Technology is complicating, if not remaking, adolescent development. Many seminal experiences of adolescence are now mediated primarily through digital technologies. Developmental milestones that analysts had used as markers of healthy growth have been skewed by teens’social media use, with a third of all teens in the United States reporting they feel addicted to their phones. As corporate interests and technology companies devote millions toward influencing teenagers for their own greedy gain, teens are unprotected by regulatory systems that provide little to no oversight. With teens’ mental health deteriorating, it has been hard to stem the bleeding.
Thus, it is not surprising that having been taken up, distracted, and flooded by the demands and distractions of growing up online, teens reach adulthood more anxious and overwhelmed, with some never having engaged the important questions about who they authentically are. Social media has taken normative aspects of teenage development – the desire for connection, feeling the center of attention, and the importance of friendships – amplified them exponentially, and monetized them.
Unbecoming: the Fracturing of Adolescent Development considers the potential of a digital adolescence while taking seriously the vulnerability of crucial skills and experiences that may be lost or undeveloped in the transition from adolescence into adulthood for today’s teens. For some adolescents, the questions of identity development will be fleshed out online in positive ways. But for a larger set, the social media rewards of developing a curated inauthentic self will obscure that process, fracturing teens’ development of a healthy body image, their attention to academic and cognitive tasks, the development of authentic friendships, romantic relationships and their sexual health. Drawing on recent research and clinical vignettes, we will consider the particular benefits of analytic co-presence when working with teens who are living their lives mostly online. We will identify the relational and developmental struggles of this nascent generation of young adults, while deepening our understanding of how analytic engagement can now, more than ever, help teens discover themselves more fully, anchoring them through this “unmooring” time.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Danielle Magaldi is a practicing psychologist and an Associate Professor of Special Education at the City University of New York, Lehman College. She has authored numerous chapters and articles on the impact of new technologies on our many relationships: family connections, romantic attachments, and the therapeutic dyad. Currently she leads the Tech & Teens Research Lab which explores how technology is reshaping adolescent development, and she presents widely on this topic. Dr. Magaldi is an analytic candidate at New York University’s Post-doctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She supervises early career clinicians, as well as maintaining a private practice in Greenwich Village and Park Slope, Brooklyn, working with children, adolescents, adults and couples.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this program, participants will be able to:
understand the ways social media engagement is impacting learning and academic outcomes for adolescents, including defining task switching and outlining the attentional issues involved.
identify the ways teens are using social media for connection and communication.
identify the possibilities within analytic co-presence and the analytic relationship for working with teens in the current digital landscape.
recognize differences in the technologically-mediated simulations of traditional physically co-present relationships with the benefit of in-person therapy.
identify how teens’ social development is impacted by social media use and define “technoference.”
identify how teens’ body image and sexual health are impacted by social media use.
Who should attend? Mental health professionals: psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, pastoral counselors, as well as persons with an interest in psycho-dynamic and psychoanalytic thinking and application. The instructional level of this activity is advanced.
CE Credits: CE credits are granted to participants with documented attendance and completed evaluation forms. Attendance is monitored. Credits will not be granted to registrants who arrive late or depart early. Credits will be granted to participants who submit a completed evaluation form at the end of the session. It is the responsibility of participants to comply with these requirements. Upon completion of this program and the evaluation form, participants will be given 3 CE credits.
The Baltimore Society for Psychoanalytic Studies (BSPS) is a local chapter of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. BSPS is also recognized by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners as a sponsor of continuing education programs.
Registration: Make checks payable to “BSPS” and mail to: BSPS, PO Box 20910, Baltimore, MD 21209-0910.
Please print and fill out the Registration Form and, if you chose it, the Membership form sent to your email and also on our website and return with your check. We will send the log-on link and password the week prior to the conference to all registrants who sign up for Zoom. Evaluation forms will be sent to all participants via email when the conference has ended. CEU certificates will be sent after the evaluations have been collected.
Deadline for this conference is: February 26, 2024. If you cannot ensure your check will arrive in time, contact us before that date (contactbsps@BSPSmaryland.org).
Refund Policy: Please note that registration fees are not refundable. If you cannot attend a conference for which you have already paid, we can apply your payment to an upcoming conference within the same conference calendar year (September to May).
Important disclosure information: None of the planners and presenters of this CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.