Contemporary Application of Psychoanalytic Theory to the Treatment of Adolescents and their Parents: Taking Technique into the 21st Century

Presented by: Jacqueline Langley, PhD

December 13, 2017 | 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Care and Counseling

12141 Ladue Road

St. Louis, MO, 63141




Those of us who are brave enough to treat adolescents in the 21st century know how difficult the multiple layers of this daunting task are. Way beyond the time when parents actually trust clinicians, we find ourselves caught and interwoven into the tensions between our technological culture, complicated familial dynamics and the intricacies of the adolescent’s inner mind. We also know the pain we must face when we descend into our own omnipotence and convince ourselves we can cure the adolescent without fully and sensitively attending to the dynamics between the adolescent and their parents. This seminar will bring good tidings to all. We will discuss and be reassured by how classic psychoanalytic theory sheds the same consistent light on adolescents today as it did in the 60’s. This will be integrated with current theory revealing the common dynamic underlying all of the major pathological symptoms we see today. We will then talk about applying theory to techniques on the cutting edge of child psychoanalysis. Unlike the classical stance of one therapist treating parents while another treats the child and unlike family therapy, concurrent parent therapy while a child is in therapy with the same therapist helps the therapist have his or her thumb on familial dynamics and the adolescent while transforming them both. We might even have time to talk about how modern technology can spice up the work.


 Learning Objectives:

1. Describe and identify the different sub-stages of adolescence and the cognitive and affective differences between them.
2. Describe the sadomasochistic dynamics underlying all the serious pathological symptoms we see today.
3. Describe the use of concurrent work with parents while treating an adolescent in psychoanalysis or psychotherapy.