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Myths of Childhood by Joel Paris

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11

CHAPTER

Childhood in Psychotherapy

This chapter will review evidence that casts doubt on whether exploring childhood experiences is essential in psychotherapy. If the theory of primacy is wrong, then understanding childhood may not be the royal road to recovery from psychological symptoms, and establishing links between early and later experiences need not be crucial to therapeutic success.

I will begin by examining what research shows about the main factors that make psychotherapy work. (Since this literature is so vast, I will generally rely on reviews in standard texts, which contain evaluations and meta-analyses of hundreds of studies.) I will then focus on the more specific issue of whether interpretations making links between past ...

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