Developmental Ruptures: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown and Defensive Solutions

Author(s) : Anna Maria Nicolo

Part of New Library of Psychoanalysis series - more in this series

Developmental Ruptures: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown and Defensive Solutions

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : February 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 292
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 97491
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032663340
  • ISBN 10 : 1032663340

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This book questions the diagnostic categories applied to adolescents from a developmental viewpoint putting forth an alternative perspective for assessment that considers prognostic and risk indicators.

Going beyond the classification of adult pyschopahtology, Anna Maria Nicolo presents a multidimensional approach to the adolescent mind that explores its complexities through a clinical lens and accompanying theoretical prism. Often crises in adolescence might well mark the onset of a psychotic process that does not respect phase-specific tasks. Yet in other cases, such developmental ruptures are the opportunity for a positive reorganization of personality. In this way, adolescence may highlight latent childhood functioning or allow for new integrations. Therefore, accurate diagnosis and early intervention are necessary to enable the developmental reorganization of both the patient and the family. Drawing on clinical case material, this book provides readers with the practical and theoretical tools to intervene in developmental ruptures.

Developmental Ruptures will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, and developmental psychologists, as well as to people working with psychotic onset and crises emerging particularly at the outset of puberty or young adulthood.

Reviews and Endorsements

In this fascinating volume, Anna Nicolò masterfully combines her long and in-depth international experience with the innovative creativity of Italian psychoanalysis, of which she is today one of the most authoritative and appreciated exponents. The result is a free and wide-ranging - though rigorous - capacity for theoretical articulation, with special effectiveness in the in-depth clinical reading of adolescent situations and their kaleidoscopic evolutionary complexity.
Stefano Bolognini, IPA past president

In her excellent book Developmental Ruptures, Anna Maria Nicolò gives a vivid and subtle representation of adolescent psychic turmoil. She goes beyond the classification of adult psychopathology, to detect the evolutive power most often hidden in adolescent ruptures and collapses. Due to her exceptional clinical and theoretical competences, she opens broadly the field of observation and of listening of adolescent patients, and she proves that “adolescence is not only a temporal phase, but also an enzyme that permeates the mind and forces to confront oneself with the life cycle” – as she writes. Every practitioner in the field of psychic disease will benefit from reading this outstanding book.
Florence Guignard, Founder of the Société Européenne pour la Psychanalyse de l’Enfant et de l’Adolescent (Sepea), Honorary full member of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society (SPP)

This book is an important contribution to the psychoanalysis of young people. The author shares her vast clinical experience and also her approach to theory from a pluralistic and open approach. We have long been used to thinking in terms of processes and continuities. The concept of ruptures is very timely in the context of the times we have been living in, where uncertainty and disruption predominate. Children and adolescents are the most vulnerable and prone to break-ups in this context. This book is essential reading for those who work with these patients.
Virginia Ungar, M.D., Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association; IPA Past President

Table of Contents


Part One - The Adolescent and Developmental Ruptures
1.The Adolescent Mind
2. The Problem of Assessment in Adolescence
3. Breakdown and Developmental Ruptures
4. The Negated, Repudiated, Persecutory Body
5. Sensoriality and Developmental Ruptures
6. Fear of Breakdown and Beyond
7. Developmental Ruptures: A Transformative Pathway
8. Pathological Transpersonal Links and Adolescent Breakdown

Part Two - The Defence Against Developmental Breakdown
9. Perverse Solutions and Perversion
10. Daydreams and their Evolutions
11. Martina: Alienation in the Other
12. Violence as a Defence Against Breakdown
13. Delusion, Secrets and Reciprocity
14. The Transgender Enigma
15. Self-Harm and Cutting

About the Author(s)

Anna Maria Nicolò, MD, is a member of the board of the Representatives of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), and since 2005 has been chair of the forum for adolescence of the European Psychoanalytical Federation (FEP). She is a founder member of the Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for Children, Adolescents and Couples (SIPsIA), scientific secretary of the Istituto Winnicott (ASNE-SIPSIA), and member of the European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (EFPP). She was President of the Italian Society of Psychoanalysis for Couples and Families (PCF), and co-founder of the AIPCF (International Association of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis). She was co-editor of the collection Contemporary Psychoanalysis, director of the journal Interazioni, and co-founder and former director of the International Review of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis (AIPCF).

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