Psychotherapy: An Erotic Relationship challenges the traditional belief that transference and countertransference are merely forms of resistance which jeopardize the therapeutic process. David Mann shows how the erotic feelings and fantasies experienced by clients and therapists can be used to bring about a positive transformation.
Combining extensive clinical material with theoretical insights and new research on infants, the author traces erotic development back to the parent-child relationship, drawing parallels between this relationship and the therapist/client dyad. Individual chapters explore the function of the erotic within the unconscious, pre-Oedipal and Oedipal material, homoeroticism in therapy, sexual intercourse as a metaphor for psychological change, the primal scene and the difficulties of working with perversions.
'This book breathes fresh air into a delicate and problematic part of therapy: the therapist's own sexual feelings and meanings…It is a must for sex therapists.' - Sexual and Marital Therapy
'Immensely readable. There is no shortage of clear clinical examples to illustrate what he is saying, and his openness about his own countertransference is refreshing and enabling. He has encouraged me to think anew about my own work.' - Reflections
Introduction. 1. The Erotic Transference 2. Of Cupid's Blindfold and Arrows: Erotic Transference, Real or Inauthentic? 3. The Psychotherapist's Erotic Subjectivity 4. Varieties of Erotic Countertransference 5. The Homoerotic Transference and Countertransference Matrix 6. Transference as Symbolic Sexual Intercourse 7. Transference as Symbolic Primal Scene 8. Transference Perversions 9. The Temptation of Transgression Notes References.