1st Edition

Creativity and the Erotic Dimensions of the Analytic Field

By Dianne Elise Copyright 2019
    334 Pages
    by Routledge

    334 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Creativity and the Erotic Dimensions of the Analytic Field centers on the mutually reinforcing relationship between erotic and creative energies. Erotic embodiment is given context within a contemporary model of clinical process based in analytic field theory and highlighting Winnicott. Dianne Elise uses clinical material to bring theory alive, giving clinicians an explicit picture of how they might utilize the ideas presented.

    In a fascinating return to Freud’s emphasis on libido and Eros, a creative mind is seen as located within a libidinal connection to the erotic body. The erotic is underscored as an important ingredient of the clinical situation—a lively spontaneity that partakes of the analyst’s as well as the patient’s creative self, vitalizing the field of clinical engagement. A full formulation of the analytic field must include awareness of the centrality of the erotic in the maternal matrix, in ongoing development, and in the clinical setting. The erotic-aesthetic dimension of the mind potentiates the creative interplay of the analytic process.

    Written in an engaging and accessible style, this original contribution makes complex theory available to psychoanalytic clinicians at all levels, and to a wide range of readers, while offering sophisticated theoretical and clinical innovations. Elise addresses the need to engage multiple aspects of erotic life while maintaining a reliable professional boundary.

    Introduction Part I: Erotic Vitality in Analytic Process 1 Moving from within the Maternal: The Choreography of Analytic Eroticism 2 Desire and Disruption in the Analytic Relationship 3 Blocked Creativity and Inhibited Erotic Transference Part II: Potential Space and Orientations of the Erotic 4 Psychic Bisexuality and Creativity: Gender Repertoires 5 Male Fears of Psychic Penetration 6 Reclaiming Lost Loves: Transcending Unrequited Desires Part III: Women and Desire: Erotic Dysphorias 7 Sex and Shame: The Inhibition of Female Desires 8 Erasure of the Female Erotic 9 Failure to Thrive: Masochistic Submission in Women Part IV – Erotic Betrayal and Poisoned Desires 10 Infidelity and the Betrayal of Truth 11Betrayal and the Loss of Goodness in the Analytic Relationship 12 Narcissistic Seductions and the Collapse of the Creative


    Dianne Elise is a Personal and Supervising Analyst of the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, USA. Nationally recognized for her innovative contributions to the psychoanalytic literature on gender and sexuality, she has consistently challenged conventional accounts of development.

    "Dianne Elise, in this beautifully written book, enriches the psychoanalytic concept of the erotic in a way that I believe constitutes a major contribution to psychoanalytic theory and practice. She develops the idea that maternal eroticism is an essential component of the life of the mother and infant, and similarly, the analyst’s eroticism is an essential component of the life of the analytic field. In the absence of eroticism, the mother-infant bond and the analyst-patient relationship are flat and lifeless; creativity is stifled or killed. The ideas Elise introduces are now requisite for anyone engaged in the life-long project of learning to become a psychotherapist."-Thomas Ogden, author of Reclaiming Unlived Life and Creative Readings: Essays on Seminal Analytic Works

    "Dianne Elise notices that analytic theory has portrayed a disembodied engagement of minds--Freud's `victory of intellectuality over sensuality,’ paternity over maternity. A generative analytic field, she claims, must include body and analytic eroticism, especially, fantasy transformations of a maternal Eros--the mother's bodily sensuality, for women, a mother-daughter erotic--experienced from infancy. Elise shares palpably alive descriptions of the analytic field she and her patients create, a consulting room where both experience and confront Eros in fantasies, bodily imagery, dreams and verbal exchanges. Readers will gain a transformed sense of the analytic field."-Nancy J. Chodorow, author of The Reproduction of Mothering and Individualizing Gender and Sexuality

    "Dianne Elise’s book is a rewarding and fascinating read. Not only does the author deal with one of the most intriguing and conflicted psychoanalytic issues-- Eros and libidinal life --she inserts it within the frame of the analytic field, itself a challenging theoretical perspective and new paradigm in psychoanalysis. This conjunction gives Elise the opportunity to develop a discourse that is both original and respectful of our classical tradition while giving back center stage to the somewhat neglected topic of sexuality as an enlivening factor in analysis. Her style of writing shows abundantly this same quality of being vital and ‘real’. This book is a great achievement."-Giuseppe Civitarese, author of Sublime Subjects: Aesthetic Conflict and Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis