THE ANALYST AND THE ADOLESCENT AT WORK by Marjorie -- Ed. Harley

THE ANALYST AND THE ADOLESCENT AT WORK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nine case histories of disturbed adolescents as presented by psychoanalysts. Prompted by Geleerd's portrayal of the technique of child analysis in The Child Analyst at Work (1966), the essays exemplify the adaptations in classical technique that the peculiarities of puberty necessitate. In the introductory essay, Calvin Settlage establishes the framework of ego psychology as developed by Freud, Anna Freud, and Hartmann: that is, the analyst respects the ego defense and the need for it -- in fact, regards the two as inseparable -- and seeks their modification rather than their elimination. The adolescent, threatened by new forces, is in the process of ego reorganization: separation, masturbation, sexuality, and incapacity for transference may become obstacles to the analytic process. Transitory characteristics -- ""excessive independence or dependence, defiance, outraged protest, delinquency, promiscuity, or homosexuality"" -- cannot be called pathological, when they might be in an adult. The adolescent needs explanation and encouragement for his sexuality and his aggression; and he needs ""limits"" or ""parameters"" -- active, albeit limited, intervention by the analyst. In this respect, classical technique must be modified. The case histories -- homosexual, mourning, and suicide conflicts -- are related by warm, perceptive analysts; but they do not escape the psychoanalytic vice of over-interpretative dogma. A useful if modest contribution to psychoanalytic theory and practice.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.