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Makman, M. (1989). Adolescent Psychiatry. XIV, 1987: When Adolescents Write: Semiotic and Social Dimensions of Adolescents' Personal Writing. Bonnie E. Litowitz and Robert A. Gundlach. Pp. 82-111.. Psychoanal Q., 58:682.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Adolescent Psychiatry. XIV, 1987: When Adolescents Write: Semiotic and Social Dimensions of Adolescents' Personal Writing. Bonnie E. Litowitz and Robert A. Gundlach. Pp. 82-111.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:682

Adolescent Psychiatry. XIV, 1987: When Adolescents Write: Semiotic and Social Dimensions of Adolescents' Personal Writing. Bonnie E. Litowitz and Robert A. Gundlach. Pp. 82-111.

Marianne Makman

In this fascinating, thoughtfully written paper, the authors challenge past assumptions that writing thoughts and feelings instead of speaking them represents a resistance or acting out in analytic therapy. On the contrary, they view unsolicited adolescent writings, such as journals, poems, and plays, as facilitative to the therapeutic process. The authors examine the many functions these writings serve for the adolescent. All writing is social in that it arises out of and embodies interpersonal relationships even when private. Also, it can serve a semiotic function, a means of representing who one is, just as dress, facial expression, and speech do. Writing is used by adolescents to "externalize and objectify an inner feeling," to experiment with self-other relationships, and to gain control of affects, as well as in other ways. The text is richly illustrated with excerpts from the writings of three boys and one girl, with comments about these writings.

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Article Citation

Makman, M. (1989). Adolescent Psychiatry. XIV, 1987. Psychoanal. Q., 58:682

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