Social Aspects Of Sexual Boundary Trouble In Psychoanalysis
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Inspired by the clinical and ethical contributions of Muriel Dimen, Social Aspects of Sexual Boundary Trouble goes beyond the established consensus that sexual boundary violations (SBV) constitute a serious breach of professional ethics, in order to explore the cultural and historical implications of their chronic persistence.
In Rotten Apples and Ambivalence, her last major publication, Dimen (2016) maintained that “the phenomenon of sexual transgression between analyst and patient . . . is insufficiently addressed so long as it is only deemed psychological.” In responding to and developing Dimen’s argument, the distinguished contributors to this volume bring the discussion of SBV to a new level of ethical rigor and depth, challenging the psychoanalytic profession to go beyond its codified complacency. This collection shatters normative professional guidelines by focusing on the complicity and hypocrisy of professional groups, while at the same time raising the taboo subject of the ordinary practicing clinician’s unconscious professional ambivalence and potentially “rogue” sexual subjectivity.
Social Aspects of Sexual Boundary Trouble uncovers the roots of SBV in the institutional origins and history of psychoanalysis as a profession. Exploring Dimen’s concept of the psychoanalytic “primal crime,” which is in some ways constitutive of the profession, and the inherently unstable nature of interpersonal and professional “boundaries,” Social Aspects of Sexual Boundary Trouble breaks new ground in the continuing struggle of psychoanalysis to reconcile itself with its liminal social status and its origins as a subversive, morally ambiguous practice.
It will be highly relevant to specialists in psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, critical theory, feminist studies and social thought.