Vesna Andjelkovic

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Abstract: The concept of separation-individuation is one of the most influential paradigms that sprang from psychoanalytic theory. The process of separationindividuation takes place during one’s lifetime and significantly influences every phase of development in the life-long cycle. Even though this process is determined by previous experience in adulthood, it is not a copy of childhood experiences. This paper elaborates on some of the following midlife developmental tasks which influence separation-individuation processes: 1) accepting the aging process in the body; 2) coming to terms with time limitation and personal death; 3) maintaining intimacy; 4) transforming one’s relationship with grown-up children by letting them go and establishing a relationship with new family members; 5) becoming a grandparent; 6) caring for aging and dying parents; 7) exercising and relinquishing power in the workplace; and 8) building and maintaining friendships.

Key words: adulthood, separation-individuation processes.

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