Erotic Transference and Countertransference in Psychotherapy and Supervision
A one-day workshop with Professor Joy Schaverien
London, 5th May (Friday)
Erotic transference reveals much about the client’s way of being in the world and forms the centre of the psychoanalytic project in many ways; but it is also highly sensitive, raising issues of intimacy, love and hate. These dynamics can induce shame, guilt and confusion in the client and engage the therapist-as-person, bringing to the fore the fear of acting out. This can severely challenge the therapist’s sense of personal and professional identity. Needless to say, confronting erotic transference and countertransference in our therapeutic practices as well as in supervision, is absolutely vital. This workshop is designed for psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors across modalities to consider this sensitive clinical topic in an atmosphere of exploration and collaboration.
The meaning and purpose of erotic transference
In the morning session, we evaluate erotic transference using clinical material illustrated with dreams and pictures. We consider a brief history of erotic transference, comparing and contrasting the ever-changing mores and professional etiquette required from us as professionals. Our focus is clinical and we consider present day concerns including gender identity and sexual orientation in the consulting room.
Exploration of Erotic Countertransference in Supervision
In the afternoon sessions, our focus is on supervisors as well as supervisees. It may be extremely difficult to discuss the erotic in supervision, especially if there is sexual arousal or fear of acting out. We consider factors that may inhibit full and open disclosure in supervision, especially within a climate of potential litigation. We look closely at the symbolic aspects of the therapeutic relationship and how acting out may be confusing the symbolic with the real.
Overall, the workshop helps us comprehend:
- How we can address these sensitive topics within the psychotherapeutic frame
- What do we do if we are attracted to our client?
- How can we talk about love and sexual feelings without being seductive
- Gender and sexual orientation
- The border between the personal and the professional
- The symbolic and the real
- Potential sexual acting out
- Eroticized transference as a form of eroticized hatred
About the Speaker
Professor Joy Schaverien PhD is a Jungian Psychoanalyst, a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology (London) with a private analytic and supervisory practice in the East Midlands. She is Visiting Professor at the Northern Programme for Art Psychotherapy (University of Sheffield). She teaches internationally, is a member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. Her many publications include three books on erotic transference: Desire and the Female Therapist (1995), The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy: Desire Dreams and Individuation (2002) and (edited) Gender, Countertransference and the Erotic Transference (Routledge 2006). Her much acclaimed book on Boarding School Syndrome was published in 2015. Website: www.joyschaverien.com.
10:00AM: Session 1: What is the Erotic Transference? Love, sex and erotic violence
11:30AM: Coffee Break
11:45AM: Session 2: Countertransference and Eros
1:30PM: Lunch Break (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop)
2:15PM: Session 3: Talking about Erotic Transference in Supervision
3:15PM: Coffee Break
3:30PM: Session 4: Supervision workshop continued
3:30PM: Plenary Discussion
Recommended pre-course reading
Schaverien J (2002) The Dying patient in Psychotherapy: Desire, Dreams and Individuation, Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave MacMillan
Schaverien, J. (2006) (editor) Gender countertransference and the Erotic Transference: Perspectives from Psychoanalysis and Analytical Psychology London & New York: Routledge
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