Catherine Chabert : does the Oedipus complex still exist ?

The author observes that in Freud’s work the Oedipus complex is omnipresent but rarely theorized as such; she asks whether the Oedipus complex is characteristic of neuroses or if it also occurs in narcissistic and borderline functioning. The case history of an adolescent girl shows that dependence and prevalence of the narcissistic relationship with the mother may mask a paradoxical but strong relationship with the father. Returning to Freud’s writings (Three Essays, The Ego and the Id), Chabert seeks connections between the Oedipus complex and objectal loss-anxiety, and even more, a consubtantiality of loss and the sexual, which is the central idea of Mourning and Melancholy.

Adolescence, 2009, T. 27, n°1, pp. 65-79.