Cover image for They'll never be the same : a parent's guide to PTSD in youth / Michael S. Scheeringa.
They'll never be the same : a parent's guide to PTSD in youth / Michael S. Scheeringa.
Title Variants:
They will never be the same
Publication Information:
Las Vegas : Central Recovery Press, [2018]
Physical Description:
xv, 250 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Paths to acceptance : a beginning -- Life threat is trauma -- All stress is not trauma -- Symptoms -- Seven reasons why PTSD is under-recognized -- Proper assessment -- Complex problems -- Facing the disinformation critics of the DSM-5 -- Blame the mother -- The facts on parents : do they help, hurt, or make no difference? -- The decision to get help : if you build it, they won't come -- How to find good treatment -- Treatment for complicated cases -- Memory: the unwelcome guest and the girl who forgot she was abused -- Frequently asked questions -- Appendix A How to talk with youths following traumas -- Appendix B Elements of cognitive behavior therapy for PTSD -- Appendix C Therapist likeable checklist.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
618.928521 SCH Book Adult General Collection

On Order



A compassionate and accessible guide for parents whose children have experienced traumatic or life-threatening events written by one of the foremost authorities on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents. Dr. Scheeringa understands the desperation many parents feel and explains the impact of trauma, simplifies the science into layman's terms, debunks the myths, and provides direction on navigating the confusing maze of the mental health world to find appropriate care.

