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Olsson, E. (2008). Primal seduction in the psychoanalytic relation. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 31(1):21-28.

(2008). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 31(1):21-28

Primal seduction in the psychoanalytic relation

Enar Olsson, MSC

The analytic setting as well as the analyst's initial communications unavoidably exert influence that may be perceived by the patient as a sexually tinged intrusion, which evokes questions about what the analyst wants. Together with the asymmetry of the analytic relationship, these phenomena uncannily bring to life a repressed relationship between infant and adult in which analogous stimuli constitute enigmas for the child. The theoretical understanding of Jean Laplanche of such enigmatic transference in terms of “primal seduction” is reviewed and clinical material is provided to illustrate Laplanche's ideas. The discussion addresses “recentralized” and “decentralized” aspects of sexuality. Primal seduction is discussed as including not only intrusion, but also qualities of stimulation and trust.

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