Vampires and Vamps: The Use of a Popular Metaphor in the Psychodynamic Understanding of Adolescent Conflict
Eugenio M. Rothe
Affiliation: 2199 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Suite 304, Coral Gables, Florida 33134, USA.
Keywords: Myths, Dracula, vampires, psychodynamic, adolescents, fiction, psychological development.
Background: Myths about vampires have been part of the culture in Western society since ancient times. In recent
years, there has been a recrudescence of interest in vampires among teenagers, who have embraced books, movies
and television programs on this subject.
Method: This article will explore the history and origins of the vampire myth and through a psychoanalytic and psychodynamic
perspective, will analyze the life and work of Bram Stocker, the author of the ever-popular novel Dracula. It will
also analyze the many modern variations on the vampire metaphor and explain how the developmental struggles of adolescence
can be easily displaced on to the figure of the vampire. It will present case material to illustrate the meaning of
this myth to adolescents.
Conclusions: The myth of the vampire can become a useful therapeutic tool to understand and explore adolescent conflicts
so that clinicians can potentially help their adolescent patients overcome resistance and explore issues that are often located
outside of their conscious awareness.
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