This important book examines the ways in which same sex desire, or "homosexuality" has been theorised by psychoanalysis during its history to date and the impact of that on clinical practice.
The authors explore a brief history of the developing social attitudes which influenced the evolution of psychoanalysis, from Freud’s radical questioning of psychosexuality, to the later developments that assumed a moral high ground for heteronormativity and led to the diagnosis of other forms of sexual expression as perversions requiring treatment. The book elucidates contemporary developments in psychoanalytic thinking about sexuality from a post-heteronormative standpoint, including an examination of how heteronormative bias has relegated lived sexual experience to the sidelines. The book challenges this bias and introduces new ways of using psychoanalytic ideas as well as illustrating their relevance to clinical practice. Drawing on vignettes, the authors describe current challenges that clinicians face and discuss the dilemmas that these challenges present, both for qualified clinicians as well as those in training.
By approaching "homosexuality" from a contemporary post-heteronormative position, the authors advocate a more flexible encounter in the consulting room in a way that can illuminate an understanding of all sexualities, including heterosexuality.
'If I were asked to recommend a text for an introductory course on human sexuality, Psychoanalysis and Homosexuality: A Contemporary Introduction would make the short list. In addition to learning about psychoanalysis’ sadly troubled history in this area, analytic candidates, graduate students and undergraduates will gain much from the authors’ contemporary theoretical and clinical insights about working with gay patients.'
Jack Drescher, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst, William Alanson White Institute; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University
'This inspiring book challenges the discipline of psychoanalysis to reflect on the heteronormative tendencies it has sometimes displayed whilst also affirming the potential value of psychoanalytic perspectives on desire and identity in addressing homophobia. Not always a comfortable read, but an essential and ultimately a hopeful one.'
Elizabeth Allison, DPhil, Director, UCL Psychoanalysis Unit