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Zavitzianos, G. (1967). Problems of Technique in the Analysis of a Juvenile Delinquent—Therapeutic Alliance and Transference Neurosis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 48:439-447.

(1967). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 48:439-447

Problems of Technique in the Analysis of a Juvenile Delinquent—Therapeutic Alliance and Transference Neurosis

George Zavitzianos

With regard to the treatment of juvenile delinquency, various authorities, e.g. Aichhorn, (1925), Eissler (1950), Hoffer (1949), Johnson (1949) and Szurek (1942) have pointed out that the antisocial adolescent, because of his particular psychic structure and his inability to form a libidinal attachment to the therapist, cannot respond to psycho-analysis without preliminary preparation and/or some modification of the classical technique.

Research on juvenile delinquency has been inadequate because the delinquent does not lend himself easily to analytic investigation. Aichhorn (1955) was the first to approach delinquency dynamically. He defined it as "a relationship to people and things which is at variance with what society approves in the individual". Friedlander (1947) explained how unmodified and over-strong drives lead to weak, pleasure-principled egos and defective superegos, such as are found in the "anti-social character formation" which she considers the basic characteristic of delinquency. The condition she describes is essentially the same as Aichhorn's "latent delinquency". Eissler (1949) pointed out that, despite the predominance of alloplastic elements in delinquency, many ego deformities of an autoplastic nature (depersonalization, feelings of isolation, etc.) are usually present as well. Lippman (1949) cited the fact that, while most chronic delinquents are neurotics, they do not suffer from the anxiety which afflicts inhibited neurotics. Anna Freud (1949) described one type of severe psychopathic behaviour in which the suppression of phallic masturbation and the consequent acting out of the masturbation fantasy results in the sexualization of ego activities.

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