Select Page

Residential Work within Special Youth Care

Based on personal experience in a residential setting for adolescent boys within special youth care, the author connects the ‘being difficult to guide’ label of some youngsters, which often results in exclusion from care, to a ‘not wanting’ on the one hand and a ‘being different’ on the other. From within a psychoanalytic perspective both aspects are linked through two clinical fagments with, respectively, an ignorance of the primary function of a residential institution, and, the exclusion of the subjective dimension in care. Instead of a global pedagogic project based on a generalised discourse of the ‘problem youngster’, the author pleads for a clinical orientation in the work, whereby the institution traces the path of each adolescent as subject, case by case.

“Suddenly, they appear…”: On genuine, small and other Freudian case-studies

Reflecting on the three symposia recently organised by Idesça in cooperation with the Gezelschap voor Psychoanalyse en Psychotherapie, the author queries the status of so-called “small case-studies”. With reference to (i) his own clinical experience; (ii) so-called small Freudian case-studies (in contrast with Freud’s case-studies of Dora, The Ratman, The Wolfman, Little Hans and Schreber); and (iii) the short stories of the Belgian writer Peter Verhelst (Mondschilderingen [“mouth paintings”] (2002)), it is argued that a small Freudian clinical fragment bears witness to (i) the enigmatic presence of the clinician with respect to the sudden appearance of the unconscious; (ii) the use of a certain style and a certain measure; (iii) the circumvention of imaginary reality; and (iv) the clinical structure of fantasy.

Download full text