Borderland and Borderline: Understanding and Treating Adolescent Migrants in Crisis

Author(s): Annette Streeck-Fischer*.

Journal Name: Adolescent Psychiatry

Volume 9 , Issue 3 , 2019

Become EABM
Become Reviewer

Abstract:

Background: Much of the literature on adolescent refugees has focused on their experiences of trauma, and trauma-focused psychotherapy has been emphasized. In addition to having experienced trauma, adolescents with refugee or migration backgrounds are confronted with distinct challenges in the process of identity formation. These problems result from the normal processes of identity formation and restructuring during adolescence (the socalled second individuation phase) complicated by their transition from their culture of origin to the new culture. This process has been called a third individuation phase. These teenagers live on the border between two worlds and are called borderland adolescents.

Methods: This paper describes the developmental processes of young migrants, using case examples to illustrate how the migrant experience affects development, particularly identity development.

Discussion: Splitting, which is part of normal adolescent development, also occurs during the process of adaptation to a new culture. Although the process of splitting can support the integration into the new culture, it can also lead to dangerous polarization with borderline features. It is important to take this into account in psychotherapeutic work with borderland adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent refugees, psychotherapy, post-traumatic stress disorder, entortung, narcissistic system, cultural adolescence.

Akhtar, S. (1999). The third individuation. Immigration, identity, and the psychoanalytic process. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 49, 1051-1084.
Berenstein, J., & Puget, J. (1997). Lo vincular.. Buenos Aires: Piados.
Berry, J.W. (1997). Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. International Journal of Applied Psychology, 46, 5-34.
Bhabha, H.K. (2000). Die Verortung der Kultur The localization of culture Tübingen: Staufenberg Verlag.
Blos, P. (1962). On Adolescence. New York: Free Press.
Casey, B.J., Jones, R.M., & Hare, T.A. (2008). The adolescent brain. Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1124, 111-126.
Erdheim, M. (2014). Adoleszenz und Migration Adolescence and Migration. Swiss Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 6, 14-16.
Erdogan-Ertorer, S.E. (2014). Managing identity in the face of resettlement. Identity An International Journal of Theory and Research, 14(4), 268-285.
Erikson, E.H. (1950). Childhood and society.. New York: Norton & Company.
Fonagy, P., & Luyten, P. (2009). A developmental, mentalization-based approach to the understanding and treatment of borderline personality disorder. Dev. Psychopathol., 21(4), 1355-1381.
Gazza-Guerero, A.C. (1974). Culture shock. Its mourning and vicissitudes of identity. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic. Association.,, 22(2), 408-429.
Grinberg, O.L., & Grinberg, K. (1999). Psychoanalytic perspectives on migration and exile.. Munich: Verlag Internationale Psychoanalyse.
Keilson, H. (1979). Sequentielle Traumatisierung bei Kindern. Sequential Traumatisation in Children Stuttgart Enke
KIGGS - Robert Koch-Institut. Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (Eds.). (2008, December) Erkennen – Bewerten – Handeln: Zur Gesundheit von Kindern und Jugendlichen in Deutschland. [Health in children and adolescents in Germany]. Berlin: Author.
Kim, S., & Dorner, L.M. (2014) ‘Everything is a Spectrum’: Korean Migrant Youth Identity Work in the Transnational Borderland. In S. Spyrou & M.Christou (Eds.) Children and borders. Studies in childhood and youth. London: Palgrave Macmillan
Lampersberger, F. (2017). Spaltungsprozesse bei unbegleiteten minderjährigen Flüchtlingen. [Processes of splitting in unaccompanied minors] (unpublished manuscript).
Machleidt, W. . (2013). Migration, Kultur und psychische Gesundheit. Migration, Culture and Psychic Health Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.
Mahler, M.S., Pine, F., & Bergmann, A. (1975). The psychological birth of the human infant.. New York: Basic Books.
Maiello, S. (1999). Encounter of an African healer: Thinking about the possibilities and limits of cross-cultural psychotherapy. Journal of Child Psychotherapy., 28, 217-238.
