Using a clinical vignette, the authors revisit silence and the inhibition of psychical function in adolescents. They emphasize the work of the preconscious, which plays a major role in dealing with the excitations and genitality proper to the adolescent process, and try to articulate this with a theory of therapeutic technique with adolescents.
This article is an invitation to read M. Benyamin’s book, Le travail du préconscient à l’épreuve de l’adolescence (Preconscious work challenged by adolescence). It will present the major axes of Benyamin’s thinking that give the clinician an original and captivating insight into the preconscious, as well as the psychosomatic and psychoanalysis of the adolescent.
Adolescence, 2016, 34, 1, 191-197.
Little Nemo in Slumberland, a comic strip drawn by W. McCay, explores the dream world of a young boy. It represents many corporal sensations, transformations and anxieties. The interest it held for Charles, an adolescent in psychotherapy, allowed it to be used as a form of mediation in the transference. It served to awaken him to his inner world, but also acted as a protective shield against excitations, enabling psychical elaboration work.
Through one adolescent’s journey, this work will explore the meanderings of his psychical functioning and the diversity of his psoriasis expressions, conduct disorders, drug addiction – all of which are desperate attempts to check drive invasion and assure his psychical survival. The links between psoriasis and the protective shield on the one hand, and conduct disorders and destructiveness on the other, are investigated in order to understand the evolution of the psychotherapy and the psychical elaboration which underlies it.