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Burgner, M. (1988). Analytic Work with Adolescents: Terminable and Interminable. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 69:179-187.

(1988). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 69:179-187

Analytic Work with Adolescents: Terminable and Interminable

Marion Burgner


Three types of ending in the analyses of adolescents have been discussed: the premature unilateral termination, the mutually agreed ending and the unilaterally interminable analysis. I have concentrated particularly on the third type, illustrating with clinical material the foreclosure in adolescent development. I have suggested that such foreclosure is preceded by developmental distortions from infancy onwards and that these distortions become organized in the breakdown during adolescence. If we return to the starting point of the Congress, Freud's paper 'Analysis terminable and interminable', it seems we still have to assess our potential adolescent patients carefully in terms of the constitutional/instinctual factors, the intensity and degree of internal and external traumata and the developmental strength of the ego which

might effectively be mobilized within the analytic experience. But often it is only when we take such adolescents into analysis that we are really able to test their ego capacities for psychic change and for achieving separateness from the analyst and thus from their primary objects of infancy and early childhood.

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