Much has been written about the impact of gender and sexual orientation on the intersubjective field. Yet remarkably little has been written about the unique dilemmas faced by gay clinicians who treat patients of different genders and sexual orientations. Given the particularities of growing up gay in our culture, issues of secrecy, shame, alienation, difference, and internalized homophobia necessarily enter into any gay therapist's developmental history. These factors have a shaping impact on the gay analyst's sensibility, on the way he learns to listen to his patients.
In Notes from the Margins, Eric Sherman courageously reveals a wide range of subjective reactions to eight different patients. In detailed clinical vignettes that highlight his thoughts, feelings, personal history, and countertransference struggles, he conveys the experiential immediacy of working as an analyst-and, more specifically, as a gay analyst. Although Sherman is not the first author to write thoughtfully about working in the countertransference, he is among the very few to portray analytic work, particularly in the working through of enactments, as an often untidy affair, marked not only by success but also by the blind spots and insecurities that contribute to failure. Notes from the Margins is not only an illuminating overview of the special challenges faced by gay and lesbian analysts, but a window to grasping the messy realities intrinsic to the psychotherapeutic process.
Table of Contents
2. The Analyst's Subjectivity
3. Big Boys Don't Cry
4. Adventures in Suburbia: The Analyst, the Patient, and the Package in the Waiting Room
5. Erotic Countertransference with Heterosexual Patients
6. And Baby Makes Three: Living a Fantasy with a Heterosexual Mother
7. The Analyst Falls Asleep: Longing, Resistance, and the Dread of Desire in a Gay Analytic Dyad
8. Homoerotic Countertransference: The Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name
9. When Push Comes to Shove: Domination, Submission, and the Hand-Tied Analyst
10. The Gay Analyst: Different Populations, Unique Dilemmas
"Sherman is a sensitive clinician, courageous in his own experience of the therapeutic relationship. His clear-eyed honesty and gifted narrative style take you into the office with him and his patients; there he shares his own feelings in the delicate and profound human contact that is the therapeutic encounter. Notes from the Margins is a gem, compact enough to be on my short list of books to recommend to students as well as to seasoned colleagues."
- Ralph Roughton, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Emory University