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Respond positively, specifically and substantially with a minimum of 200 words. No paraphrasing. Demonstrate effectively developed paragraphs Show evidence of active engagement in the discussion (e.g., asking questions, answering questions posed by peers, and making further connections to course readings) Advance the discussion Demonstrate active engagement in the discussion and familiarity with the unit concepts Go beyond agreement or praise.
I was struck by a couple of things during the video that I could directly apply to my own formative years as a teenager, and how my life has taken shape. The first theory that I found provocative and alarming, was the idea that the brain has a pruning process that takes place during these crucial growing years from adolescence into the early teens. According to Dr. Jay Giedd at the National Institute of Mental Health, the gray matter in the frontal part of the brain actually thickens as we access certain parts of our brains through activity and dies off or prunes the areas of inactivity. This process builds all during childhood, and peaks around the ages of 11-12 and then the pruning effect kicks in, allowing areas of inactivity to wither. This means that the adolescent years are crucial to building fundamental pathways that will allow for future success. If a child spends a great deal of time alone, watching television with limited social or extra-curricular activities, it could seriously challenge this child's social and learning abilities. Alternately, if a child is engaged in different activities and exposed to an array of different social experiences, they are more likely to be well-adjusted and capable of meeting new challenges.
As an example of this, I can easily use my own childhood. My mother was a semi-functional alcoholic who left myself and my younger sister alone often with little food in the house. We never had television during most of my childhood, as she could not afford it. The only socialization we had was going to school and our grandparents paid for us to go to a Catholic school. We wore uniforms, which was good, because we did not have more than a couple of changes of clothing each. Despite my mothers drinking and poverty, my grandparents made sure that my sister and I tried new activities. We were both in ballet, both encouraged to study different musical instruments, and were taken to the library, zoo, and to museums when they could afford it. As a result, we read lots of books, because we did not have television. We tried new experiences and even though all of them did not take, we got to see what our interests were. However, we also learned how to fend for ourselves. From a young age I learned to cook, clean, secure the house at night, call 911 in emergencies, and I learned to stay calm when bad things happened, which was frequently. By the time I got to my freshman year in high-school, I was far more mature than my peers and was bored in school. I ended up getting a GED at 16 and going to work until I went to beauty school when I turned 18. By 19, I was living alone and taking care of myself. I believe that my experiences as a child prepared me to take on challenges in situations that others would find overwhelming. I also attribute my ability to learn quickly to my years reading and experiencing things in a way that was not sheltered, but open to my abilities to acclimate and cope.
Another aspect of the video that I related too, was the fact that adolescence is a time of risk-taking and little attention to consequences. This is a troubling fact and I remember the young man in the video who talked about his parents letting him "make his own mistakes". He was upset that he had to live by his parents rules. However, many rules are there for a reason and often it has to do with protection. When I was 12-13 years old, my younger sister got involved with some older people doing drugs and she started using and smoking. My mother drank and smoked and so it seemed inevitable in a way, and yet I chose not to do either. However, I grew up with this influence in my life, and later in my adulthood, also succumbed to substance use disorder. I remember as a young person, that I was afraid to try these things. At the same time, my life was already risky and I was exposed to a lot of dangerous people and situations as a kid. So, at the time that I was going through all that, I didn't think that I was behaving in a risky way, but looking back, there were ways in which I could have protected myself better.
Both of these aspects are pertinent to clinical psychology for two important reasons. First off, when we see a new client, we can gain a sense of the problems they are currently dealing with, by finding out what their lives were like in their younger years. Many clients don't want to talk right away about why they are in therapy, but they will talk about their youth and the connections are there for us to make. Considering how a person spends their younger years can help us see their path to their current situation and at the same time, if they were involved in risk taking or high risk situations in younger years, it is pertinent to their current situation as well.
If we look at psychology from a preventative viewpoint, then we can take these two aspects when working with young people and their families and help parents and kids make better choices for their futures. Encouraging kids to experience life and activities in different ways, and discouraging high risk behaviors can be a huge step in creating an environment of well-being. Talking to parents about limiting television, video games, and electronics and encouraging reading, sports, pets, music, dance and other activities is a step towards healthier living.
To sum up, I chose those two aspects from the video because they meant something to me about my formative years, and I could directly relate their importance to the youth of today and where they will end up tomorrow. In terms of my future career, I am choosing to work with adults. However, understanding how their childhood experiences shaped them into the adults they are now is huge. In my clinic, we do Object Relations Therapy. This has to do with developmental psychology and the bonding process as children. In part, we help people to re-establish a bond with their "younger" self, and allow their "inner child" a voice. This can help people to revisit times in their youth that were troubling and part of it is establishing a bond with themselves, to help them nurture and re-grow up.
I think that understanding how the brain develops as people mature through the childhood years and into the teenage years is a very important part of psychology. It helps us to understand our clients better, and their emotional state.
Public Broadcasting System. (2018). Frontline: INside the Teenage Brain. Retrieved
Respond positively, specifically and substantially with a minimum of 200 words. No paraphrasing. Demonstrate effectively developed paragraphs Show evidence of active engagement in the discussion (e.g.