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Wayne, D.J. (1998). Discussion of Samuel Gerson's “A Shared Body of Language” (Vol. 1, no. 3): “A Shared Body of Language” to “A Language of the Shared Body”. Gender and Psychoanalysis, 3(1):103-116.

(1998). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 3(1):103-116

Discussion of Samuel Gerson's “A Shared Body of Language” (Vol. 1, no. 3): “A Shared Body of Language” to “A Language of the Shared Body” Related Papers

David J. Wayne, Ph.D.

In his paper, “A Shared Body of Language,” Samuel Gerson's vignettes illuminate the difficulties that arise within the patient and analyst, as well as between them, when they encounter desire, bodies, gender, and sexualities. I take issue with Gerson orientation to this domain, revisiting his first vignette from the perspective of the male analyst's identifications viewed through the lens of the maternal erotic transference-countertransference paradigm (Wrye and Welles, 1989; Welles and Wrye, 1991). This paradigm is relevant for the patient whose body and sexuality is lifeless or perverse as a result of significant failures in early maternal resonance.

I propose that when the patient is looking for maternal attunement to his or her earliest longings and fears, the male analystapos;s paternal and mother–infant identifications contain resources as well as impediments that enhance or limit the work. When the male analyst locates first his own paternal identifications that could support the work of the earliest transferences, he may encounter envy of women's reproductive function, accompanied by feelings of inferiority, along with paternal jealousy toward the mother–infant dyad. More importantly, as the male analyst attempts to embrace his maternal identifications in relation to his patient's earliest erotic overtures, he must address the ensuing threats to his core sense of masculinity. As we shall see

through the revisiting of Gerson's clinical illustrations, the task facing the male analyst is to differentiate between the sexual and the erotic, the oedipal and the preverbal, and the effective use of his paternal and mother–infant identifications.

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