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Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll : The Tasks of Adolescence (Seth Aronson, PsyD - New York)

  • 24 Apr 2022
  • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (UTC-04:00)
  • Virtual meeting


Registration is closed


This program has been supported by a generous contribution

from the Sophie L. Lovinger Memorial Fund


Adolescence has been called, by no less a figure than Anna Freud, "a 'stepchild, where analytic thinking is concerned". This is undoubtedly due to the difficulties working with this age group.  Adolescence  is a time of  turmoil, of reckoning with discontinuities- accommodating to a new physical self as well as cognitive changes, forming new attachments outside the family; in essence, a relinquishing of childhood. This presentation will detail what is lost in adolescence, how these  losses are symbolized by the adolescent and in the culture at large, relying on Kleinian  (as well as other) notions of symbolization and repair.   How these losses are manifest in the treatment of youth will be illustrated with clinical examples.  A particular focus on transferential and countertransferential enactments will demonstrate how these issues arise in therapeutic work with this age group, and the clinician having 

to reckon with, in Winnicott's words, "that bit of ourselves that hasn't yet had its own adolescence".

Learning Objectives 

At the end of this presentation participants will be able to:

1) Identify two ways that adolescents react to recognizing their mortality.

2) Identity three defenses that adolescent patients may employ, and discuss how clinicians can recognize and respond to them.

3) Describe two ways mourning plays a role in work with adolescent patients, and discuss how clinicians can facilitate a healthy mourning process.


Seth Aronson, Psy.D. is Training and Supervising Analyst, Director of Training, Fellow at the William Alanson White Institute (WAWI), where he has also served as Director of Curriculum. He is on the teaching faculty of the psychoanalytic and child psychotherapy training programs at WAWI. At Long Island University’s doctoral program, he teaches child and adolescent psychopathology and psychotherapy. He has facilitated process groups for rabbinical students at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah for 18 years. He serves on the editorial boards of Psychoanalytic Quarterly and Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy.

Beyond these formal roles, he has also presented and taught in many venues around the world, including Japan and Israel and has led a study program for mental health professionals and clergy for seven years.


Aronson,S., Goodman,S, Novick, J and K, Schwartz,F. (2017). The times they are a'changin'; a panel. Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 16(4), 251-266.


Bonovitz,C, and Harlem,A. (2018). Developmental Perspectives in Child Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Routledge: New York.


Brady,M. (2018). Analytic Encounters with Adolescents. Routledge: New York.   

Contributions to the The Sophie L. Lovinger Memorial Fund can be sent to Brenda Lovegrove Lepisto, Psy.D., President, 1832 Yosemite Drive, Okemos MI 48864.

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