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This article presents an expanded paradigm for understanding the pervasive impact of subtle parent-child interactions that cause experiences of shock, trauma, and stress during the first three years of life. Drawn from quantitative, qualitative, applied evidence-based practice, case formulation research methods, and a comprehensive review of related research, it uses the term “developmental trauma” to describe these early experiences. The article also places shock, trauma, and stress on a continuum and charts their impact on the development of individuals, couples, and families. It also describes the Weinholds’ clinical model for healing developmental trauma.


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