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Book Forum: CHILD PSYCHIATRY   |    
Adolescent Development, Psychopathology, and Treatment
FRED R. VOLKMAR, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 1998;155:852a-853.
View Author and Article Information
New Haven, Conn.

by H. Spencer Bloch, M.D. Madison, Conn., International Universities Press, 1995, 417 pp., $50.00.

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Treating adolescents can be a challenging task for clinicians. Although a considerable body of work on adolescent psychopathology has developed over the years, it has not usually been well integrated into attempts to understand normative developmental processes. This has had particularly unfortunate implications for psychotherapeutic theoretical models, which often have been narrowly focused on either one particular aspect of adolescent development or one particular disorder. The present volume attempts to provide a practical way of understanding and treating adolescents from within a psychoanalytic framework.

Dr. Bloch proposes an integrative model of adolescent psychopathology that draws on both psychoanalysis and contemporary psychology. In this ego-maturationist model, strivings for autonomy and the conflicting desire for secure parental relationships are central. The book's 10 chapters are grouped in four sections: Background, Development During Adolescence, Evaluation and Treatment of Deviations From Normal Developmental Processes, and Consideration of Intensive Therapy in Addressing Severe Psychopathology.

The book is highly readable and will be of great interest to dynamically oriented clinicians who work with adolescents. The many case illustrations are particularly worthwhile because they not only illustrate aspects of the author's model but also provide practical illustrations of the ways in which clinicians can sensitively work with adolescents.

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