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(p. 187) Adolescence: Struggling Through the Doldrums 

(p. 187) Adolescence: Struggling Through the Doldrums
(p. 187) Adolescence: Struggling Through the Doldrums

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 07 March 2021

In this talk to London County Council Children’s Department senior staff, Winnicott describes the features of adolescence that he believes are important for this audience of his to attend to. He speaks of each adolescent having to negotiate this age-specific phase, whilst also dealing with the onset of puberty, so as to arrive at adulthood. He is aware that adolescent breakdowns put a strain on society and require toleration and treatment. For Winnicott, three social developments have altered the climate of adolescence: treatment for venereal disease, the availability of contraceptive techniques, and the creation of the atom bomb, all of which affects the relationship between adult society and adolescence. The adolescent is pre-potent, and does not accept false solutions. The real cure for adolescence is the passage of time, and to get through this development stage, there will be a period Winnicott calls the adolescent doldrums.

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