Mall, V., & Hennigsen, P. (2015). Studie in Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung: viele Kinder mit Belastungsstörungen. [Study in institutions of initial reception: Many children with PTSD]. Retrieved from: http://www.mri.tum.de/node/3407
Mann, M.A. (2006). The formation and development of individual and ethnic identity. Insights from psychiatry and psychoanalytic theory. American Journal of Psychoanalysis., 6, 211-234.
Marcia, J.E. (1966). Development and validation of ego identity states. Journal of Personality and Social. Psychology, 3, 551-558.
Nadig, M. (2006) Transkulturelle Spannungsfelder in der Migration und ihrer Erforschung [Transcultural tensions in migration and their research] In: E. Wohlfahrt, & M. Zaumseil (Eds.). Transkulturelle Psychiatrie – Interkulturelle Psychotherapie. [Transcultural psychiatry – intercultural psychotherapy] (pp.68-89). Heidelberg: Springer.
Özbek, T., & Wohlfahrt, E. (2006) Der transkulturelle Übergangsraum – ein Theorem und seine Funktion in der transkulturellen Psychotherapie [The transcultural potential space – a theorem and its function in transcultural psychotherapy] In: E. Wohlfahrt & M. Zaumseil (Eds.). Transkulturelle Psychiatrie – Interkulturelle Psychotherapie. [Transcultural psychiatry – intercultural psychotherapy] (pp. 170-176). Heidelberg: Springer.
Papadopoulos, R.K. (2002). Refugees, home and trauma.(pp 9-39) In: R. K. Papadopoulos (Ed.). Therapeutic care for refugees. No place like home. London, New York: Karnac.
Pumariega, A.J., & Cagande, C. (2013). Editorial: Globalization and child and adolescent mental health. Adolescent. Psychiatry, 3, 1-3.
Pumariega, A.J., & Rothe, E. (2010). Leaving children or families behind. The challenges of immigration. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80, 506-516.
Ruf, M., Schauer, M., & Elbert, T. (2010). Prävalenz von traumatischen Stresserfahrungen und seelischen Erkrankungen bei in Deutschland lebenden Kindern von Asylbewerbern. Prevalence of traumatic stress experiences and psychic illnesses in children living in Germany Zeitschrift für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, 39(3), 151-160.
Samuels, A. (2002). The hidden politics of healing: Foreign dimensions of domestic practice. American. Imago, 59, 459-481.
Sharabany, R., & Israeli, E. (2008). The dual process of adolescent immigration and relocation: From country to country and from childhood to adolescence – its reflection in psychodynamic psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic. Study of the Child, 63, 137-162.
Streeck-Fischer, A. (2013). Adolescence and borderline behavior – between personality development and personality disorder. Adolescent. Psychiatry, 3, 220-232.
Streeck-Fischer, A. (2014) Trauma und Entwicklung. Folgen in der Adoleszenz. Trauma and Development – Consequences in adolescence (3rd Ed.). Stuttgart: Schattauer.
Streeck-Fischer, A. (2015). Identity formation difficulties in immigrant adolescents: Three cases from Germany. American Journal of Psychoanalysis., 75, 438-453.
Volkan, V. (2015). The intertwining of external and internal events in the changing world. American Journal of Psychoanalysis., 75, 353-360.
Walsh, S., Shulman, S. (2007). Splits in the self following immigration. An adaptive defense or a pathologic reaction? Psychanalytic. Psychology., 24(2), 355.
Ward, C. (2013). Probing identity, migration and adaptation. Big Questions, little answers. International. Journal of Intercultural. Relations, 37, 391-404.
Ward, C., Bochner, S., & Furnham, A. (2005). The psychology of culture shock. (2nd Ed.). Philadephia: Routledge.
Winnicott, D.W. (1965). Maturational processes and facilitating environments.. London: Hogarth Press.
Witt, A., Rassenhofer, M., Fegert, J.M., & Plener, P.L. (2015). Hilfebedarf und Hilfsangebote in der Versorgung von unbegleiteten minderjährigen Flüchtlingen. Need of help and offers in the care of unaccompanied minors Kindheit und Entwicklung, 24(4), 209-224.
Yilmaz, H.B., Dalkilic, A., Al-Mateen, C., Sood, A., & Pumariega, A. (2013). Culturally informed care of Turkish-American child, adolescent and family. Adolescent Psychiatry, 3, 39-45.


Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

VOLUME: 9
ISSUE: 3
Year: 2019
Page: [185 - 193]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/2210676609666190415144153

Article Metrics

PDF: 19
HTML: 5
PRC: 1