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Langlands, S.N. (1995). A Process of Mourning in the Life and in the Analysis of an Adolescent. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 4(3):185-194.

(1995). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 4(3):185-194

A Process of Mourning in the Life and in the Analysis of an Adolescent

Sonia Neves Langlands, Dip.lpsych.

This paper concerns the subject of “loss”, and the way “loss” is dealt with. A loss occurs which may be related to a real object — such as the death of a loved one — or to anything else which may represent a lost object, such as a stage or a function lost in life. Thus in adolescence, one has to face the loss of an infantile state.

Being alive, growing up, developing oneself presupposes losses and gains. One loses something in order to gain something else. This paper attempts to examine the subject, both in its theoretical and clinical aspects. In its theoretical aspect, I bring forward the points of view of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion, concerning loss and how one deals with it.

In its clinical aspect, I present the case of an adolescent who, already in the process of having to face up to the loss of an infantile state — as happens to every adolescent — is obliged also to face the death of a loved one. Besides, the process of analysis itself presupposes that a person, in order to develop psychologically, has to face other losses, such as that of one's omnipotence, that of one's idealised objects, etc. Therefore, I am presenting for examination a situation in which a particular person deals with his losses in the light of the analytical transference.

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