The process of “adultization” is a particularly perilous step in development in that it follows upon an invasion by pubertal drives necessitating operating mediation in the confrontation with the real and the social. Somatic re-actualization bears witness to the precariousness of mental resources faced with psychic conflict. In some cases, it goes hand in hand with the workings of character and behavioral defense mechanisms that constitute the psychosomatic handicap, but may also help to counter-invest the effects of archaic trauma. Drawing from the treatment of somatic re-actualization, this paper will explore the issues of corporal and psychic excitation and discuss the concept of (ab)negation as a specific defense mechanism, distinct from other classic forms of defensive negation.
Adolescence, T. 31 n°1, pp. 11-25.