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Elise, D. (2002). Blocked Creativity and Inhibited Erotic Transference. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 3(2):161-195.

(2002). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 3(2):161-195

Blocked Creativity and Inhibited Erotic Transference

Dianne Elise, Ph.D.

In this paper, I pursue the relationship between erotic transference and creativity. Erotic transference is not solely a resistance to treatment; treatment can involve a resistance to erotic transference, the dynamics of which can have parallels in the inhibition of creativity. Although it is certainly true that erotic transferences may be defensive against other layers of material, there has been a virtual neglect of the deleterious impact of resistance to erotic desire and romantic love for the analyst. The feeling seems to be that erotic transference is a problem to be analyzed when it exists

in overt form. The absence of erotic transference in many treatments is often taken for granted, not thought of as constituting a problem or as indicating anything in particular about the patient's psyche that might benefit from analysis. As clinicians, we favor creative expression and promote the psychoanalytic process as facilitating this potential, but we are often ambivalent about a similar approach to erotic transference. A clinical example illustrates the connection that I have in mind between erotic transference and creativity. I have chosen a same-sex case in which the transference was homoerotic, but the larger point I am making has general application to any of the gendered treatment dyads. After focusing on the dynamics of the case, I discuss more generally certain shared features of erotic transference and creativity, as well as inhibitions on the part of clinicians.

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