Mature Transformations in Adulthood Facilitated by Psychotherapy and Spiritual Practice

Melvin E. Miller

in The Oxford Handbook of Reciprocal Adult Development and Learning

Second edition

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736300
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Mature Transformations in Adulthood Facilitated by Psychotherapy and Spiritual Practice

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Developmental psychology has persistently struggled with how to conceptualize the highest stages of adult development. Moreover, it has experienced difficulty designating where the construct of maturation fits into developmental schemes. This chapter attempts to investigate both these matters, while arguing that cognitive and emotional complexity belong in any description of the higher stages of development. After a brief analysis of relative strengths and shortcomings in extant models of adult development, a revised model that promotes emotional complexity and mature perceptions is offered. Additionally, it will be noted that what is described herein as mature transformations can be facilitated by the combined, interacting effects of psychotherapy and clinical practice.

Keywords: adult development; analysis of defense; emotional complexity; mature transformation; openness to experience; spiritual practice; surrender; and transmuting internalization

Article.  15353 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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