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Sklansky, M.A. (1972). Indications and Contraindications for the Psychoanalysis of the Adolescent. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 20:134-144.

(1972). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 20:134-144

Indications and Contraindications for the Psychoanalysis of the Adolescent

Morris A. Sklansky, M.D.

Psychoanalysis has brought vast understanding to the complex psychology of the adolescent. It was evident from this panel presentation that the complexity of adolescent psychology makes the task of evaluating the analyzability of adolescents a difficult one; that, indeed, few contemporary adolescent patients are analyzable; that once in analysis, a variety of parameters of technique far beyond those used in the classical analysis of adults are necessary.

J. Cotter Hirschberg introduced the panel by citing Ralph Greenson who, in discussing Freud's distinction between transference neuroses and narcissistic neuroses with regard to their suitability and unsuitability for analysis, was led to a series of questions about analyzability. Hirschberg applied Greenson's questions to adolescent patients. Is their capacity for object relations enough for them to be able to tolerate the vicissitudes of transference phenomena? Can the adolescent develop a working alliance with observing as well as experiencing ego? Are his synthetic and integrative ego functions enough for working through while maintaining the complex relationship necessary in analysis?

Berman reminded us that the expansion of psychoanalytic theory has widened the scope of treatment from adults to children and now to adolescents. This panel is the first to give scientific consideration specifically to psychoanalysis as a method of treatment for adolescent disturbances. He felt that assessment of analyzability for adults differs from that for adolescents.

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