Walking the Tightrope: Mind and Body in Adolescence – Nina Tebartz
Working with adolescents as a therapist is hugely rewarding and challenging in equal
measure – always walking the fine line between being ‘allowed in’ as a helpful figure, and
the sheer and often bleak sense of being kept out and utterly useless. Teenagers
communicate their difficulties in different ways, often involving the body. In their attempt to
manoeuvre the challenges of adolescence, the threat and real risk of the young person
harming the body is never far away. Inevitably, the therapist has to find ways to tolerate and
manage high anxiety levels as part of the adolescent’s therapy.
Drawing on a number of case vignettes, Nina Tebartz will explore the adolescent trajectory,
in particular unconscious processes and the way the adolescent body can be used to convey,
and defend against, internal conflict and developmental challenges.
Nina Tebartz is a psychodynamic psychotherapist for children, adolescents and adults. Until
recently she was a lecturer on the MSc Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy with
Children and Adolescents at Birkbeck, and now works as a psychotherapist and clinical
supervisor in secondary schools alongside running a private practice for children,
adolescents and adults.