Sexuality and Gender Now uses a psychoanalytic approach to arrive at a more informed view of the experience and relationships of those whose sexuality and gender may not align with the heterosexual "norm". This book confronts the heteronormative bias dominant in psychoanalysis, using a combination of theoretical and clinical material, offering an important training tool as well as being relevant for practicing clinicians.
The contributors address the shift clinicians must make not only to support their patients in a more informed and non-prejudicial way, but also to recognise their own need for support in developing their clinical thinking. They challenge assumptions, deconstruct theoretical ideas, extend psychoanalytic concepts, and, importantly, show how clinicians can attend to their pre-conscious assumptions. They also explore the issue of erotic transference and countertransference, which, if unaddressed, can limit the possibilities for supporting patients more fully to explore their sexuality and gender. Theories of psychosexuality have tended to become split off from the main field of psychoanalytic thought and practice or read from an assumed moral high ground of heteronormativity. The book specifically addresses this bias and introduces new ways of using psychoanalytic ideas. The contributors advocate a wider and more flexible attitude to sexuality in general, which can illuminate an understanding of all sexualities, including heterosexuality.
Sexuality and Gender Now will be essential reading for professionals and students of psychoanalysis who want to broaden their understanding of sexuality and gender in their clinical practice beyond heteronormative assumptions.
‘This rich collection will be widely welcomed as a much-needed advance in opening up and developing mainstream psychoanalytic thinking about gender, sex and sexuality, after the British Psychoanalytic Council’s ‘moving on’ statement of 2011. The critical deconstruction of heteronormativity is achieved without discarding all that is essential and valuable about psychoanalytic theorising and method. The commitment to a more open-minded and self- reflective approach shines through the diverse and highly nuanced clinical accounts. This book will be an essential part of psychoanalytic education and invaluable to the many clinicians who want to think differently about their practice.’-Joanna Ryan, Ph.D., Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis; co-author (with Noreen O’Connor) of Wild Desires and Mistaken Identities: Lesbianism and Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2003)
‘The fields of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, like societies at large around the world, recognise that it is difficult to integrate rapidly developing ideas of identity, especially gender identities and sexualities, without falling back on normative models. This challenge is daunting, and has been side-stepped for too long. It has the potential to be genuinely creative for our field and for those we try to help. The editors of this book are both experienced therapists with the essential qualities of lively engagement, compassion and wisdom, together with the openness to bring together a diverse set of contributors. They include a long contribution from a brave patient, who brings alive for us the experience of recognizing and crystallizing a transgender identity. The wide range of perspectives will give all readers further understanding, and – as with all good books – still more to understand.’-Professor Mary Target (now Hepworth), Psychoanalysis Unit, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London; Fellow, British Psychoanalytical Society
‘In this innovative book, Hertzmann and Newbigin bring together a diverse group of authors who show us how far we have come and how much more we have yet to do in the reappraisal of psychoanalytic theories of gender and sexuality. They address theoretical and clinical issues of desire and gender in the consulting room, in the children’s clinic, in supervision, and in the emotional life of clinicians as well as patients, helping us to recognize complexities of desire and gender previously obscured. Most usefully, the authors do not simply provide new rules and categories to render gender and sexuality coherent, or to regulate or liberate desires and identities. Instead, they point the way for clinicians and patients to explore the complexities of conscious and unconscious meaning in personal experiences of gender and sexuality. Readers will expand their vocabularies and find helpful suggestions for working with patients whose subjectivities may at first feel unfamiliar. For example, cis therapists new to working with trans patients will find help in getting oriented. They will also be helped to challenge their own limitations of theoretical understanding and categorization, to expand and deepen their range of meaning-making, and to appreciate the advantages of uncertainty —for the benefit of clinical explorations with their own patients.’-Paul E. Lynch, M.D., Psychoanalyst, Boston, MA , USA; Faculty, Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, and China America Psychoanalytic Alliance; Co-Editor, with Alessandra Lemma of Sexualities: Contemporary Psychoanalytic Perspectives (Routledge, 2015)