In this richly woven study of preoedipal erotic experience, Harriet Kimble Wrye and Judith Welles focus on patients for whom early mothering did not sustain the flowering and subsequent transformation of early erotic desire. Such patients remain under the sway of a primitive eroticism that is often sadistic and invariably perverse. Successful analytic work requires accepting and containing the patient's primitive erotic needs; reconstructing the mother-infant narratives that sustain these needs; and mobilizing the patient's transformative desire to grow out of maternal eroticism to an adult love of self and others.
Table of Contents
- Words and Stories in Narrative Spaces
- When the Story Doesn't Flow
II. Maternal Erotic Transferences and Countertransference
- The Maternal Erotic Transference
- The Maternal Erotic Countertransference
- The Birth of Desire
III. Perversions: Derangements of Desire
- Perverse Narratives: The Threat of New Narratives of Desire
- A "Horrible Dry Hollow": Lost in Arid Deadspace
IV. Permutations and Transformations Related to Gender
- Erotic Terror in Men: Fear of the Early Maternal Erotic Transference
- Where's Poppa? The Appearance of Paternal Transferences in the Face of Early Maternal Transferences
- Oedipus and the Spruce Goose: A Narration of An Oedipal Transition
"I believe that this work successfully addresses a very important issue in infant development, in psychoanalytic theory, and in clinical practice - the infant's sense of proper entitlement to an appropriate erotic launching of his or her career as a human being - and of its being candidly validated in the trial countersubjective response in that foremost of existential 'rewrites,' psychoanalysis itself."
- James S. Grotstein, M.D., American Journal of Psychotherapy
"With their candid and vividly detailed clinical accounts, Wrye and Welles illustrate how the coauthored story of transference/countertransference permit the rich history of a patient's love narrative to be retrieved and reviewed. The Narration of Desire is an intensely personal, highly instructive study of the erotic roots of conscious awareness."
- Owen Renik, M.D., San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute
“I believe Wrye and Welles have made a major contribution to the field. They establish to an impressively detailed degree the necessity of attending to communications transmitted through bodily feelings and sensations, a topic only now fully coming into its own”
- Ethel Person, M.D., JAPA