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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 106-111

A Psychodynamic Perspective on Psychological Traumas in Children and their Psychosocial Consequences

1 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Western Brittany, Brest, France
2 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vallée Foundation, Gentilly, France
3 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital of Brest, Brest, France

Correspondence Address:
Prof. M Botbol
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Western Brittany, Brest
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_21_22

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Psychological trauma may occur in children as it does in adults. However, due to children's specific dependency on their caregivers, some cardinal characteristics differentiate common acute psychological trauma from long-lasting ones for which the traumatic stress field has adopted the term “complex trauma,” including abuse and neglect and intrafamilial from extrafamilial psychological traumas. These characteristics are influential on the weight of psychological trauma psychosocial consequences, considerably higher in children than in adults. It is especially the case in infants in whom intrafamilial long-lasting psychological traumas are, by far, the most frequent and the most destructive. The purpose of the present article is not to provide an updated review of the current literature on psychological trauma in children and adolescents but to show how psychoanalytical theoretical approaches contribute to the treatment of childhood trauma. One must remember that considerations of children's psychological traumas were crucial in developing psychoanalytic theories. More than 100 years ago, psychoanalysis comprehensively explained the behavioral and affective symptoms currently considered central in children's and adolescents' psychological trauma. Moreover, these explanations are generally consistent with the theories supporting the current mainstream approach to the question.

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