1st Edition

Growing Through the Erotic Transference An Analysand's Journey

By Frances H. Moore Copyright 2023
    100 Pages
    by Routledge

    100 Pages
    by Routledge

    The book offers an in-depth case study of the erotic transference experienced by a female analysand with her male analyst, exploring how the shifting phases of erotic transference help the analysand to understand, rediscover and redefine herself with transformative growth.

    The first half of the book tells the story of the analysis, which is richly imbued with the erotic from the beginning. It describes the complexity of the relationship between analyst and analysand, and how the patient is able to grow through experiencing, analysing and progressing through the erotic transference. The second half of the book consists of five reflections, highlighting relative blind spots in the current thinking on the erotic transference and countertransference. The author explores the dynamics of power, potency and erotic turn-on between male analyst and female analysand and considers the implications for the erotic transference when the patient is a sexual abuse survivor. She also explores the nature of ‘transference love’ itself: whether it is ‘real love’ and how both members of the dyad can surrender to it enough to grow, while not losing their bearings. The final reflection considers the role of the patient’s voice in the psychoanalytic literature and argues the need for more of such accounts to enrich our understanding of this vital area.

    Writing as the patient, the author is able to share a remarkable, frank and revealing glimpse into their personal experience of analysis, making this book essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and anyone interested in understanding analysis in more depth.

    Introduction: Growing through the Erotic Transference, Part 1: The Story, 1. Meeting, 2. Testing Power and Potency, 3. Seduction, 4. Penetration, 5. Birth, 6. Father, 7. Mother, 8. Reparenting, 9. Unleashing Desire, 10. Female Potency, 11. Lifting my Foot to Leap, 12. Leaving Home, 13. Rage, 14. Teasing!, 15. Growing Beyond the Room, Part 2: Reflections, 16. Women's Power: Suffering, Gratitude, Turn-on, 17. Erotic Transference: Fear and Desire; Resistance or Transformation?, 18. Working with Sexual Abuse Survivors, 19. Transference Love or Real Love?, 20. Revoicing the Patient


    Frances H. Moore first graduated as a performing musician from one of the major music conservatoires, before gaining a Masters and a PhD in Anthropology of Music as a scholar at an Ivy League University. Her first published academic book is based on this PhD.

    After transitioning to work in International Business, she completed an Executive MBA. She now specializes in leadership development, culture change and engagement strategies for international organizations going through major transformations. She has lived in three continents and has worked in over 20 countries.

    Moore is passionate about helping others grow and find their full voices – in particular girls and women. She was a volunteer teacher for a year in Africa and continues to mentor and train for young people’s organisations. She was founding trustee/ executive board member for two women’s charities. She has written and published three children’s books with brave, strong girl characters to counteract the passive princess stereotypes of the traditional tales.

    In the wake of her own marriage breakdown, the ‘quest for voice’ became deeply personal. As an analysand, she immersed herself in the experience of analysis and voraciously absorbed the psychoanalytic literature as she followed her own transformative path. Her powerful experiences of the erotic transference are chronicled in this book.

    The author is publishing this book under an adjusted name, to respect the privacy of her family.

    'A very fine piece of work, opening up how Moore’s erotic life was able to unfold in her analysis. Delicately and at the same time passionately told, this is a valuable picture into therapy from an analysand’s experience.'

    Susie Orbach, author of Fat is a Feminist issue (1978), The Impossibility of Sex (2000) and ten other books on psychoanalysis; Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature; and recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Psychoanalytic Society

    'This is an impressive book by Frances Moore. With an authoritative voice she gives an honest account of the patient's experience of the frustrations and the benefits of the erotic transference in psychotherapy. With a rare and valuable insight from the patient's point of view she gives both a lively and a well-researched expression of the therapeutic process as it is lived and understood.'

    David Mann, author of Psychotherapy - An Erotic Relationship: Transference and Countertransference Passions (1997); editor of Erotic Transference and Countertransference: Clinical Practice in Psychotherapy (1999) and Love and Hate: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (2002); and psychoanalytic psychotherapist in Tunbridge Wells

    'This is a story of the ever-present erotic dimension of analysis and how it transforms and intensifies lived experience. Though a layperson – thankfully!– Moore wrestles with complicated themes, e.g., how different forms of erotic transferences can defend against one another, co-exist (background sensuality and sexual desire) and ultimately promote growth. With precise and truthful articulation, Moore describes erotic love as the basis of elemental passions and human core vitality.'

    'This is a story of how a woman becomes receptive to her own potency, learning to harness her power and beauty. Through her eyes, we also experience a calm and unafraid analyst willing to go the distance. Anyone doubting the usefulness of erotic transferences as an essential transformational power should read this book.'

    Andrea Celenza, author of Erotic Revelations (2014), Sexual Boundary Violations (2007) and Transference, Love, Being: Essential Essays from the Field (2022); training and supervising analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

    'Growing Through the Erotic Transference is a brave and detailed account from the analysand’s perspective of parts of an analysis of a cis-gender heterosexual divorced woman in her 40s by her male analyst, with a special focus on the erotic transference within the treatment [...] Moore’s text is a moving exploration of some selected erotic dimensions of what appears to have been a very transformative treatment with a skillful analyst. Her points about women having real fears rooted in socialization and experiences of sexual violence that should not be dismissed as merely resistance, are warranted. Her refreshing idea that there might be room for powerful women who are more classically feminine is also important and her call for (male) analysts to consider exploring the erotic fears and desires as well as fears and desires for power rather than trying to get off on their own power as a function of the asymmetry is reasonable. I would add that this text suggests a call for women analysts to perhaps write more on these topics and for any analytic pair, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the analysand or the analyst to be subject to consideration about how the erotic material and power dynamics are being held. It is high time that we expand original binary notions of male/female, masculinity/femininity and gay/straight (even as these may be very useful in particular treatments) and come to see the issues of power, competition and erotic feelings infusing all relationships in some fashion and analyze these fully with fluidity and bravery as gateways to transformation.'

    Nicolle Zapien is a licensed clinician with two decades of experience. She is currently a candidate training at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC). To read this review in full please see the following: Zapien, N. (2022). Book Review Essay: “Growing Through the Erotic Transference: An Analysand’s Journey” by Frances H. Moore. European Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 9, No. 2: https://www.journal-psychoanalysis.eu/articles/book-review-essay-growing-through-the-erotic-transference-an-analysands-journey-by-frances-h-moore/.

    "Her courageous account of a five-year analysis....is a loving gift to us as reader-analysands as well as a message to her classically oriented, abstinent analyst."  "[her reflections are] clarifying and moving, and leave a lasting impression on the reader"... "her erudition, bravery, and many insights make Growing Through the Erotic Transference a pleasurable and instructive read." 

    Anna Fishzon, PhD, is a licensed psychoanalyst and advanced candidate at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR) in New York. To read this review in full please see the following: Fishzon, A., (2023) Review of Growing through the erotic transference: An analysand’s journey [Review of the book Growing through the erotic transference: An analysand’s journey, by F. H. Moore]. Psychoanalytic Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/pap0000472