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Samuels, A. (1996). From Sexual Misconduct to Social Justice. Psychoanal. Dial., 6(3):295-321.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 6(3):295-321

From Sexual Misconduct to Social Justice

Andrew Samuels, D.H.L.

Sexual misconduct by analysts and psychotherapists is a topic that causes great public concern. The profession should certainly respond to this concern. But the problem of sexual misconduct also provides a stimulus to new theorizing leading to an engagement with issues of social justice. I argue that there are three contentious issues: First, I criticize the growing practice of “safe” analysis, seen as a misplaced response to the problem of sexual misconduct. Second, I urge a fresh look at the theme of incestuous sexual fantasy in family process. This would provide a broader theoretical base for the exploration of sexual desire in analysis. Third, I seek to retheorize the father in general and paternal sexuality in particular. New thinking about paternal erotics turns out to have many sociopolitical implications.

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