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Fuerstein, L.A. (1992). The Male Patient's Erotic Transference: Female Countertransference Issues. Psychoanal. Rev., 79(1):55-71.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Review, 79(1):55-71

The Male Patient's Erotic Transference: Female Countertransference Issues

Laura Arens Fuerstein, M.S.W.

In the recent analytic literature there has been an increased focus on female psychology that seems both to influence and reflect the concurrent heightened cultural interest in women. A natural offshoot of this development is a greater emphasis on the female analyst and on the particular manifestations in treatment of the female analyst's coping with the male patient's erotic transference to her. Furthermore, it should be noted that it is only in very recent times that the subject of the female analyst's coping with the male patient's erotic transference has been addressed. Throughout the history of psychoanalysis there has been a paucity of material dealing with this topic. This deficiency differs markedly with the amount of discussion applied to the opposite cross-sex dyad, namely that of the male analyst and the female patient with an erotic transference to him (Gornick, 1986). This point will be considered further below.

Several transference issues have recently been brought into bold relief. Lester (1985) writes that in her experience, for the most part, there have not been full-blown erotic oedipal transferences manifested by her male patients. She hypothesizes that the male patient's grappling with the fear of the phallic mother in the early stages of the analysis will overshadow erotic genital impulses toward the oedipal mother. Goldberger and Evans (1985) state that a full range of erotic transference phenomena in this cross-gender dyad is evident. However, they relate that it often manifests itself after the working-through of defenses against aggression and the feared loss of male-ness which accompanies the male patient's identification with his female analyst.

Recent papers illuminate the role played by the countertransference.

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