Archives par mot-clé : Ordeal

The risks of confinement

The lockdown was a litmus test of the quality of adolescents’ relationship with their parents. Some enjoyed the unexpected availability of their parents; others suffered from being sequestered in close quarters with them. Some continued to gather in groups without regard for the health regulations. Lockdown parties were held in secret, as were many parties after the lockdown, with the same disregard for precautionary measures. This article analyzes such transgressions as a way of fabricating intensity of being, carried out with the ambivalence of a “I know, but still” attitude.

Adolescence, 2021, 39, 1, 57-68.

Jocelyn Lachance: digital ordeal

This article will examine the concept of the digital ordeal to better understand the online dissemination of digital videos and photos. Laying their cards on the table by publishing images in which they are recognizable, some adolescents compromise their identity under the gaze of the community of anonymous internauts, thus reactivating the anthropology of risk-taking within conditions specific to the Web 2.0

Adolescence, 2015, 33, 3, 649-654.

Sztulman H. : Drug addicts : between addiction and ordeal 

The most recent and various researches, whether clinical, theoretical or therapeutic all agree on a central theme : in each encourter, which is always singular, between a person, a substance (or an object) and an environment, one cannot identify any specific or characteristic type of either personality structure or organization. At the most, scholars and clinicians may sometimes stress that defence mechanisms, the type of anxiety and most of the time the economics of such subjects as drug addicts, or persons liable to be addicted, remind one of what we find with borderline states but surely not exclusively. Quite a few common psychopatological traits, all stamped with the seal of regression is, besides, to be found with these patients with quite a few consequences to have to be followed in the therapeutic approach : a regression from desire towards quest, and from quest towards need, a regression of the mental towards the behavioral, and from the behavioral towards the bodily, a drive regression from aggressiveness towards violence and from libido to selferoticism. Within such a conceptual context, the autor wishes to stress the functions at work within this kind of psychopatological posture (or vulnerability) : namely, mainly two, i. e. the addictive function and the function of ordeal which will be both defined, described, analyzed and, if possible, linked with the several kinds of structures. 


A clinical case is used to highlight the actualisation process of working through trauma during adolescence. This is based upon three scenes experienced by the subject: the aggression scene, the transference scene, the graphical figuration scene. Analysis of these scenes enables us to promote the theory of working through trauma as an effective psychotherapeutic approach to care.


Beginning from an unusual clinical experience composed of fragments of improbable encounters with an adolescent going through a period marked by high-risk behaviour in a violent context before becoming an « extreme ski » professional ; I propose to study the question of death at adolescence… not as a reflection on loss and grievance, but as an essential figure of the unrepresentable which organizes high-risk behaviour during adolescence. With this approach, death reunites inevitable and random figures while confronting what is unrepresentable of one’s own death. Thus, we have a different reading of the classical approach to risk-taking, which commonly refers to the idea of ordealistic, high-risk behaviour as a narcissistic trial. Another approach considers risk-taking as an attempt to represent an intimate relationship with death and what is unrepresentable of one’s own death. This dynamic takes form in what may be called an instantaneous clinical moment, where what is experienced during the act cannot be resolved through the realization of the act itself. It is in fact the question of a chaotic attempt to express, by feeling, an experience which remains errant.


The body is central during adolescence. This is exposed in ordal problematics (ordal judgement), pushing as far as flirting with death. The body which is put on play reveals the history of traumatic traces and the remains of having experienced ambiguity. The analysis of these residue-traces highlights the screen of a life-death fantasy that structures and organizes the psychic organisation of these people. The nature of this phantasm is of primal essence and breaks down into two major forms : a phantasm of monoengendrement, a phantasm of returning to the womb.