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Gluckman, R.M. (1986). A Paradigm of Development—The Psychoanalysis of an Adolescent. Psychoanal. St. Child, 41:337-356.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 41:337-356

A Paradigm of Development—The Psychoanalysis of an Adolescent

Robert M. Gluckman, M.D.

"PSYCHOANALYSIS IS DEVELOPMENT," STATED A PANELIST AT A meeting of the child psychoanalytic association a few years ago, as he was elaborating on a paper about the therapeutic effects of child psychoanalysis. This is neither a new nor controversial idea in classroom psychoanalysis.

While there is much theoretical exposition of this idea in the literature, clinical data usually are confined to a brief example of fragments of analyses. There are very few case presentations demonstrating the clinical unfolding of the process of redevelopment from beginning to end through analysis. To illustrate how psychoanalysis provides the opportunity for a person fixated in his early development to achieve age-appropriate functioning, I present the case of an adolescent boy whose developmental interferences occurred at the preoedipal and oedipal periods, leaving him totally unprepared for the psychological demands of adolescence. The analysis of this youngster, roughly from ages 15 to 18, particularly illuminates the developmental transition from prelatency to adolescence in terms of one of the most crucial tasks of adolescence: the achievement of sexual maturity.

Sigmund Freud (1905) stated that "One of the main tasks of early adolescence is to give infantile sexual life its final normal shape," namely, "the subordination of component instincts to the primacy of the genital zone" (p. 207).

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