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Mann, D. (1994). The Psychotherapist's Erotic Subjectivity. Brit. J. Psychother., 10(3):344-354.

(1994). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 10(3):344-354

The Psychotherapist's Erotic Subjectivity

David Mann

The therapist's erotic desires towards the client is a much tabooed and little discussed subject within psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. It is suggested that this topic needs to be opened up for scientific exploration and discussion. This paper is an investigation into the nature of the therapist's erotic subjectivity. A review of the literature suggests how difficult it is for many analysts to deal with their erotic desires towards the client completely successfully. Some clinical examples are given to illustrate how the therapist's erotic desires may make a positive contribution to the analysis. It is suggested that erotic desires are inevitable and are part of a healthy Oedipal development. The child needs to internalise and identify with the opposite sex parent's ability to contain incestuous longings. Like the parent, the therapist can expect to have sexual feelings for his or her clients. It is further suggested that objective erotic desires can be as useful as any other feeling the therapist might experience so long as they are analysed and understood in the client's interest.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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