Archives par mot-clé : Paradox

The time of tomorrow. Institution, environment

The article addresses the way that adolescents imagine the future with regard to the present, and take ownership of the present time through contemporary environmental problems. By means of two clinical vignettes, the authors will attempt to show how adolescents apprehend the end of the world: planet and institution are brought together. What capacities do adolescents have to project themselves into the future, based on the things that have been handed down to them and their ability to transform these things?

Adolescence, 2021, 39, 1, 111-124.

Aymeric Philonenko: the adolescent and his family in the throes of paradoxality

A metapsychological reading of the phenomena of the double bind and psychic paradox enables us to understand how important they are in the psychic (de)structuration of the subject, and to elaborate upon manifestations of transference and counter-transference that they entail, which are a major issue in therapy. Lastly, the concept of paradox enables us to put back to work – and back “in play” – issues of limits and boundaries in adolescence.

Adolescence, 2020, 38, 1, 177-189.

Sylvie Le Poulichet: from trauma to passion: when the body is called into question

For adolescents whose lives are marked by many traumas starting at birth, it may happen that the onset of Passion – analogous to the suffering of Christ before and during his crucifixion – provides a solution. Using the clinical case of an anorexic adolescent girl, this paper will show how the body calls itself into question before the other, re-opening the fundamental question of desire.

Adolescence, 2015, 33, 1, 47-59.


Initiation rites, among the most organized that exist, are characteristic of adolescence, with their emphasis on the body and everything related to sexuality. The rites are a means of confronting the threats that weigh on the subject and on the group. They are [performed/conducted] to sustain the subject and integrate him into the adult world. Their very ambiguity illustrates a paradoxal situation, that of the subject requesting what is in fact imposed upon him by others. They enable the co-creation of a common space of mediation by the group and the individual, thus avoiding the potential violence of a narcissistic clash over territories. Their meaning is expressed through performance but they open up the path to a shared trust, the bedrock of symbolization.

Nicole Jeammet : edith stein or from control to self-abandonment

This article tries to combat received ideas about the “ mystical experience ” and to resituate it within the history of the person who lives it in order to show its possible creativity. After an evocation of the “ burning bush ”, the story of Edith Stein will be examined in order to show how her encounter with Christ, if she is recounting the facts of her experiences, opened up a future to her, giving her access to another apprehension of the world: conflicts that had until then been irresolvable find a possible resolution in an atmosphere of paradoxes, helping to reduce splitting and move from the constraints of a controlling relation to another kind, wherein the human truth of abandonment is discovered.

Adolescence, 2008, T. 26, n°1, pp. 117-129.

Odile Falque : the mysticism of everyday life with etty hillesum

Mysticism : one can’t talk about it, and one can’t not talk about it. It consists of remaining in the illusion and the tension of paradoxes, particularly life-death, through a revisiting of the adolescent processes that Etty Hillseum situates at the onset of puberty. She returns to the originary, and it is a matter of getting out of this. This is what is at stake in her encounter with her psychologist, Julius Spier, an encounter that was, first of all, eroticized, in transgression, afterwards idealized and sublimated, in the discovery all at once the capacity to be alone, to think, to dream, to pray, for both seekers after God.
The mystical experience would be rooted in enjoyment, in transgression and in death.
“ The mysticism of everyday life ” may be spoken of in the psychical economy of the subject in movements of libidinal hyperinvestment, of disinvestment and of re-investment in the reality of daily life, which brings renewed energy, for the deepening and widening of psychical and spiritual space, caring for others, the mission that must be accomplished and the witness that must be given.
Such was the path of Etty Hillesum, a mystic who remain “ on the march ” towards death, survival, as recounted in her diaries An Interrupted Life, between 1941 and 1943, from Amsterdam to Auschwitz.

Adolescence, 2008, T. 26, n°1, pp. 23-39.

Yves Morhain : the paradox of the « confinement » of adolescent et young adult murderers : between destructiveness and creativity

Today’s delinquency, characterized by aggression against the other, the counterpart, which is often sudden, indeed, an immediate, destructive explosion, belongs to the archaic which has to do with the subjective existence of the subject. Judicial approaches offer forms of social re-education and prevention, focused on the transgressive, disorganizing act rather than on the potential for starting over, lead to the « confinement » of these problematic adolescents and young adults, reproducing a stigmatization of the troublemakers within prison walls.
In what turns out to be an impasse, « confinement » can carry out and induce the dynamic of a passage, by establishing frameworks for therapeutic mediation which involve the violent adolescent in a work of psychical re-elaboration and in a relaunching of his subjective dynamic. This opens the way to constructive and creative drive satisfactions which are not just a place of release for these adolescents. These transformative spaces can lead to symbolization and put these youths back into a network of intersubjectivity, a community of exchanges enabling them to turns towards a space of possibilities.
Adolescence, 2013, 30, 4, 797-813.

Philippe Gutton : paradoxes in metamorphosis

Metamorphosis establishes a paradoxical contradiction between originality and program, « hazard and necessity », disorder and order, difference and similarity, subject and subjection, making possible a reflection between sublimation and control. Also paradoxical is its happening in time, for the illusion of the pubertaire is creative insofar as there is oscillation between it and disillusion. Repeat R. Kaës’ fundamental adage whose paradoxical character cannot be missed : « The subject is first of all an inter-subject », the pubertary metamorphosis is in an exemplary way that of the inter-subject : it includes the other in its very procedure. There is no solitary structural change. The pubertaire is not a (re)finding of the object but a revelation of genital alterity

The « metamorphic contract » is singularly enlarged when it connotes the ongoing creation of a bond between subject and society, individual and group, singular discourse and cultural referent.

Adolescence, 2011, T. 29 n°1, pp. 171-189.