In order for us to begin to understand the effect of abusive experiences in childhood on young people's personality development and symptomatology, we have to draw upon a number of theories. The most important of these relate to attachment, mentalization, dissociation, trauma, and how abusive experiences affect the development of the individual and their developing brain. In this article I will share with you my attempts to understand the young people that come to stay on our intensive care unit and consider how these theories inform our understanding of them and the treatment approach that we try to provide.
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