James Herzog presented critical analytic moments from his work with a young man struggling to find and create traces of a paternal object. Early failures of maternal holding and difficulties in forming the links of a parental couple were repeated in the transference and they were constructed and interpreted. The patient presented fears of passivity, and repetitions of early traumatic situations. The analyst was able to convey his interest to understand the meaning of his patient’s acting out and fears. Certain modifications were introduced to the setting until the time an analytic space was established. The dimension of time was an issue throughout the analytic work. The analysis helped the patient create the notion of past and also the future as a possibility.
Keywords: Adolescence, setting, paternal traces, fear of passivity, trauma, negation, time