The authors of this article study the implications of thinking of the psychoanalytical treatment as an adolescent process and investigate the link between this process, the political and the therapeutic arrangement. Their reflection is based on two clinical situations around the Id (in the Freudian sense), identification and the ideal are intertwined. The text first tries to show that adolescence is a relevant model for conceiving of the treatment. It then relates adolescence to the political showing that both share a certain kind of relationship with utopia, adolescence characterizing the potential flexibility between Id, identification and ideal. In conclusion, the case of Irma presents an investigation into the analyst’s place between the political, adolescence and treatment which, between repression and the demand for satisfaction, calls into question the edifice of the ideal.
How does an adolescent manage to go into politics in the strict sense of the word ? The love of ideals, which sometimes make such a noisy appearance at this time in one’s existence, is probably the most decisive factor in this. Still we must pinpoint the components of this love, and the different categories of ideals concerned, which Freud only sketched out in the second part of his work. Then one perceives that access to the political presupposes both adhesion to the most universal ideals and respect for the narcissistic, partial and social ideals imposed by existence. This is thus the source of permanent conflicts and the adolescent can only handle these within the group by entering into political discourse in the larger sense, and thus by appealing to those ideals by their name without getting taken in by their limits. It is in this way that he takes them upon himself and acts as a subject, a subject that is necessarily torn between often contradictory imperatives, but who takes the risk of speaking up for his own convictions.
The term political has been used for a long time for very different approaches to the issue of the other in adolescence : it is distinguished as the “ instituted other ” (family, teacher, companion) by its societal or institutional functions. From this confrontation, there emerges both the idea of opposition which is hard to oppose, and of anaclitic relation. It as if the function of the political helped to localize, to situate in the social space-time, desire as it presides over adolescent subjectivation. The political would be a statutory attribute of the parental subject in the transference within adolescence’s tertiary function. The latter defined, in Le pubertaire (Gutton, 1991) would be a singular message from the social situation in which the adolescent necessarily finds himself, and wishes once again to evolve.