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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009 Jul;18(3):707-20. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2009.02.007.

Giving voice to the unsayable: repairing the effects of trauma in infancy and early childhood.

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Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair in Infant Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco, 305 Cape Court, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA.


The research on early trauma establishes conclusively that, although there are marked individual differences in how children in the first five years of life respond to and recover from trauma, they consistently show negative biological, emotional, social, and cognitive sequelae after enduring traumatic events. This evidence lends particular urgency to the development, evaluation and implementation of approaches to prevention and treatment that are both empirically supported and can be effectively adapted to mental health community programs and other service systems that serve traumatized children and their families. This article describes the clinical applications and community dissemination of child-parent psychotherapy (CPP), a relationship-based trauma treatment for young children and their families that has substantial empirical evidence of efficacy in decreasing symptoms of traumatic stress and restoring young children's normative developmental trajectories. Clinical illustrations are provided to demonstrate how this intervention is conducted and to consider how it might effect therapeutic change.

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