Childhood has long been considered the major factor in determining adult life. It sets us on the path toward or away from happiness, shapes our personality, and is a major cause of mental disorders. Or is it?
Myths of Childhood strongly challenges these assumptions usually taken for granted in contemporary society and the mental health community. With a healthy dose of scepticism toward clinical impressions and using empirically-based research from areas including behavioral genetics and attachment, Dr. Paris builds a convincing case against the primacy of childhood in the development of adult personality and psychopathology. In its place, he offers an alternative model for development and shows how mental health professionals can apply this model to clinical pracitce.
Myths of Childhood represents an important addition to the ongoing debate between mental health professionals regarding nature vs. nurture. For supporters of either side , this book is a valuable resource for further exploration of this controversy.
Table of Contents
PART I CHILDHOOD AND ADULTHOOD: THE EVIDENCE Establishing Cause and Effect The Primacy of Early Experience Adversity and Outcome, Resilience: Surviving a Bad Childhood PART II CHILDHOOD AND ADULTHOOD: MYTHS Childhood, History, and Society, Childhood and Psychoanalysis, The Myth of Recovered Memory, Childhood, Attachment, and Behavior PART III, CHILDHOOD AND MENTAL DISORDERS Genes, Behavior, and Symptoms Personality and Psychopathology, PART 3 CHILDHOOD AND TREATMENT Childhood in Psychotherapy, Temperament and Psychotherapy PART V IMPLICATIONS Parenting, What We Do and Don't Know About Childhood
Joel Paris, MD Professor of Psychiatry McCill University Montreal, Quebec, Canada
"Favoring genetic factors and non-familial environmental factors over early experiences as influences on personality, this book discusses research indicating the importance of genetic predispositions in the causation of mental disorders and describes the need to place greater value on the quality of the relationship between patient and therapist than on the link between the past and the present as a curative factor." -- Resources in Education
"Joel Paris has written--again--another lucid, synthetic, and provocative book that challenges fundamental assumptions that have dominated our field in the last century. I suspect the author's mission would be accomplised if he riles unswerving practitioners of dogma and stimulates students to quetion traditional concepts and shibboleths. This masterful book deserves to be read by both these groups and would serve as a marvelous catalyst for discussion and reflection." -- Canadian Journal of Psychiatry