TODAY   |  August 22, 2013

Expert: Hannah Anderson has ‘impressive’ composure

After Hannah Anderson’s exclusive comments to TODAY, Jan Hartstein, a psychologist specializing in adolescent family issues, talks to Matt Lauer about the 16-year-old abduction survivor’s strong demeanor, and what her return to normalcy may hold.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> jan heartstein is a psychologist. good morning. good to see you.

>> good morning.

>> good idea she's speaking out even before the funerals for her mom and brother? do you think this is in some ways therapeutic?

>> i think it's helpful to be able to say thank you. this a very public forum and public search. how else can she get the word out there to thank all of the people, many of whom she'll never encounter.

>> as we saw earlier this morning, she got very emotional from talking about her brother ethan and her mom. for the most part we see a very self-assured young lady . any parent of a teenager will tell you sometimes it's hard to know what's going on inside based on the exterior.

>> absolutely. there is much more going on underneath the surface of this young woman , understandably. we don't really know all that's happening. we know that there's a lot of sadness. we know this was a big trauma. we know that she's going to keep herself together on the surface. i'm sure she allows herself to fall apart at different times. her composure is impressive and hopefully she's getting zblep this decision to label herself a survivor versus a victim, we saw that with the young ladies in cleveland, is that part of therapy? is that something suggested to her?

>> it could be suggested to her, but it also implies a lot of strength. i survived this. i'm not going to let it ruin my life. i'm going to let it form my life and be part of it and build me up for the future.

>> how important is it for this young lady , if at all possible, to get back to some routine and sense of normalcy, again, if that's possible.

>> it's going to be a different sense of normalcy. she's an instant celebrity, didn't ask for her. be back with her friends, go back to school, create the life she didn't know.

>> jen, thank you very much. you can see more of hannah's story tomorrow night on "dateline" tomorrow night.