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Siassi, S. (2000). Male Patient/Female Analyst: Elucidation of a Controversy. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 9(1):93-112.

(2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9(1):93-112

Clinical Paper

Male Patient/Female Analyst: Elucidation of a Controversy

Dr. Shahrzad Siassi, Ph.D.

Transference manifestations in the female analyst/male patient dyad have received much attention over the last twenty years. Female analysts in particular have focused upon the ways in which their femaleness might create obstacles to the patient's developing sustained paternal and erotic transferences. Some of these analysts (Karme, 1979; Lester, 1985) hold that the actual gender of the analyst in this dyad overshadows its symbolic meaning in the patient's fantasy. Others question the occurrence and timing of paternal and erotic transferences in such dyads (Kulish, 1984; Goldberger and Evans, 1985). A controversy has thus developed. The rapid increase in the number of women practicing analysis has given the matter an added significance.


Acknowledgments: I am grateful to Harry Brickman, M.D., Helene Desmond, Ph.D., Ray Friedman, M.D., Laila Karme, M.D., Howard Levine, M.D., Larry Pomer, M.D., and Kato Van Lewen, M.D., for their helpful comments and encouragement during the writing of this paper. I am especially indebted to Marvin Osman, M.D., for his careful readings and generous editings of several drafts of this paper.

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