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Cassorla, R.M. (2017). Stupidity in the Analytic Field: Vicissitudes of the Detachment Process in Adolescence. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(2):371-391.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(2):371-391

Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis

Stupidity in the Analytic Field: Vicissitudes of the Detachment Process in Adolescence

Roosevelt M.S. Cassorla

(Accepted for publication 5 August 2016)

This paper has the objective of broadening the understanding of technical aspects in working with adolescents who defend themselves against detachment from infantile aspects through defensive organizations. These organizations numb the adolescent toward both triangular reality and narcissistic defenses. The families of such young people may be part of the organization and the analyst can also be recruited to participate in it. But the analyst's perception can become blurry and this fact makes him appear stupid. Aspects of the myths of Narcissus and Oedipus are used here as models for studying stupidity. The analysis of a psychotic teenage girl who is symbiotic in relation to her family shows how the analytical field can be invaded by defensive configurations. Collusions of idealization and domination/submission involve the young person, her family and the analyst but the defensive organizations are only identified after their traumatic breakdown. The expansion of the symbolic network allows symbiotic transgenerational organizations to be identified, while models related to enactments prove helpful for understanding technical ups and downs. The paper ends with imaginative conjectures where Oedipus, as ‘patient’, is compared to the patient discussed here. These conjectures lead to reinterpretations of aspects of the Oedipus myth. The reinterpretations, together with the theoretical and clinical study, may serve as models for understanding the technical ups and downs in working with troubled teens.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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