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Wrye, H.K. (1999). Embranglements on the Maternal Erotic Playground: “They Aftly Gang Awry”. Gender and Psychoanalysis, 4(1):7-21.

(1999). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 4(1):7-21

Embranglements on the Maternal Erotic Playground: “They Aftly Gang Awry” Related Papers

Harriet Kimble Wrye, Ph.D.

Erotic embranglements can lead to enactments that too often result in impasse and treatment derailments. This paper briefly reviews the author's work within the arena of early maternal erotic transference and countertransference, conceptualizing it as a boundaried “maternal erotic playground” that must be made and kept safe for the emergence and exploration of early preverbal longings and fears of the early mother's voluptuous and essential body. Wrye posits that fostering and analyzing this phenomena is a crucial aspect of a complete analysis and facilitates the full flowering of adult oedipal sexuality. The author illustrates the difficulty of this endeavor even with an experienced analyst, offering clinical cases where maternal erotic transferences went “awry.” In two treatments with male patients, the patient's demands were so insistent and concrete that they destabilized the analyst and made her efforts to analyze unsuccessful. Wrye reflects on avoiding the pitfalls of erotic embranglements.

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