The subtle challenges of the first interviews with an adolescent

By Olivier Cametz

In this article, the author discusses the specificities of preliminary interviews in the treatment of adolescents. The study of these particularities integrates two themes: on the one hand, the notion of “archetypal new deal” used by Denyse Lyard in reference to Erich Neumann’s writings and, on the other hand, the role of aspects of the analyst’s countertransference. The author suggests an interpretation backed up by two clinical situations. These examples contribute to placing the psychological suffering felt by many adolescents into perspective, by showing how questions of the meaning of life and the course of individuation are subtly intertwined.

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