Noëlla Darcq, Miguel Gomez : the counter-transference faced with an exposed body

The bodily transformations associated with the psychical processes of the pubertaire lead adolescents within their group to latch onto fashions in clothing and ornament, in order to differentiate and individualize themselves. Among these fashions, youngsters are attracted to some more marginal movements, like the gothic style. These adolescents’ bodies then become a theater stage, where the play being enacted resonates with their own history, which is sometimes a traumatic one. Moreover, other youngsters make a spectacle of their own body, but the narration seems stuck, as though there were a disassociation between the body and the mind. In light of some clinical vignettes, the authors will attempt to develop the relations between the use of the body and the pubertaire dynamic of the process of individuation/separation within the problematic of the borderline personality: when thought is short-circuited, corporal expression is brought to the fore. But this kind of expression does not always elicit the same reaction in the clinician: he will be able – or not be able – to think, to associate, to induce a different transference relation. Lastly, these comments will as a whole make reference to some artistic works that have broached this subject, in particular Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Perrault’s Peau d’âne, and Goya’s La Maja Desnuda.