1st Edition

The Child Survivor
Healing Developmental Trauma and Dissociation

ISBN 9780415889957
Published October 16, 2012 by Routledge
288 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

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Book Description

The Child Survivor is a clinically rich, comprehensive overview of the treatment of children and adolescents who have developed dissociative symptoms in response to ongoing developmental trauma. Joyanna Silberg, a widely respected authority in the field, uses case examples to illustrate hard-to-manage clinical dilemmas such as children presenting with rage reactions, amnesia, and dissociative shut-down. These behaviors are often survival strategies, and in The Child Survivor practitioners will find practical management tools that are backed up by recent scientific advances in neurobiology. Clinicians on the front lines of treatment will come away from the book with an arsenal of therapeutic techniques that they can put into practice right away, limiting the need for restrictive hospitalizations or out-of-home placements for their young clients.

Table of Contents

Trauma and Its Effects. An Integrative Developmental Model of Dissociation. Diagnostic Considerations. Assessing Dissociative Processes. Beginning the Treatment Journey. Educate and Motivate: Introducing The EDUCATE Model. Bridging the Selves: Healing Through Connections to What’s Hidden. "I Try to Forget to Remember": Reversing Amnesia. Befriending the Body: Somatic Considerations for the Child Survivor. Staying Awake: Reversing Dissociative Shut Down. Building Attachment Across States: Affect Regulation in the Context of Relationships. Child-Centered Family Therapy: Family Treatment as Adjunct to Dissociation-Focused Interventions. Rewriting the Script: Processing Traumatic Memories and Resolving Flashbacks. Interfacing With Systems: The Therapist as Activist. Integration of Self: Towards a Healing Future. References. Appendices.

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Joyanna L. Silberg, PhD, psychologist at Sheppard Pratt Health System, is an international expert on dissociation in children and adolescents, and past president of the International Society on the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.


"It is easy to say that this book is a must read. It is, of course, for child therapists. But it is a must read as well for adult clinicians because it speaks about the traumatized children the adult clients have been and for whom their inner child parts are a vivid testimony. Adult therapists will find not only new ways to understand their clients’ difficulties but also new, creative, and human ways to help them heal." – Sandra Baita, PsyD in the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

"The Child Survivor: Healing Developmental Trauma and Dissociation, by Joyanna Silberg, is an excellent resource for clinicians who work with children and teens who have been traumatized and exhibit dissociative symptoms. She has crafted a text that provides both essential foundational information about developmental trauma as well as a specific approach to treating children who suffer from dissociative disorders. For any clinician who works with this population or suspects they may have children and teens who display dissociative symptoms, The Child Survivor is a reading list must." – Maureen C. Kenny, Florida International University, Department of Professional and Leadership Studies

 "The Child Survivor is an extraordinary resource on the treatment of traumatized children who exhibit dissociative adaptations and disorders. At once highly readable and accessible, The Child Survivor provides practical suggestions for working with some of the most difficult and intransigent symptoms in traumatized children and adolescents. The techniques described are based on Dr. Silberg's own clinical experience integrated with the most recent advances in the neurosciences and treatment research. This book is a must-read for all who treat complex trauma survivors as it will boost their range of clinical approaches and skills and their confidence." – Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP, author of Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy and The Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship–Based Approach

"Joyanna Silberg has provided clinicians with a unique and indispensable resource for treating children and adolescents with dissociative symptoms. The EDUCATE approach that is the centerpiece of the book is an admirably concise, thorough, and clinically sophisticated guide to enable clinicians to fulfilling the book’s goal of assisting dissociative children to regain the foundational competences of self-determination and self-regulation. The clinical examples resonate with the experience of real-world clinical practice and illustrate practical strategies that every therapist needs."– Julian D. Ford, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut

"In this long-awaited book, Joyanna Silberg, a masterful therapist and teacher, demystifies dissociation and distills decades of clinical wisdom and lessons from her remarkable work with hundreds of dissociative children. Most importantly, she provides the reader with clear, practical intervention strategies that work. Every child therapist should read this book!"– Bradley C. Stolbach, PhD, director of the Chicago Child Trauma Center at La Rabida Children's Hospital

"Joyanna Silberg articulates cogently her strength-based approach to treating severely traumatized dissociative children and adolescents. Through the use of illuminating case descriptions and clear theoretical explanations, clinicians of all levels of expertise will learn from reading this book. Readers will feel inspired and empowered to help young clients as well as a deepened sense of respect for the resourceful adaptations that children and teens make to survive attachment difficulties and trauma." – Bethany Brand, PhD, professor of psychology at Towson University

"I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Silberg's book which I’ve just dug into and keep wanting to go back to when I get reading time. It is SO well written—I’ve been trying to find words to describe it . . . Her writing is so clear and there is a beauty or poetry or something in the way the words read. But this quality does not compromise the depth and the complexity of the ideas she is writing about. It’s one of those rare books in which clinicians will walk away with new things to think about and new things to DO as well. Bravo Dr. Silberg! This book will become a classic." – Jan Freeman, MSW, LCSW-C, founder and chair of the DC Metro Area Trauma Forum and faculty in the ISSTD Psychotherapy Training Program

"Silberg’s excellent addition to the literature on assessment and treatment of dissociative phenomena in children and adolescents living through the effects of sexual abuse begs for future volumes in this area. This is a "must-have" text for clinicians and clinical educators, particularly those who educate psychology students at a master’s and doctoral degree level." – Clare Lawlor, PsycCRITIQUES