Autism and Childhood Psychosis

Autism and Childhood Psychosis

Autism and Childhood Psychosis

Autism and Childhood Psychosis

Synopsis

This is Frances Tustin's first book and the original statement of her views on autistic states of mind and the genesis of varieties of childhood psychosis. In it, she tackles problems of diagnosis as these relate to therapeutic intervention.

Excerpt

Autism and Childhood Psychosis was first published in 1972 by Hogarth, London, and a year later by Jason Aronson, New York. Subsequently, it was translated and published in France, Italy, Brazil, and Argentina, where it is now in its third edition. In France, it is a 'livre de poche'. Twenty years ago, the book was greeted by a group of Italian therapists working at a unit for psychotic children at the Institute of Childhood Neuropsychiatry, Rome University, as 'a ship coming into harbour bearing precious cargo' (Tustin, c. 1985). Here was a theoretical model that provided an anchor for therapists bewildered by the array of bizarre behaviours that seemed to defy scientific explanation and human intervention.

Autism and Childhood Psychosis is Frances Tustin first book and the original statement of her views on autistic states of mind and the genesis of varieties of childhood psychosis. In it, she tackles problems of diagnosis as these relate to therapeutic intervention. Looking back at this early work from the vantage-point of 20 years and three more publications, it is fascinating to read the promotional statement on the original book jacket, which aptly portrays the approach that has become the hallmark of Tustin's writing: 'In a remarkable book Frances Tustin...reveals a mixture of common sense and compassionate insight which, with her clearly presented clinical material and sensitive interpretations, allows the reader to enter the strange world of psychotic children.... Mrs. Tustin's book is psychoanalytic but not sectarian. It has the great virtue of springing directly from her own experience, and it will thus be a source book for therapists from every school of depth psychology.'

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