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Psychotherapeutic approach of developmental disorders in childhood and adolescence

Development leading to final psychic organisation and personality structure is a highly complex process involving individual genetic and other biological characteristics in their interaction with environmental factors (family, social and cultural context). Therefore, simplistic approaches ignoring the multi-factorial nature of both normal development and pathological conditions, lead more to ideologies priming one among the different "theories" rather than to a scientific consideration of complex clinical phenomena and situations. However, the tendency to an excessive re-medicalisation of psychiatry carries the risk of ignoring the essential part psychodynamic and psychosocial approaches play in both the understanding and treatment of pathology in childhood and adolescence. Approaches which historically played a prominent role in the development of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Some of the major clinical conditions of this age group are taken as illustrating examples in supporting the irreplaceable role of psychodynamic and psychotherapeutic components in clinical work.

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Zilikis, N. Psychotherapeutic approach of developmental disorders in childhood and adolescence. Ann Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2 (Suppl 1), S58 (2003).

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