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Jones-Quinn, M. (2001). Erotic Transference and Countertransference: Clinical Practice in Psychotherapy: David Mann, London: Routledge, 1999, 175 pp., $85.00.. Psychoanal. Psychol., 18(4):774-779.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 18(4):774-779

Erotic Transference and Countertransference: Clinical Practice in Psychotherapy: David Mann, London: Routledge, 1999, 175 pp., $85.00.

Review by:
Molly Jones-Quinn, Ph.D.

The contributors to this volume of 10 essays on the erotic elements range in their concept of “erotic” from passionate genital longings to a mutually bestowed gift of tenderness. Editor David Mann acknowledges that the collection is not exhaustive, but is broadly illustrative of the fact that diverse schools of contemporary psychoanalytic theory—drive, object relations, self, Kleinian, Jungian, and Lacanian theoretical perspectives— converge on some widely agreed on points relating to erotic phenomena. All the authors agree that evoking the incestuous erotic underpinnings of the transference-countertransference closeness is essential to promoting deep psychological growth, clearly distinguishing this healthy capacity for closeness, love, and sexual desire from perverse and psychotic eroticized manifestations.

These 10 essays, all intellectually stimulating and emotionally inspiring, collectively represent the notion that love is the sine qua non of a successful psychoanalysis. There are complex variations of meaning in the term “love,” whether it is a generic commitment on the part of one who chooses to be an analyst and an inevitable response from a “good” patient or the result of an evolving relationship based on mutual respect and a “good-enough fit.” The manifestations of love are explored as related to mythological and classical concepts, its boundaries and fluctuations presumed, but not tied to an exploration of an unfolding therapeutic process (Novick and Novick, 2000).

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