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Parks, C.E. (2006). Commentaries on Rachel G. Seidel's “Anna, Leaving Home—an Adolescent Girl's Journey” Discussion of Anna. Psychoanal. St. Child, 61:123-134.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 61:123-134

Commentaries on Rachel G. Seidel's “Anna, Leaving Home—an Adolescent Girl's Journey” Discussion of Anna Related Papers

Charles E. Parks, Ph.D.

Adolescence is generally defined as the psychological response to the physiological process of puberty. Surging hormones, and the accompanying rise in instinctual tension, push the young adolescent toward a thorough-going reworking of her relationship to her body, parents, peers, and, of course, toward her sense of who she is. The young adolescent is confronted with an entirely new set of experiences and accompanying intense affect states that, in the beginning, are difficult, if not impossible, to understand and control, much less articulate. The maturing adolescent is becoming capable of performing sexual activity that could only be fantasized about before. Many aspects of the child's sexual life, experience, and fantasy had been driven underground and/or relatively contained during the latency years preceding adolescence. Now, as adolescence proper approaches, old, partially buried impulses are reawakened and push for gratification. This heightened intensity of the drives is, of course, partially terrifying to the adolescent, who feels eerily out of control of her own body and has a variety of conflicts and fears associated with ideas of instinctual gratification.

Partially in response to the upsurge in tension and anxiety, there is a regression, literally, a moving backward to earlier, less mature forms of psychological functioning.

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