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Laufer, M. (1981). Adolescent Breakdown and the Transference Neurosis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 62:51-59.

(1981). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 62:51-59

Adolescent Breakdown and the Transference Neurosis

Moses Laufer


Adolescent pathology should be viewed as a breakdown in the developmental process, and it is a breakdown which takes place at puberty or during adolescence. It seems that the acute breakdown at puberty is potentially the more serious.

This breakdown in the developmental process is understood in relation to the function of adolescence developmentally, and is linked to the establishment of a final sexual organization by the end of adolescence.

Clinically, there are certain problems which are specific to the adolescent patient. Core fantasies in adolescence tell us the direction of the person's psychosexual development and the potential of abnormality. In the transference neurosis of the adolescent patient, the developmental breakdown has to be re-experienced and re-enacted with the analyst, but it is the core fantasies which contain the clue to the nature of the pathology and to the direction of the abnormality in terms of sexual functioning and of object relationships.

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