Bernard Brusset: from the maturation of the instinct according to Pierre Male to the pubertary according to Philippe Gutton

From Pierre Male to Philippe Gutton, the specific nature of the work of adolescence has been affirmed, producing great developments in contemporary perspectives of psychoanalysis, not without some effect on the latter. Metapsychological renewals have been set up to give an account of the diversity of the clinical treatment of adolescence. This is always primarily a matter of the young adolescent’s confrontation with the pubertary genital. The traumatic effect of this emergence, in an initial break with the latency period and with the phallic narcissistic infantile genital organization, determines modes of defense which may be of an archaic type in relation with primary flaws in the psychical organization. The impact of puberty reveals these by re-actualizing them, and adolescence as a psychical work determines their outcome. The psychotherapy of adolescence retains the essential part of the psychoanalytical method, association of ideas, but this is fed by the therapist in order to foster a putting into representation and into words. The analyst’s psychical availability and plasticity of identification helps him to find, in his own style, the right tone and the proper distance.

Adolescence, 2009, T. 27, n°1, pp. 217-234.