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Revista Brasileira de Psicanálise

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BONAMINIO, Vincenzo. The adolescent discourse in analysis and the laceration of the transitional tissue: changing features of psychopathology in contemporary society. Rev. bras. psicanál [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.3, pp. 161-170. ISSN 0486-641X.

Three short clinical vignettes are reported to show, through the adolescent discourse, how a more or less extensive "laceration" of the transitional experience can be considered a source of psychic suffering and an origin of new form of "discontent with civilization" in contemporary society. As psychoanalysts, we should regard adolescence as one our privileged observatory, because of its function as a cultural link between generations: the new forms of civilization’s discontents disturb the structuring and functioning of psychic life, especially the processes of transformation and mediation, which are the most fragile and sensitive to the meta-psychic effects of intersubjectivity. As an observatory, adolescence gives us the chance to see, almost in real time, how rapid, overwhelming, transient and "ungraspable" are the changes in ways of thinking, of representing inner and external reality- how incipient and at the same time abortive they may be; it highlights aspects of "civilization’s discontents", and along with these the "discontents" of the analyst who has to face them. Some issues are particularly focused on: the role of trauma and its impact on an ego which is "not prepared" to cope with what is not yet representable; the consequent undeveloped differentiation between reality and phantasy; the progressive legitimation of the "autistic auto-sensuousness" and the increase of "the autistic-mimetic psychic disturbances" as the mark of the age.

Keywords : Adolescence; Changes in psychopathology; Transitional area; Trauma; Autistic defences.

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