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date: 18 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

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

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