Tito Baldini, Daniele Biondo : adolescent therapeutic groups and borderline states

The authors present their experiences with adolescents in borderline states, a particular form of adolescent suffering. Work with adolescents in borderline states using as a reference principle analytical concepts of groups helps – according to the authors – to activate the capacity for making representations and binding them to each other, by restoring to the subjects the dignity of persons who think and dream.

The authors present two clinical situations describing environmental groups – family-type communities and the « Centri di Aggregazione Giovanile » [socio-educational centers specialized in the care of pre-adolescents, adolescents and young adults] – in which they had a chance to share a method of psychoanalytical intervention oriented towards groups, which enabled them to engage with and treat adolescents in borderline states, for whom any classic psychoanalytical psychotherapeutic intervention would have been inapplicable or would result in failure.

The presence of an extended group situation allows borderline adolescents to experience the mental contention of anxieties. By moving in an interpsychical dimension, the psychodynamically oriented group creates the transitional space where difficult adolescents can cover and assimilate the distance between them and the milieu, between psychical space and the wider psychical space of the group.

Adolescence, 2011, T. 29 n°2, pp. 397-410.