Archives par mot-clé : Oedipus complex

Éric Jaïs: sailing through the doldrums, between repression and regression

The nautical image of the doldrums that suggested by D. W. Winnicott to describe the period of adolescence illustrates the way that some patients are immobilized. The re-actualization of the Oedipal conflict, when it has not disappeared, will appeal to the Ego and mobilize narcissism. In a treatment center for adolescents, institutional psychotherapy associated with group treatment can help them start sailing again.

Adolescence, 2023, 41, 1, 91-102.

Claude Monneret: pornography and the deferred action of the Oedipus complex

I will discuss the treatment of two adolescents presenting a heightened oedipal crisis linked to early disturbances in the relation with the primal object, and for whom the use of pornographic representations and practices is a defense against the traumatic threat of incestuous attraction to the mother and against the genital relation, which brings issues of the relation with another person. This regressive, defensive sexuality touches many adolescents to different degrees at the onset of the crisis of adolescence.

Adolescence, 2019, 37, 1, 59-70.

Cindy Duhamel, Alexandre Ledrait: Jihad for adolescent girls: promise of a solution to the trials of the pubertary

Using clinical experience with radicalized adolescent girls, the clinical analysis of one of them enables the authors to investigate the intra and inter-psychical issues of jihadist engagement. This offers a first glimpse of psychoanalytical thinking about the resonance between propaganda speeches and the trials of the pubertary. Radicalization is here seen as a symptom, potentially offering the subject a new form of protest that is adolescent and feminine.

Adolescence, 2017, 35, 2, 403-412.

Philippe Kong: A time of the awakening to knowledge.

In psychoanalysis, the distinction between truth and knowledge has implications beyond the theoretical sphere. It is also essential in the clinical context. The adolescent crisis, as Lacan following in Freud’s footsteps suggests, involves « questioning truth as though it were knowledge ». This sort of questioning allows a young person at an impasse to use knowledge in order to produce a new formalization.

Adolescence, 2016, 34, 2, 279-287.

Jean-Jacques Rassial, Fanny Chevalier: Adolescence and oedipus’s failure.

Lacan’s theory involves the critique of psychogenetic approaches to the Oedipus complex. Lacan’s focus on the Father and castration further accentuates Freud’s favoring of a phylogenetic approach. Adolescence is a time of disappointment of Oedipal aspirations, when it turns out that genitality does not provide a relationship to the Other. This illustrates the lesser importance for Lacan of the Oedipus complex as a means to analyze adolescent processes.

Adolescence, 2016, 34, 2, 261-270.


Cindy Vicente, Philippe Robert : From the Childhood Fantasy “a Child Is Being Beaten” to the Adolescent Act “I Am Beating My Parent”

Freud approaches the beating fantasy “a child is being beaten” as part of the psychic dynamic of every individual. It appears at the end of the infantile period and derives from the psychic modifications which take place in three phases. This fantasy is rewritten in adolescence. Striking the parent is considered to be the enacting of every adolescent’s fantasy: “I am beating my parent.” It is understood that the phases occur in a condensed way, all at the same time, carried along by the outbreak of puberty. Each phase marks a different elaboration of the separation from Oedipal figures. The reemergence of this fantasy in adolescence overwhelms the thought system, allowing strong oedipal desires to coexist while punishing another person for not stopping these fantasies.

Adolescence, T. 31 n°1, pp. 37-47.

Elizabeth Kaluaratchige : the « mother » tongue ; exile and the adolescent girl

This article deals with the issue of the « mother » tongue of the female child in exile and her bond with the mother during the pubertary process. This is a theoretical and clinical rereading of the case of an adolescent girl who spoke of the loss of her « momma » tongue in relation to the clinical work.

Adolescence, 2014, 32, 1, 139-149.

François Richard : does the oedipus complex still exist ? the identical and difference : a debate with françoise héritier

This article discusses the hypothesis that, in contemporary society, the Oedipus complex is more complex but still exists as a central organizer of the psyche. A debate with anthropological views – in particular with avec Françoise Héritier and her theory of « incest of the second type » (between a mother and daughter who have the same lover) – leads to a re-problematization of the notions of primary homosexuality, intersubjectivity and thirdness. Thus the issue of differentiation can be better conceived in relation to subjectivation : does incest hold the risk of a psychotizing undoing of differentiation ? What about psychical disorders in adolescence marked by phenomena of regression towards group situations dominated by borderline functioning ? The identical evoked by Françoise Héritier does not totally correspond with narcissistic libidinal economy. It is necessary to revive the historic dialogue between psychoanalysis and anthropology (A. Green and J. Lacan with C. Lévi-Strauss, and more recently, the exchanges between M. Godelier and B. Juillerat), starting with a reflection on the paternal function today, extending the critical discussion of the theory of incest of the second type, and an example of a traditional society without fathers and contemporary neo-parenthood. It would appear that the oedipal triangle can take various forms.

Adolescence, 2014, 32, 1, 23-46.


Using discussions, and published and unpublished texts, this article shows that reference to the nymph in the work of Pierre Fédida, following the example of Nabokov’s Lolita, was part of an important theoretical construction regarding temporal representation in the Oedipus complex. The latter may be envisioned from the perspective of aging or of rejuvenation. This debate is retraced here, with an explanation of the background behind the research. P. Fédida constructed a nymphette complex that is useful for diagnostic purposes. This is an interesting idea in psychoanalytical theory that ties in with the work of Freud and Lacan on the signification of the young girl in psychical life, and more particularly in male psychology. The young girl receives a phallic over-investment because of the castration anxiety she provokes, inspiring a horror of the mature woman, and at the same time helping to overcome this by introducing the figure of a girl who plays on her pre-maturity. But it is not easy to define the age either of the nymphette or of person she’s intended for. Clinical examples allow for relative flexibility in determining the real age. The nymphette complex rests therefore on a paradoxical situation.

Ludovic Gadeau: figure of father’s affectation during adolescence

The author analyses a process through which the question of father is modified in adolescence. This process, named affectation of father, must be understood through its articulations with the Œdipus complex, and concerns the contingent father as much as the adolescent. The position of father (symbolical position) is normally supported by two complementary levels : an institutional dimension and a subjective dimension. The emphasis is placed on subjective appropriation of the question of the father-being in adolescent process. Two paradigmatic figures – the sacrifice of Isaac, Noah and his sons – give us examples of the affectation of father, through which the author studies the basic components of the subjective appropriation of father-being.