The adopted child and his double origin


In order to highlight the persistence of a double connection of the adopted child with the family of origin as well as with the new adoptive bonds (e.g., Brodzinsky, Schechter, Marantz Henig, 1992), two clinical cases are presented in this work: The first one regards a young woman who was adopted in early childhood through national adoption; the second one regards two adoptive parents dealing with the grief involved by the distancing of their adopted son when he becomes a young adult. This double connection tends to persist over the life of the adopted child even though one of the two poles, or both, might seem to “disappear” from the subjective and relational experience of the adopted person and his adoptive family; in fact, these two dimensions inevitably reemerge through time with different paths for each individual. On a psychic level, the adoption is situated for all protagonists in Read more


Body tattoo and body injured, the vicissitudes of omnipotent control over the body in adolescence


In the paper, tattoos and accidents are seen as two expressions of the omnipotent control that every adolescent feels he can exercise over his own body. The tattooed body expresses a form of control over the body that may even result in colonizing one’s skin. The injured body instead expresses the total loss of control over one’s body. I have tried to focus on some ways in which the attempt is made to exercise omnipotent control in adolescents.
One of the outcomes of the loss of control that the adolescent if exposed to is the fall, understood as the collapse of the grandiose self as intended by Kohut. In this regard, I have highlighted a reaction to the mental trauma, which follows the physical trauma, consisting in the attempt to restore the infantile grandiosity violated by the accident. In order to restore the grandiose self, the adolescent often refuses to deal with the traumatic area and to come to terms with the usually unpleasant reality which the accident exposes the body to. According to the paper, the group with adolescents conducted by an adult therapist makes it possible to approach and work through the trauma, instead of becoming isolated from the traumatic area in an attempt to relive the infantile grandiosity lost. The group with an adult can also help to contain the anxiety produced by the fear of losing the reference group of peers (Carbone, 2009), that is the group that continues to exist after the accident, albeit in different places, in meeting points that may vary and that for some time are surely distant from the fixed places the injured adolescent is forced to frequent. I have considered two different types of accidents, the traditional ones (including accidents during play, of which I provide an example) and non-traditional ones (including accidents induced by risk behaviour, like the ones Read more