Analytical involvement with teenagers
Author: Mary T. Brady
Embarking on a psychoanalytic journey with an adolescent is never easy, neither for the analyst nor for the adolescent: it poses complex challenges, which however also bring with them strong potential for growth and stimulation. It is always an intense analytical path, which necessarily passes through 'hot' themes, and in which the body element plays a predominant role. The adolescent is not yet an adult, but for the first time he finds himself confronted with the changes and disturbances of a body that is beginning to acquire the functions and potentials of adulthood, in particular as regards the sphere of sexuality and 'aggression. It is then an analysis that brings with it unique characteristics of immediacy; adolescence occurs in real time and is a phase in which many things happen: the first nocturnal pollution, the onset of menstruation, the first love, the first job, the first hangover. In the work with adolescents, the theme of subversion is central, full of creative impulses but full of potential risks: the role of the analyst then becomes fundamental in becoming a container for new requests, without inhibiting them but at the same time assuming a protective function. Last but not least, working with an adolescent means entering into force in his family sphere and in a relationship, direct or indirect, with his parents.