Normal Child and Adolescent Development

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9780880482585: Normal Child and Adolescent Development

Normal Child and Adolescent Development is an exceptional learning tool for beginning mental health professionals engaged in training programs to prepare for work with children, adolescents, and adults with mental and behavioral problems. Throughout the book, illustrative examples of normal and abnormal development are presented to demonstrate the usefulness of normal development concepts in understanding abnormal development.

Intended as an introduction to child and adolescent mental development, this book describes each major stage of the development process, integrating each major aspect of development with the leading developmental theories. Each chapter follows the same basic outline to help the reader understand the continuous nature of the child's mental development through succeeding developmental phases. This schematic organization emphasizes that children's mental development is continuous as well as discontinuous: their representational world provides the continuous "landscape" from which they progressively perceive the social world using their increasingly more complex perceptual and cognitive capabilities; discontinuous in the sense that children's maturational advances, coupled with new life events, will produce relatively unexpected developmental changes in them.

The text includes several important concepts of normal mental development. A thorough understanding of the id, ego, superego and the self; the unconscious mental domain; implicit versus explicit memories; the development of the internal distress signal; mechanisms of defense; transference reactions; and mental organizing principles is essential for any practitioner who will ultimately be involved in evaluatory and treatment work with mentally disturbed children, adolescents, and adults.

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About the Author:

Ralph Gemelli, M.D., is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. He is board certified in child and adult psychiatry, as well as certified in child and adult psychoanalysis. His previous positions include Director of Adult Psychiatry Residency Training at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and Director of Child Psychiatry Residency Training at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Dr. Gemelli maintains a private practice in child and adult psychiatry and psychoanalysis in Bethesda, Maryland and is the Director of the Stuttering Diagnostic Clinic of the Washington Psychoanalytic Foundation.

Review:

From introduction to epilogue, Gemelli's textbook provides a thorough, well-integrated synopsis of child and adolescent development. The author skillfully interweaves varying viewpoints and theories of normal child mental, physical, cognitive, temperamental, emotional, and language development into a single comprehensive, easy-to-read volume... Even though this book was written primarily for trainees, it will also be an excellent review and resource for more seasoned mental health providers working with children and young adults. It will serve students of both biological and psychodynamic psychiatry. It is a necessary forerunner to the study of abnormal child and adolescent development. Although there have been many textbooks written on abnormal child development, there are few, if any, single-source texts on normal child development. Dr. Gemelli fills this void. Bulletin of the Menniger Clinic Gemelli weaves the several viewpoints of child and adolescent development in to a comprehensive and comprehensible fabric... Because of the author's thorough and all-inclusive handling of the subject, this book is not a quick or easy reference. It is certainly readable: it invites reading and studying and thinking. It cannot be read fast or skimmed over, but the serious reader -- the beginner as well as the experienced practitioner -- will be well rewarded... I found this book informative, inspiring, and thought provoking. To those of us who are practicing mental health professionals, it is a scientific reminder that the problems we witness in many families are indeed a substantial danger to the next generation... I have been much taken with this work, and I feel enriched for having read it. I urge all readers of the Journal to do the same whether or not they directly treat children. American Journal of Psychiatry The writing is clear, concepts are explained lucidly, and the author does not expect the reader to have previous exposure to the material presented. All the theoretical constructs are carefully defined and examples are often provided to illustrate key points. Choice

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