This article recounts individual psychotherapeutic work undertaken with a deaf adolescent, in the specialized institution where he was received, and shows to what extent adolescence can be a violently disorganizing crisis, but also a time when new resources can be mobilized. Separated from his family since the age of four years and ten months on account of his handicap, his entry into puberty brings the issue of this estrangement to the forefront. At this moment, Amadou evokes different versions of the separation, genuine « scènes pubertaires (pubertary scenes) » (Gutton, 1991) in which the childhood event is made present, the violence of this event linking it to the violence of puberty. The crisis he goes through is an opportunity to elaborate the childhood trauma, to find and investigate supports offered by his environment – psychotherapy, the institution, and the family. This case study helps us to reflect more generally upon the Oedipal issues of separation, the visit from his parents at the acme of his crisis having enabled him to get more involved in an adolescens process (Gutton, 1996). This work also provides an opportunity to study the work of anthropologists and psychoanalysts (Emy, 1972, 1988 ; Ortigues, 1966) whose work sheds precious light on the child’s separation from the mother and the family, and on the specific characteristics of the organization of the Oedipus complex in an African milieu.