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Pick, I.B. (1988). Adolescence: Its Impact on Patient and Analyst. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 15:187-194.

(1988). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 15:187-194

Adolescence: Its Impact on Patient and Analyst

Irma Brenman Pick


Two adolescent cases (one a suicidal girl) are presented to show that whilst underlying infantile problems emerge with great intensity in the analysis of adolescents, as in adult or child analytic work, the adolescent shows certain notable features. This is manifest in the additional force with which he tries to sweep his object along, with both his positive and his powerfully destructive impulses or defensive ideologies, and fears being swept along by the analyst. Unconsciously searching for parental figures to help them deal with the realities of life, they are particularly suspicious of adults, often seen as rivalrous adolescents or as pseudomature adults, who have only the facade but have not really experienced adolescence and life.

They place the analyst under considerable pressure; the analyst needs to be able to experience the sweeping pressure, yet not be driven either into collusion or into taking a hostile stance against them.

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