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Schwartz, F. (2017). The Patient Who Was Not There. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 16(4):258-260.

(2017). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 16(4):258-260

The Patient Who Was Not There

Francesca Schwartz, Ph.D.

Many clinicians attest to the challenges of working with the adolescent patient. The phase itself prescribes resistances to forming a transference relationship, not to mention that passions and conflicts can be stirred in the therapist that had long been dormant. Various theoretical positions have dictated different paths, from systems theory to Freud’s treatment of Little Hans. This article describes a case that took an unorthodox route based on an adolescent’s refusal and Lacan’s formulation of the function of a child’s symptom in the intrapsychic world of the parent. The outcome opened pathways for growth for both the adolescent and the parents, suggesting that the uniqueness of the phase of adolescence allows for new pathways for clinical intervention as well.

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