Considering the psychic changes caused by this period, adolescence brings the pubescent individual to accomplish the double task of leaving archaic passions behind, and of experimenting new ways of drive satisfaction. In order to summarize this subjective involvement specific to the adolescent process, the authors suggest the concept of « the work of adolescence ». Based on a clinical case, the present report aims at examining the main properties of the work of adolescence. This analysis is based upon an impossible adolescence due to an archaic problem anchored in the psychic functioning of the subject. Through defence mechanisms developed, such as delusional emergence and artistic production, the work of adolescence is investigated in the case of a traumatic maternal encroachment which disrupts the dynamics of identity.
Using E. and M. Laufer’s theories about adolescence and G. Haag’s theory about the normal development of babies, this article offers some reflections about the evolution of an adolescent girl in psychotherapy following a « development break » and the appearance of a delusion at the moment of puberty.