How might understanding the complex dynamics and tensions between relatedness and autonomy development in adolescence inform counselling?

  • Kirsty Bilski

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This dissertation explored a multi-layered conceptualisation of adolescent autonomy development and the significance of continued relatedness, particularly with parents and peers. Through exploring these complex processes it was suggested that autonomy and relatedness co-exist being intricately connected. Relatedness was posited as the optimum condition for the autonomy development which may be compromised without the social learning associated with relatedness. Therefore, rather than tension, there is ‘duality’ between autonomy and relatedness.

    This was a non-empirical theory based project which introduces the concept of the Autonomy Triangle (AT) and the Field of Reflexive Contact (FRC). The author argued for professional awareness of the impact of continued relatedness and against traditional perspectives surrounding separation and individuation. Findings were discussed in terms of raised professional awareness, ethical practice and the potential implications for school-based counselling.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish


    • autonomy
    • school counselling
    • reflexivity
    • sepration
    • relatedness
    • adolescent development
    • parents and peers

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