Post-Traumatic Syndromes in Childhood and Adolescence: A Handbook of Research and Practice

By Vittoria Ardino | Go to book overview

Afterword

Giovanni Liotti

Older readers of this book – people like myself who, at the end of the 1970s, began to meet professionally with the tragic inner world of trauma survivors and victims of within-family abuse – have witnessed in a very gradual manner the growth of clinical knowledge in this domain of psychopathology and psychotherapy, from almost nothing in their professional youth to the wealth of solid research data, clinical theories, and treatment procedures now available. As the growth of a child is relatively imperceptible to the bystander, who only by summoning the memory of the newborn infant realizes how big the change has been, so the growth of our knowledge of trauma-related disorders has been relatively imperceptible to me while it was accumulating. My journeying through the chapters of this very well-organized book has been matched by memories of how little we knew only 30 years ago – yielding a vivid image of the enormous leap from the desert and arid intellectual shores where I wandered while treating my younger patients whose lives were filled with chaos and violence, to the fertile ground upon which it is now possible to purposefully proceed – an enthusiasm-arousing image indeed, which could stimulate endless comments on each chapter. To try to comment on each chapter, however, would amount to missing a major goal of the whole book, namely to be “[not] a comprehensive handbook of PTSD in children and adolescents, but rather a tool of reflection and a starting point to envision new areas of exploration after its reading” – as Vittoria Ardino writes in her Introduction.

Let me then put aside my enthusiasm and say just a few words about an area of exploration I kept constantly envisaging while reading this book – not to state that it will be the most important future development of the ideas and the inquiries collected in the book, but rather to invite readers to reflect on what future developments they may regard as more relevant.

-449-

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