From 1939 through to 1945, adolescents, like the rest of the French population, suffered the effects of the war and the German occupation. The analysis of different stages of the conflict and their repercussions, allows light to be thrown onto the psychological reactions specific to young boys and girls. These reactions are perceptible in both daily life and in the school context.
What today, adolescents think of Politics? Being involved, how do they feel political violence? Do they link Politics and trauma ? Onwards a rather antropological general questioning, study and interpretation should go beyond phenomenological points of view as regard to sociological facts, so go back, in a psychoanalytical way, to the individual trauma as a psychic question, linked with history and contexts, generation and transmission, belongingness and fililation.
Can clinical psychoanalysis be useful in helping adolescent war victims ? What remains of the specificity of adolescence after serious trauma ? The author attempts to answer these questions by means of three clinical examples of adolescents whose psychical functioning was seriously compromised by traumatic experiences during the war in Bosnia.
This paper presents an intent of synthesis of the symposium and outlines its main results : interpretation of clinical data and critical discussion of post-traumatic disorders ; child soldiers’ psychology; added problem of exile ; reflexions on societal and social memories ; usual trend to the grief dimension; dynamics between individual and community, psychis and society. Il will be proponed to reverse the usual perspective, which implies a simultaneous partial redefinition of psychotherapist’s role, engaged citizen and social actor on the first lines of History.
First we have to specify in what way war changes the psychic life of young Subjects – most of them teenagers – then we shall have to insist on the difficulties they encounter in their social and professional reinsertion. These difficulties come out because of the reputation they have acquired for being « sorcerers ». We shall examine how this categorization, which is quickly expanding in the two Congos, crystallizes ; we shall also study the effects of this notion on these subjects’ disconnection from the usual logics of alliance and filiation.
Adolescence, 2009, T. 27, n°2, pp. 329-348.