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Nicoli, L. (2016). I Play Doh: The Art of Plasticine in the Process of Adolescent Subjectivation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(4):999-1018.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(4):999-1018

Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis

I Play Doh: The Art of Plasticine in the Process of Adolescent Subjectivation

Luca Nicoli

(Accepted for publication 7 December 2015)

Pre-adolescents' difficulty in portraying and communicating the internal turmoil to which puberty subjects them, both through the immaturity of their psychic functions and through the conflict between display and secrecy, presents a constant challenge to the analyst. A technical solution for making the process of subjectivation more pleasant may be found in modelling with Play Doh, a game/non-game which is not age-specific, an expressive form capable of evoking in the analytic field fantasies and representations that are otherwise only accessible with difficulty. This paper aims to present some reflections on the characteristic features of the Play Doh game in the session, with particular regard to work with patients between 10 and 14 years old who are in the midst of the process of adolescent subjectivation. The paper examines the clinical history of a young adopted boy who was able to develop the ability to dream his own experience and to portray internal experiences which had previously been unrepresentable.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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