The Desire and Passion for a Child : Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Reproductive Techniques book cover
1st Edition

The Desire and Passion for a Child
Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Reproductive Techniques

  • Available for pre-order on May 15, 2023. Item will ship after June 5, 2023
ISBN 9781032270357
June 5, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

In this book, Patricia Alkolombre explores the desire to have a child from a contemporary psychoanalytic perspective, and covers the questions raised in the face of new resources offered by reproductive medicine.

This volume reviews traditional psychoanalytic conceptualisations from the perspective of gender theories and analyses theoretical hegemonies related to the desire and passion to have a child. Alkolombre discusses how the ‘passion to have a child’ is a key aspect of motherhood, characterised by emotional intensity, persistence and self-sacrificial aspects. The book is divided into two sections: Part One deals with the desire and passion to have a child, while Part Two focuses on the impact of reproductive techniques, as well as the ever-changing role of parenthood in the modern day. Throughout these fascinating chapters, clinical vignettes of both individual and couple analyses span topics such as mourning, the use of reproductive technology, the anonymity of gamete donors, enigmatic infertility, surrogacy and abortion from an interdisciplinary perspective. The historical and cultural contexts of infertility are reviewed from a psychoanalytic angle, with the view of transcending the former androcentric perspective that has deeply influenced the maternal ideal and expectations of men. Alkolombre also proposes a new analysis of the Oedipus myth.

This book is vital reading for psychoanalysts, mental health professionals, teachers and students interested in contemporary parenting, motherhood and infertility, as well as the theoretical analysis on the desire for a child.


Table of Contents

Introduction  Part I: About the Desire and the Passion for a Child  1. Revisiting Desire for a Child  2. When Desire for a Child becomes Passion for a Child  Part II: Techniques in the Light of Psychoanalysis  3. Into Psychoanalytic Clinical Work  4. Psychoanalysis and Reproductive Techniques  Part III: Historical (In) Fertility  5. First Conceptions  6. Fertility Myths and Rituals

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Patricia Alkolombre, Ph.D., is Overall Chair of the IPA Committee on Woman and Psychoanalysis. She is Training and Supervising Analyst of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association APA, a Postgraduate Professor at the APA-UBA Master's Degree and at other institutions in Argentina and abroad. She has written on infertility, the female body, femininity, masculinity, parenthood, psychoanalysis, and gender. She is a co-author of Changing Sexualities and Parental Function in the Twenty First Century (Karnac, 2017) and Psychoanalytic Explorations of What Women Want Today: Femininity, Desire, and Agency (Routledge, 2022).


'In The Desire and The Passion for a Child, Patricia Alkolombre offers a deep dive into the implications of emerging reproductive technology for our understanding of a potential parent’s relationship to sexuality, the procreative body, and a child’s origin story. She portrays the necessity of mourning female and male infertility, a lost pregnancy, and altered experiences of self and intimate other. This is an important book for the psychoanalytic clinician who enters the contemporary biopsychosocial terrain where desire turns to passion. While new technology supports new family constellations, it also risks the creation of a child at any cost.'

Harriet Wolfe, M.D., President, International Psychoanalytical Association

'In this excellent book, Patricia Alkolombre offers us a contemporary psychoanalytic approach to current parenting. Clinical, theoretical, and ethical problems of assisted fertilization circulate throughout the text also grasping on the meanings of sterility in women and men. Key issues such as mourning, abortion, bodies, donation of gametes and surrogate maternity are focused framed in a biotechnological offer in vertiginous development. In this complex journey the author differentiates the desire for a child from the passion for a child, the latter as a search for narcissistic gratification that leads some women to resort without limit to assisted fertilization. This volume will enrich readers, whether psychoanalysts or not, interested in this crucial topic.'

Leticia Glocer Fiorini M.D., Chair of Sexual and Gender Diversity Studies Committee, International Psychoanalytic Association IPA