Using two dreams of youth, those of H. Scliemann and of S. Freud, the author proposes to explore the nature of these and their role in the adolescent psyche, pointing out their link with the object’s flaws and the value of illusion during the period of adolescence.
Adolescence, 2015, 33, 1, 87-97.
Becoming an adult forces the confrontation to the second time of the oedipian conflict within a sequence implying some distance with the first love or hate objects. The outcome of the access to the adult stage and to the processes of sublimation depend on the quality of the psychological work over the links with the objects all along the stages going from latency to post-adolescence. A research on the elaboration of the depressive position at adolescence, starting from the rorschach and tat tests, shows that such an elaboration becomes possible only after adolescence as such.
Both differences and resemblances between FreudÕs and KleinÕs theories on infantile sexuality will here illustrate the vision their followers have on adolescence.
Even if theoretical positions diverge, they may become richer for a better understanding of adolescent processes and their pathologies. The author here gives an example of such a situation by quoting the importance of Moses and Eglé LauferÕs theoretical points of views on the breakdown and experience of bodily transformations at adolescence and of those of the post-KleiniansÕ about the projective and introjective identification processes and the analysis of unconscious fantasies dealing with introjected objects.
To select an unique mental element – defence, drive or affect – is an unusual approach for a clinician. The adolescent face the disruption of puberty by schizo-paranoïds processes. However, under the influence of past identifications and Ego-ideal, the depressive position reappears and remorse is expressed. But need of the other is often more important than real concern.
Through Klein and Winnicott’s studies of solitude, the author explores their divergences, especially concerning the role of the external object and the death drive. He highlights the extent to which these studies differ in tone. Winnicott conceives of the capacity to be alone as belonging to ecstasy. His rather optimistic conception reflects the joys of shared solitude. Klein, on the other hand, never swerves from a tone of desolation and nostalgia at the very heart of non-resignation and deep authenticity.
This text brings to a close the series of articles « Melanie Klein as an analyst of adolesents ». In the course of this series, the author has successively studied the cases of four adolescents. Three were Klein’s patients: « Felix», « Ilse», and « Willy» illustrated the concepts of internal objects, unconscious fantasies, and the feminine phase common to both sexes. The fourth, « Fabien Especel », was the hero of a fantastic novel whose projective identifications Klein explored.
As part of this conclusion, the author revisits the Kleinian conception of the childhood roots of « psychical puberty » and the theory behind the technique used with adolescents. In doing this, he describes certain new ideas which, sown by the thinking of Klein, came to fruition after her death. In particular, new ways of thinking about the transference/counter-transference pair, through explorations of the epistemophilic drive and projective identification.
The author argues that, according to their degree of omnipotence and their degree of ego identification, manic defences (Klein, 1934) can either open or close access to bisexuality that is harmonious enough to preside over one’s passage through psychical puberty. This study starts off with historical and metapsychological references relating to the fundamental concepts of melancholy, mania and manic defences. Afterwards, the author links the title concept of manic defences to Œdipal conflicts and conflicts over dependence and separation, all of which are inherent to psychical puberty. In so doing, he differentiates, insofar as these conflicts are concerned, their pathological stumbling blocks from the turbulences they ordinarily stir up. In the course of the article, there is a specification of the bonds of interdependence that psychical puberty and manic defences conjointly maintain with the notion of dependencies – normal, mixed, or negative – and the feeling of sexual identity, of belonging to one sex or the other.
Adolescence, 2008, T. 26, n°1, pp. 221-236.