Author Notes

Michael S. Scheeringa, MD, currently works as a tenured professor at Tulane University School of Medicine (New Orleans) as an endowed chair and the Vice Chair of Research. He has been active as both a practicing clinician and a researcher for over twenty-three years as the principal investigator on five large, federally funded research projects on the topic of PTSD in children and adolescents. He has developed multiple assessment measures that have been translated into seven languages. He has been a consultant to several national efforts, including the National Academy of Sciences and the DSM-5.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Scheeringa, a psychiatrist and professor at Tulane University School of Medicine, brings more than 20 years of clinical practice and research in the field of post-traumatic stress disorder to this informative if somewhat acerbic guide. He clarifies the symptoms for parents while pointing a finger at clinicians who fail to diagnose or properly treat the disorder. According to Scheeringa, PTSD is a chronic disorder from which most never fully recover, even with treatment (thus, the ominous title). The author lays out how PTSD is diagnosed, and emphasizes the importance of its updated inclusion in the DSM-III. (This particular information may be less relevant to parents than to clinicians who require a reliable definition.) Scheeringa clearly explains how PTSD differs from stress, observing that the disorder is unique in that it occurs suddenly, following a life-threatening event. He urges parents to wait no more than one month before seeking professional help for their child, preferably from a clinician who offers cognitive behavioral therapy. The FAQ chapter should be particularly useful for parents, as should an appendix that addresses talking with children who have experienced trauma. As a whole, the text offers parents valuable guidance on finding help promptly and wisely. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Chapter 1 Paths to Acceptance: A Beginningp. 1
Lisa: Hurricane Katrina Survivorp. 3
A Very Brief History of PTSD in Childrenp. 6
Children Can Develop PTSD: "Your Data Must Be Wrong."p. 7
My Beginning: Young Children and the PTSD Diagnosisp. 8
The Case of Tommy: "I Want My Boy Back."p. 9
Very Young Children Do Indeed Develop PTSDp. 11
You Do Not Recover from PTSD on Your Ownp. 12
The Long Shadowp. 13
Recapp. 14
For Parents to Dop. 14
Chapter 2 Life Threat Is Traumap. 15
Trauma Is Sudden, Unexpected Moments of Life-Threatening Panicp. 15
Joe: Combat Traumap. 16
Yvonne: Sexual Traumap. 17
Carl: Motor Vehicle Traumap. 17
Trauma Is Different from Stress. There Really Are Not Many Exceptionsp. 18
A Very Short History Lesson: 1867-1980p. 19
1980: The DSM-III Changed Everythingp. 21
Trauma Is a Sudden, Life-Threatening Eventp. 23
Encounters with Very Young Childrenp. 24
Recapp. 26
For Parents to Dop. 27
Chapter 3 Not All Stress Is Traumap. 29
"Hey, Pay Attention! I Think This Causes PTSD!"p. 31
Do Separations, Neglect, Divorce, and (Insert Your Own Life Problem Here) Cause PTSD?p. 33
Gus: A Playground in Shamblesp. 37
Ignorance or Propagandap. 38
What's the Harm?p. 39
Recapp. 42
Chapter 4 Symptomsp. 43
The Diagnosis of PTSDp. 44
Jade: A Girl on the Edge of Suicidep. 48
Enrique: Exhausted by What He Sawp. 50
Post-trauma Symptoms in Very Young Childrenp. 51
Special Considerations for Seven- to Twelve-Year-Old Childrenp. 54
When to Seek Treatment? One Month of Watch-and-Wait Is Long Enoughp. 55
Recapp. 56
For Parents to Dop. 56
Chapter 5 Seven Reasons Why PTSD Is Under-Recognizedp. 57
The Girl Who Wouldn't Cross the Streetp. 57
The Miele and O'Brien Studyp. 59
Seven Reasons Why PTSD Is Under-Recognizedp. 60
PTSD Is Commonp. 69
Recapp. 70
For Parents to Dop. 71
Chapter 6 Proper Assessmentp. 73
1 "This Is Our Business" Approachp. 73
2 Standardized Questionnairep. 74
You Cannot Tell Who Has PTSD by Looking at Themp. 75
3 Educational Interviewing. You Must "Lead the Witness."p. 76
The Misjudgment of Parentsp. 79
4 Patiencep. 81
Recapp. 82
For Parents to Dop. 82
Chapter 7 Complex Problemsp. 83
Combinations of Symptoms of PTSDp. 83
Co-occurrence of Other Disordersp. 83
Luke: PTSD Manifest as ADHDp. 86
Liam: PTSD Masked by Defiant Behavior and Inattentionp. 87
Overlap of Symptoms Between Disordersp. 88
Doctor, Please Teach Mep. 89
The Eye of the Beholderp. 90
Recapp. 92
For Parents to Dop. 93
Chapter 8 Facing the Disinformation Critics of the DSM-5p. 95
1 Is the DSM Classification System Inherently Flawed?p. 96
2 Do We Give Patients Too Many Diagnoses?p. 99
3 Do We Need a New Diagnosis to Replace or Complement PTSD?p. 102
The DSM Developers Should Be Saying, "You're Welcome."p. 105
Recapp. 107
For Parents to Dop. 108
Chapter 9 Blame the Motherp. 109
Wanda and the Unabomberp. 109
Psychiatric Disordersp. 111
Posttraumatic Stress Disorderp. 113
What Is It Like to Feel Blamed for Your Children's Problems?p. 113
Blame-the-Mother Theoriesp. 117
Yvonne: A Therapist Encounters a Mother Who Is Madp. 117
Lena: A Mother Afraid of Losingp. 119
The Research Data: The Correlationp. 120
The "Imply-Suggest-and-Hint" Problemp. 122
Why Do They Do This?p. 124
Normal Child Developmentp. 125
In the Shoes of Therapistsp. 127
Chapter 10 The Facts on Parents: Do They Help, Hurt, or Make No Difference?p. 129
Problems with the Data about Blaming Mothersp. 130
The Results when Parenting Is Actually Measuredp. 131
The Results when Symptoms Are Tracked over Timep. 132
Treatment: The Mother Does Not Have to Get Betterp. 135
Chris: Unusual Homework in the Atticp. 136
Treatment: Parents Can Help Children Get Betterp. 138
Alex: A Father's Tough Lovep. 138
Clinical Intuition Is Notoriously Wrongp. 140
Recapp. 142
For Parents to Dop. 144
Chapter 11 The Decision to Get Help: If You Build It, They Won't Comep. 145
The Queensland Floods Storyp. 145
Disasters in New York, Florida, and New Orleansp. 146
Why Don't They Come?p. 148
The Marketing of Mental Healthp. 150
Chapter 12 How to Find Good Treatmentp. 153
Evidence-Based Treatmentp. 154
CBT Has Won the Horse Race So Farp. 154
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?p. 155
Chrisp. 157
The Angry Play Therapistp. 158
What Makes a Good Treatment for PTSD?p. 159
Tammy and an Ice Cream Truckp. 159
Myths of CBTp. 162
What's Wrong with the Mental Health Business?p. 169
Recapp. 170
For Parents to Dop. 171
Chapter 13 Treatment for Complicated Casesp. 173
Liam: PTSD Diagnosis Missed for Yearsp. 173
It Is Always Complicated, but There Are Two Issues More Troubling than Mostp. 174
1 PTSD Does Not Like Being Alone: Two Types of Co-occurring Disordersp. 174
The Narrative Fallacy of Complex PTSDp. 178
Ella: Preexisting Personality Disorder and Drug Abusep. 179
2 Family Problemsp. 180
The Constant Gardenerp. 181
Recapp. 183
For Parents to Dop. 183
Chapter 14 Memory: The Unwelcome Guest and the Girl Who Forgot She Was Abusedp. 185
PTSD Symptoms That Require Memoryp. 186
Limitations of Researchp. 187
Remembering Too Much May Be a Problemp. 188
Remembering Things That Never Happened May Be a Problemp. 191
Not Remembering May Be Protectivep. 194
Enrique: Memories Remembered but Locked Awayp. 195
Is Remembering Nothing Possible?p. 195
The Girl Who Forgot She Was Abusedp. 196
Does Memory Predict Who Will Get Better with Treatment?p. 198
Rose: Too Hot and Too Coldp. 199
Conclusion: It's Impossible to Forget a Truly Traumatic Eventp. 201
Recapp. 201
For Parents to Dop. 202
Chapter 15 Neurobiology: Does Traumatic Stress Damage the Brain?p. 203
Autonomic Nervous Systemp. 204
Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and Cortisolp. 206
How Did the Neurobiology Get There?p. 208
Correlation Does Not Equal Causation (Revisited)p. 211
HPA Axis and Cortisolp. 212
Wrapping Up with Some Balancep. 213
Recapp. 216
For Parents to Dop. 217
Chapter 16 Frequently Asked Questionsp. 219
Cause-and-Effect Questionsp. 219
Prevalencep. 222
Assessment and Diagnosisp. 223
Coursep. 225
Parentingp. 227
Interventionsp. 227
Appendix A How to Talk with Youths Following Traumasp. 233
Appendix B Elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for PTSDp. 235
Appendix C Therapist Likeability Checklistp. 237
Chapter Notesp. 239