Psychotherapy: An Erotic Relationship challenges the traditional belief that transference and countertransference are merely forms of resistance that jeopardize the therapeutic process. David Mann shows how the erotic feelings and fantasies experienced by clients and therapists can be used to bring about a positive transformation.
Combining extensive and lively clinical examples with theoretical insights and new research on infants, David Mann suggests that the development of the erotic derives from interactions between the parent and child and is seldom absent from the therapist-patient relationship. However, while the erotic always contains elements of past relationships, it also expresses hope for a different outcome in the present and future. Individual chapters explore the function of the erotic within the unconscious: erotic pre-Oedipal and Oedipal material; homoeroticism in therapy; sexual intercourse as a metaphor for psychological change; the primal scene in the transference, and the difficulties of working with perversions.
The book is as relevant now as it was when originally published. This Classic Edition contains a new introduction by David Mann, summarizing his current ideas since this book was first published in 1997.
It brings the therapy setting alive, offering clinicians both an accessible and deeper understanding of the interaction between erotic transference and countertransference; it also gives an explicit picture of how these aspects of therapy can be used to enhance the therapeutic process. It remains an essential resource for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and counsellors, their clients and anybody with an interest in Eros, desire, or mental health issues.