By Etty Cohen
Playing tough at Life brings modern relational pondering to endure at the psychodynamic remedy of a significantly tricky crew of younger sufferers. operating with big apple urban children who've survived the wars of inner-city lifestyles and Israeli teenage infantrymen who've survived the wars of the center East, writer Etty Cohen files the intense demanding situations of forming a therapy alliance with those shattered young ones, of attractive them psychodynamically, and of operating towards a conceivable termination. the result's not just a poignant list of braveness and committment (on the a part of sufferer and therapist alike), but in addition a important extension of contemporary trauma concept to early life as a developmental level with its personal demanding situations and requirements.
The center and power of Cohen's publication is her brilliant documentation of hands-on encounters together with her adolescent sufferers, obvious either separately and in group. Cohen makes simple that, with teenagers so horrendously traumatized, remedy assures a inevitably improvisational character. And but, she argues, even within the kind of pragmatic encounters dictated via enormous and repeated trauma, modern relational thought presents a compass with which to navigate during the rocky shoals of the medical work.
Again and back, the reader is surprised through simply how a lot occurred to those youth, astonished at how resilient they proved to be, and, ultimately, moved through how a lot Cohen was once capable of accomplish with them. Her relational ways to those remedies, teamed together with her consciousness that paintings with multiply traumatized kids can't be established within the demeanour of conventioanl remedy, makes this e-book a useful, well timed, and deeply sobering contribution to the literature.
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Extra resources for Playing Hard at Life: A Relational Approach to Treating Multiply Traumatized Adolescents
The function of secrets depends in part on the family's ethnicity and beliefs about privacy. Adolescents are expected to keep some things secret in their lives, and it is considered part of the normal maturational process for them to do so. However, secrets such as hiding drugs at home, engaging in promiscuous relationships, or writing suicide notes in a diary are another matter. When a harmful secret is suspected, it is better for parents as well as therapists to err on the side of intrusion. When we openly express our concerns, the issue can at least be discussed.
At that time, Carmen developed asthma (as did her mother) and allergies. Most of Carmen's developmental milestones were achieved at the appropriate ages. Her speech, however, was delayed. She did not talk until she was four years old. Carmen began day care at the age of two: she had social and behavioral difficulties at this time and again during preschool. She was held back in the first grade because of learning and emotional problems. Her mother reported in detail various traumatic and violent experiences suffered by Carmen at the age of nine.
Later, her father's wife and the baby died from AIDS complications. As noted in the previous chapter, Carmen heard from another child that her father had been killed. In therapy, Carmen presented as a surprisingly bright and sensitive girl who masked her inner feelings ofinsecurity and self-doubt by "acting out" behaviors. She led a chaotic life in which something dreadful was always happening. She wanted to be accepted by others, but she did not have the socially appropriate means to achieve acceptance.
Playing Hard at Life: A Relational Approach to Treating Multiply Traumatized Adolescents by Etty Cohen