Why teenagers struggle to become healthy adults-Theory

Teenager behavior-What went wrong?

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs represents the development of needs from childhood.

Cognitive Principle Matrix represents the transition through adolescence to adult hood.

The transition is a "control problem", where control passes from the child to the teenager.

The quality of the level of control that a teenager has will depend on the quality of the relationship principles that were provided to the child. The relationship principles are trust, respect, acceptance and commitment and are provided by the parent and other major care givers, including teachers etc. during the child's life.

Teenage years are very volatile because the change in order of needs. In childhood, the parent controls the child, in teenage years control passes to the teenager as shown in the following diagram:

When a teenager takes both control and responsibility of their life the "inside/outside" rule applies. That is trust, respect, acceptance and commitment has to come within to attract a partner, not the other way around, that is, where the adult needs the trust, respect, acceptance or commitment from their partner for them to feel they are "in control"

The cognitive principle matrix is based on the theory that a lack of a relationship principle will cause an unresolved issue in the teenager which will cause a relationship problem:

Trust will cause fear or jealousy

Respect will cause excessive anger

Acceptance will cause excessive criticism

Commitment will cause a lack of emotion.

Theses negative outcomes can be directed at others or self or life and are strongly influenced by the personality traits of optimism and pessimism, introversion and extroversion.

What happens in the process of transition, when the above weaknesses occur is that the influencing principles become weakened in the teenager. that is:

Lack of trust weakens courage,

Lack of respect weakens assertiveness

Lack of acceptance weakens effective evaluation.

Lack of commitment weakens self-control.

Influencing principles are located in the "gut brain" as are the core beliefs. The teenager ends up with false beliefs and poor impulse control and reacts based on instinct, rather that logic.

The instinct responses are shown below, based on polyvagal theory.

The overly controlling teenager, will fight

The overly responsible teenager will get anxiety

The overly avoidant teenager will get depression.

Good therapy always starts with instincts and the gut brain, not behavior, nor thinking nor emotions.

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