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Gould, E. Rosenberger, J. (1994). Epilogue. Psychoanal. Inq., 14(4):636-639.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 14(4):636-639

Epilogue

Edith Gould, M.S. and Judith Rosenberger, Ph.D.

In drawing up our concluding comments on these rich and varied papers, we noted that contemporary perspectives share a revisionist position, asserting the value of the erotic transference as an important component of analysis. The uniformity ends there: each of the authors defines the contribution of the erotic transference in quite a different way. Some writers have shaken the role of eros loose from its classical instinctual moorings. We now find eros being towed along behind many different craft bound for many different destinations. The primary agreement among the authors is that the erotic transference represents a potentially mutative force in analysis. This is a significant departure from the way erotic transference was viewed in much of the traditional literature. Hill's historical review alerts analysts to the traditional theoretical biases against erotic transferences. Additionally, implicit concerns about countertransference problems may have led both clinicians and theorists to avoid the analysis of erotic material. The emphasis has shifted now from the erotic transference as a potentially disruptive intrusion into the central analytic work, to erotic transference as a crystallization of important aspects of the curative analytic process.

The emergence of the erotic transference is depicted variously as serving defensive and self-restorative functions. The authors cite instances of erotic transference as self-vitalization, as coming into relatedness, as rescue from self-dissolution, as restoration of the equilibrium of a threatened self, as transcendence from terrifying states of abandonment and aloneness, and as the shoring up of gender representations. Notably absent in these papers is the conceptualization of erotic transference as a contraindication for analyzability.

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