The buzz trap: Adolescent states of mind
In this workshop Graham Music will explore some of the challenges faced by the therapist working with adolescent clients, or adults stuck in an adolescent state of mind.
We will begin with an overview of the dramatic changes that occur in the adolescent brain and hormonal system, linking this with states of mind which can continue well into adulthood.
Key themes will be the impact of screens, the internet and the increased reliance on cyberspace in the context of a fast-changing culture, speedier lives and an increasingly consumerist and sexualised culture. This will be considered alongside a teenage mind-set focused on immediate gratification, the adolescent propensity for risk-taking and for emotional reactivity.
We will look at how these modes of behaviour can give rise to ways of sidestepping mental pain and discomfort that has a lot in common with addictive processes. In a culture which is increasingly intolerant of complex feeling states, whether sadness, disappointment or anxiety, psychotherapy is profoundly challenged by the ease with which modern technology provides quick fixes and instantaneous rewards which momentarily satisfy but leave the underlying issues unaddressed.
We will consider whether psychotherapy and neurobiology together can help to make sense of these phenomena – with understandings about psychic processes such as narcissism and manic defences, as well as new thinking about psyche-soma and the nervous system.
This workshop will look at the extent that we, as therapists, need to be worried about influences such as pornography and the internet, and finally we will address how we might now need to work with young people, or adults stuck in adolescent states of mind, given this new context. Finally we will ask how we can tell “ordinary” adolescence from more worrying variants of teenagedom.
For more information and to book a place, visit our website: http://www.brightontherapypartnership.org.uk/events/the-buzz-trap-adolescent-states-of-mind/
About the host
Graham Music (PhD) is a consultant child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman Clinics and an adult psychotherapist in private practice. His publications include Nurturing Natures (2011), Affect and Emotion (2001), and The Good Life (2014).