disorders. Trained as a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist, he is Chief of Developmental Traumatology at the National Institute of Mental Health and directs clinical research on the effects of maltreatment, community violence, and other types of trauma across the lifespan.


This beautifully written volume addresses the very core of how children and adolescents organize traumatic experiences: by dissociating. The rich mixture of empirical data and clinical observations makes this the indispensable tool for any clinician or researcher who cares to understand why these children behave the ways they do, and which treatments are effective in alleviating both their own suffering and the pain they often inflict on others. --Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine

Masterful....It is indeed a rare pleasure to find the most relevant and contemporary research on this topic so well articulated....This is indubitably one of the most useful additions to any professional library. --Eliana Gil, PhD

Dr. Frank Putnam's most recent book, Dissociation in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Approach, is a welcome addition to the literature on childhood dissociation. Dr. Putnam reviews relevant research on the role of childhood trauma in the development of dissociative phenomena. Especially noteworthy is Putnam's utilization of a developmental framework in order to conceptualize dissociative symptoms as failures in basic developmental processes. The incorporation of clinical case vignettes brings the concepts described to life and makes them more accessible to the reader.

Dr. Putnam is one of our nation's premier thinkers on dissociation and this book will be extremely helpful to those invested in understanding and treating dissociative disorders of childhood and adolescence. --Dante Cicchetti, PhD, Director, Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester
-This is a comprehensive textbook....The author brings to the task extensive clinical experience, outstanding scientific credentials, and a lucid literary style. The book is wide-ranging, detailed, thorough, and balanced, yet the author is clearly an advocate for the validity and importance of dissociative disorders in children and adolescents....Putnam's balanced advocacy for the validity of dissociative psychopathology is a powerful counter to the message of those who dismiss this group of disorders as iatrogenic. It will be very interesting to revisit the debate in 10 years' time. By then, this book may be regarded as a classic.--Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 8/10/1997ffIndividuals studying child and adolescent mental health, as well as those currently treating children and adolescents, should find this a useful resource.--Readings, 8/10/1997

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