The Transformational Self concept is a fresh attempt to answer the question, "When does adolescence end?". It moves the discussion away from using traditional developmental tasks as indicators of the transition to the analysis of dynamic interactional processes gathered from an interdisciplinary context known as regulation theory.
This book is an attempt to add to the theoretical discussion regarding the nature of the intrapsychic and interpersonal transformational changes associated with the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. The author introduces the concept of the Transformational Self, a phase-specific dimension of the neural self, and demonstrates the enhanced explanatory power that it offers in attempting to examine the sometimes dramatic shifting self-states accompanying the metamorphosis from adolescence into young adulthood. A necessary precondition for the emergence of the Transformational Self is the maturation of the pre-frontal cortex and its enhanced neural connectivity. With this biological achievement, executive functioning, a strengthened ego/self capacity, can arrive at a mature level of external stabilization and internal, intrapsychic structuralization. Conceptualized in self-referencing metaphor and expressed and reinforced through long term potentiation (repeated firing patterns of synchronous neural assemblies), the late adolescent reconfigured self-state becomes a true developmental potentiality evidenced by the use of different self (and other) representations. In other words, self referencing metaphor becomes the pathway to personal metamorphosis. The psychotherapies of two mid-adolescent girls illustrate the application of the Transformational Self concept.
"The Transformational Self is a new book offering a new concept in self psychology theory to be applied to the developmental transition between adolescence and adulthood. It is exceptionally well researched and tightly reasoned with thorough, valuable reviews and clear, crisp elaborations of the contributions found in the surrounding fields of cognition, neurobiology, linguistics and attachment theory. Harold K. Bendicsen's dedication to the explication of these matters can be found on every page."
- Barry L. Childress, MD, Child analyst , Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis
"An enlightening work filled with clinical distinctions which leads one to a richer understanding of adolescent transformation. This important book synchronizes psychoanalytic constructs with the impetus surrounding brain research. In effect, he suggests the relevance that neurobiological brain research and psychoanalytic understandings of the unconscious have for one another. As a university president and hence someone engaged in supporting the transformation of adolescents into adulthood, Bendicsen’s analysis enabled me to see more clearly the transformations within and among my university students."
- Rev. C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J., President , Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia
"This monograph is a tour de force. Impressive in its scope, it synthesizes major trends in analytic thinking from ego theory to chaos/complexity theory, attachment, self, and relational theories, and advances in neurological research. Bendicsen scaffolds these concepts and their developmental implications to create a new, unitary framework of interdisciplinary processes, that he names 'Regulation Theory' which, in turn, realizes a higher-level developmental shift in adolescence, the Transformational Self. Utilizing insights from his own adolescent case studies, Bendicsen powers his inquiry by showing how the Transformational Self, a reflective state emerging at the end of Adolescence, becomes the 'gateway' to Young Adulthood."
- Rita P. Sussman, PhD, Faculty, Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training program , Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and Institute for Clinical Social Work
"The title of Harold Bendicsen’s new book, The Transformational Self, is itself transformative. The reader is immediately engaged by the title and knows that a much different perspective will be presented to address the challenge of when and how adolescence ends. This book makes an intellectually stimulating attempt to answer this challenge by surveying multiple domains of contemporary knowledge and integrating them in a creative perspective. Bendicsen’s definition of The Transformational Self as a self-organization and as a state of mind is elaborated through chapters which usefully incorporate applicable linguistic theory of metaphor, attachment theory, neurobiology, non-linear dynamics theory (chaos), cognitive theory, attachment theory and psychoanalytic theory. Two case histories provide rich illustrations of the utility of this innovative concept. All of this is accomplished in a readable style."
- Phil S. Lebovitz, MD, Director, Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, Training and Supervising Analyst, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science , Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences
Table of Contents:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PART I: CONTEXT AND PROBLEM FORMULATION
CHAPTER ONE: Introductory considerations
CHAPTER TWO: Theoretical considerations
PART II: THE NATURE OF THE TRANSFORMATIONAL SELF
INTRODUCTION TO PART II
CHAPTER THREE: The transformational self in adolescence
After notes to Chapters Two and Three
CHAPTER FOUR: Classification of transformational selves
CHAPTER FIVE: Locating the transformational self within the larger self system
After notes to Chapter Five
PART III: CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE TRANSFORMATIONAL SELF
INTRODUCTION TO PART III
CHAPTER SIX: The contribution from the linguistic theory of metaphor
CHAPTER SEVEN: The contribution from attachment theory
CHAPTER EIGHT: The contribution from neurobiology
After notes to Chapter Eight
CHAPTER NINE: The contribution from non-linear dynamic systems theory
CHAPTER TEN: The contribution from cognition
PART IV: THE APPEARANCE OF THE TRANSFORMATIONAL SELF IN TWO CASES
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Two psychotherapies
PART V: SYNOPSIS
CHAPTER TWELVE: The transformational self: gateway to young adulthood
APPENDIX ONE: Comparing and contrasting ego psychology with self-psychology
APPENDIX TWO: Modern and postmodern philosophical paradigms in clinical social work from a developmental model perspective