1st Edition

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Puberty and Adolescence The Inner Worlds of Teenagers and their Parents

By Gertraud Diem-Wille Copyright 2021
    288 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Puberty is a time of tumultuous transition from childhood to adulthood activated by rapid physical changes, hormonal development and explosive activity of neurons. This book explores puberty through the parent-teenager relationship, as a "normal state of crisis", lasting several years and with the teenager oscillating between childlike tendencies and their desire to become an adult.

    The more parents succeed in recognizing and experiencing these new challenges as an integral, ineluctable emotional transformative process, the more they can allow their children to become independent. In addition, parents who can also see this crisis as a chance for their own further development will be ultimately enriched by this painful process. They can face up to their own aging as they take leave of youth with its myriad possibilities, accepting and working through a newfound rivalry with their sexually mature children, thus experiencing a process of maturity, which in turn can set an example for their children.

    This book is based on rich clinical observations from international settings, unique within the field, and there is an emphasis placed by the author on the role of the body in self-awareness, identity crises and gender construction. It will be of great interest to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, parents and carers, as well as all those interacting with adolescents in self, family and society.

    Introduction I. The Body Ego 1.1 The Body as an Object of Observation 1.2 The Body as a Medium of Protest II. Psychosexual Development in Puberty 2.1 The Mother-Baby Pair as Model for Romantic Love 2.2 Flaming up of Oedipal Desires 2.3 Daydreams with Oedipal Themes 2.4 Masturbation and Masturbation Fantasies 2.5 Working Through Themes from Early Childhood and Puberty in Art 2.6 Adolescents in Therapy III. Development of Feeling 3.1 Problems for Parents of Children Growing into Puberty 3.2 Effects on the Parental Psyche IV. Development of Thinking 4.1 The Capacity for Abstract Thought According to Piaget V. The Search for Self—Identity VI. Lost by the Wayside—Overstepping Limits 6.1 Violent Adolescents: Violence as Fascination and Denial 6.2 Violence as a Direct Way to Paradise – the Fascination of the Jihad 6.3 The Problems of Teenage Pregnancy 6.4 Psychic Breakdown in Adolescence 6.5 Thoughts of Suicide—Suicide Attempts VII. Epilogue


    Gertraud Diem-Wille is Professor Emeritus at the University of Klagenfurt in the field of Psychoanalytic Education. She is a training analyst for children, adolescents and adults (IPA) and has pioneered and supported the training in psychoanalytic observational approaches to training in psychoanalytic and educational fields in Austria. She is the author of The Early Years of Life (Karnac 2011), Young Children and Their Parents (Karnac 2014) and Latency: The Golden Age of Childhood (Routledge 2014).