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Zuckerberg, J.O. (1995). Eros: Classical and Contemporary Considerations. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 4(4):231-237.

(1995). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 4(4):231-237

Eros: Classical and Contemporary Considerations

Joan Offerman Zuckerberg, Ph.D.

The erotic in clinical treatment, deeply embedded as it is in the transference-countertransference matrix, is delineated and explored in this paper. As we journey through Eros' mythic tradition, to Plato's symposium, and on to Freud's “Observations on Transference Love”, we discover and rediscover Eros' essentially paradoxical essence as both provocateur, dangerous “mischief maker” to cohesive force—a source of universal cohesion. Struggling with Eros' fundamental dialectics, we experience the rich potential of translating its “disruptive” reverberations into relational-dynamics. What has remained in the realm of the dangerous, an enemy to insight, the dread of acting out, is brought to light. We talk in complex ways of the unique impact one human being can have on another. This impact includes the erotic: a world of desire, longing, surrender; the wish for penetration, merger, intimacy; the fear of engulfment and ultimate rejection.

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