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Burch, B. (1996). Between Women: The Mother–Daughter Romance and Homoerotic Transference in Psychotherapy. Psychoanal. Psychol., 13(4):475-494.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 13(4):475-494

Between Women: The Mother–Daughter Romance and Homoerotic Transference in Psychotherapy

Beverly Burch, Ph.D.

Psychoanalytic theory and clinical reports have not adequately addressed homoerotic transference for women in treatment. This article considers some reasons for this neglect and posits the significance of homoerotic experience in early female development and in clinical treatment. Romantic and erotic elements in the early mother–daughter relationship profoundly influence gender and sexual development. Two cases are presented, one detailing treatment with a lesbian patient and one detailing treatment with a heterosexual patient. Feminist perspectives and some recent psychoanalytic work are used to critique and revise aspects of traditional views on female development.

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