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Ferenczian Elasticity in the Analysis of an Adolescent

Abstract

Psychoanalytic work with adolescents poses a challenge for analysts who adhere to standard analytic technique as many adolescents who need analytic intervention resist such a structured approach to analysis. The author finds that elasticity of technique is currently widely used by analysts when working with this difficult age group even though they may be unaware that this is, in fact, a Ferenczian technique. Clinical examples are presented to illustrate how frequently the technique is used in cases of resistant, troubled youth. The author outlines an approach that is sensitive to these resistances and makes compromises in technique based on the principle that engaging a troubled youth in a therapeutic venture is preferable to refusing treatment based on the patient’s not being able to adhere to standard analytic technique. In this sense, Ferenczi was an early herald of the type of contemporary analytic work that is practiced currently especially with a difficult population of patients.

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Correspondence to Cassandra Pereira França.

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An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 13th International Sándor Ferenczi Conference held in Florence, Italy May 3–6, 2018.

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França, C.P. Ferenczian Elasticity in the Analysis of an Adolescent. Am J Psychoanal 82, 295–304 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-022-09351-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s11231-022-09351-0

Keywords

  • Psychological touch
  • personal equation
  • flexibility in analysis of adolescents
  • traumatic experience
  • Ferenczi’s elasticity technique