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Psychoanalytic Treatment at the Crossroads of ADHD and Emerging Adulthood: Reflections on Dr. Whitman’s Case Presentation
The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child  (IF0.089),  Pub Date : 2019-01-01, DOI: 10.1080/00797308.2019.1557483
Karen Gilmore

ABSTRACT The case of Mark presents the confluence of issues that are controversial in contemporary psychoanalysis: namely, how to understand and treat a “neurodevelopmental disorder” like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), how to conceptualize the developmental issues specific to emerging adulthood and thereby differentiate them from psychopathology, and how to adapt the psychoanalytic method to meet the needs of such patients. Mark poses challenges in regard to the treatment of his ADHD, learning disabilities, and depression in the context of a time of life that has been identified as a new developmental phase that extends identity formation deep into the twenties. The role of the analyst must expand to include an array of functions—remedial, developmental, and psychodynamic—to facilitate the patient’s movement onto a productive path toward adulthood.