Transference love is love. Its clinical approach is however different according to whether one deals with adolescents or adults. Differences most probably come from the developmental demands, e.g. in particular the imperative urging one to renounce the satisfaction of parricidal and incestuous wishes that are so close at hand. The so-called transference love at adolescence is much closer to a love passion with all the risks at stake, including to lose one’s self within it.
The paper wishes to distinguish three different patterns within love experience at adolescence. The first, i.e. the most classical one, puts forward the drive-narcissistic problematics with the regressive capacity within the object relation. The second, which is sensitive to the enacting within a condensed form of adolescent love stories sequenced differently, i.e. re-discovered differently. The third develops the idea that adolescent love flourishes with reference to a fictitious third partner, always a parental one. Every experience builds a new third-person approach whose mission consists in self-interpretation of adolescences in process.
The possible paths that the affects of one’s love life may take, starting with the moment when the object is born, then as an investment of oneself and the other, and finally in so-call mature love, are blended together in numerous forms and in the intensity of transference love. Starting with the dynamic between transference and counter-transference at work in the analysis of Antonella, we will see how clinical work sheds light on the many vicissitudes adolescents go through, their infinite symptomatic solutions, the countless pains of their love life, which are linked to their fidelity to the primary identification, to the strength of this loved and hated bond, but also, at the same time, to the reactivation of the process of subjectalization and subjectivation.
The state of being in love in adolescence often takes on the form of passion and the accents of tragedy. It is also as much feared as sought after, not only as re-encounter and repetition, « republishing of old news » as Freud writes, but also as a new discovery, creative dynamism, transforming invention. Henceforth it represents a second baptism, a new birth which must sometimes disavow the first. To love is to be reborn. To undo oneself, in order to redo oneself in a better way, to recreate oneself. At the risk, of course, of losing oneself forever. The state of being in love in adolescence demands the psychoanalyst’s attention. Clinical experience sometimes confronts us with psychical breakdowns in the wake of romantic disappointments. They reveal the quality of the narcissistic foundations of the adolescent whose identity is suffering. More a reviviscence than a reminiscence. In such situations, where representations are lacking to us, literature can be a big help. It can enable us to put into words a story which has none. Using Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the author suggests several possible lines of interpretation of love in adolescence involving notion of the sexual body, narcissism, death, orgasm, name.
Adolescence, 2011, T. 29 n° 3, pp. 683-705.