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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Ackerman, A. (2019). First Encounters with Erotic Desire in Treatment. Psychoanal. Perspect., 16(1):9-18.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 16(1):9-18

First Encounters with Erotic Desire in Treatment

Annee Ackerman, Ph.D.

The realities of love and desire in treatment relationships are seldom addressed in graduate training. Although we operate in an increasingly relationship-focused framework, there remains a code of silence around what is, on one hand, the most terrifying aspect but also the very core of the work we do: the depth of our feeling for our patients. This reality may be all the more salient for trainees and early career psychologists, when the relationships we form with patients are likely to have the most profound impact on us. The following paper explores this dilemma in the context of a graduate student’s first encounter with erotic desire in a treatment relationship. The author reflects on the coevolution of her emerging clinical identity in relation to the case material across different supervisory contexts. Through this exploration, the paper highlights the stagnation and foreclosure that can occur when trainees’ erotic selves are ignored or avoided—whether by an individual supervisor or institution as a whole—as well as the potential benefits to developing clinicians, in terms of competence, authenticity, and camaraderie, that can result from confronting difficult issues collaboratively as part of the training process.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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