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Makman, M. (1989). Adolescent Psychiatry. XIII, 1986: Adolescent Pathology: Commencement, Passage, or Catastrophe. Evelyne Kestemberg. Pp. 455-466.. Psychoanal Q., 58:170.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Adolescent Psychiatry. XIII, 1986: Adolescent Pathology: Commencement, Passage, or Catastrophe. Evelyne Kestemberg. Pp. 455-466.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:170

Adolescent Psychiatry. XIII, 1986: Adolescent Pathology: Commencement, Passage, or Catastrophe. Evelyne Kestemberg. Pp. 455-466.

Marianne Makman

This is a beautiful, refreshing translation from the French of a paper which must be even more remarkable in the original language. The author is fascinated by adolescence, by this truly unique period of human life, and demonstrates her fascination through vivid case examples and an almost poetic description of the tasks and experiences of it. At the moment "the body becomes permanently sexual," the process of reorganization of the psyche toward adulthood commences. During this process the adolescent may demonstrate a "bizarre" series of reactions, behaviors, attitudes, which do not represent the individual's "character" but rather are a complex mass of reaction-formations and countercathexes often resulting in temporary intellectual inhibition. Sometimes this passage can reach "catastrophic" proportions. An adolescent may appear to be psychotic. The astute therapist may carefully gamble that this is not truly psychosis, may continue to treat such a patient through the period of apparent catastrophe, be it a few weeks or a few years, and thus support a healthy outcome rather than a premature psychiatric labeling.

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Article Citation

Makman, M. (1989). Adolescent Psychiatry. XIII, 1986. Psychoanal. Q., 58:170

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