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Rice, T.R. Prout, T. Cohen, J. Russo, M. Clements, T. Kufferath-Lin, T. Joaquin, M. Kui, T. Kim, S. Zaidi, A. Hoffman, L. (2021). Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Children as a Trauma-Informed Intervention. Psychodyn. Psych., 49(1):73-85.

(2021). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 49(1):73-85

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Children as a Trauma-Informed Intervention

Timothy R. Rice, M.D., Tracy Prout, Ph.D., Jonah Cohen, Ph.D., Marni Russo, Psy.D., Talia Clements, Psy.D., Tatiana Kufferath-Lin, M.S., Michelle Joaquin, M.A., M.S., Thomas Kui, M.S., Susan Kim, M.D., Arifa Zaidi, M.D. and Leon Hoffman, M.D.

This article outlines the underpinnings of a psychodynamic approach for the treatment of childhood trauma through strengthening the implicit emotion regulation system. Childhood trauma impairs the functioning of the emotion regulation system, where deficits are common in children with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Difficulties with emotion regulation arise out of disruptions in the development of neurobiological pathways through the interaction of constitutional determinants with environmental factors, including the child's relationships with caregivers and the broader environment. We propose that a therapeutic focus on traumatized children's defenses can overcome the damaging reverberations of trauma. This approach may bypass the difficulties of high attrition rates, expense, and limited generalizability characteristic of skills training-based modalities. An illustration of an intervention to help children address unbearable emotions in traumatic experiences through defense interpretation is presented. The manualization and study of this approach within a project titled Regulation Focused Psychotherapy for Children (RFP-C) presents a unique opportunity to contribute to the evidence-based canon of treatments for children with histories of trauma.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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