The female pubertary is composed of the new things that surprise every adolescent girl at the time of the first menses, not only in her body but also and above all in her psychical life. This complex psychical process explores, among other things, the quality of the father’s gaze which follows the evolution of the organization of genital sexuality in his adolescent daughter. This work deals with a rather neglected aspect of the relation between daughter and father. In the analytic treatment of adolescents weak fathers, absent or even violent,can often be the object of huge protective movements and positive judgments on the part of their daughters, who’ll do anything to place the paternal image on a pedestal. In these cases, the Œdipal father seems to have to be kept alive and promoted in order to fulfil his function sufficiently. Indeed, it is only under such conditions that the parricidal fantasy may be fully recognized, its symbolic value fully elaborated, and the Œdipal father can disappear over the horizon.
This paper is a contribution to psychoanalytic understanding of a suicide attempt by an adolescent girl. The suicide act is understood to be the enactment of a suicide fantasy. The paper considers the nature and function of suicide fantasy, various types of suicide fantasies, and the suicide fantasy of this particular patient. The author maintains that during the pre-suicide state the role of the father, particularly the father’s failure to claim his child for himself, or failure to present himself as a friendly rival or alternative object to the mother, plays a critical role in the mind of the patient, and will be manifest in the patient’s transference and the analyst’s counter-transference. An essential dynamic during the treatment of a pre-suicidal patient is the patient’s attempt to evoke or provoke the analyst to collude in the suicide scenario in such a way as to « sanction or to « cause » the patient’s suicide. These points will be illustrated by the presentation of case material of an adolescent girl who attempted suicide during her analysis.