Erotic Transference

“Perspectives on Erotic Transference in Psychotherapy and Supervision” – with David Morgan, Jackie Gerrard, and Professor Joy Schaverien on Saturday 11th November 2017

Love is arguably the focus of most therapy. As clients, we take our difficulties with intimacy, fear, anxiety, abandonment, bereavement, betrayal, and abuse to therapy, and really we are talking about problems with love. Given the emotionally intimate nature of therapy it is not surprising that love is a feature of therapy. Some would say it is a necessary part of any successful therapy.

As therapists, we know and understand that our care for our patients and clients exists within a defined and boundaried relationship. There are obvious ways that this therapeutic care can become something unhelpful, a distraction from the work of therapy, a betrayal of trust, or even an abuse of power. How do we communicate the delicate balance between offering this most intimate of emotional care-giving, and ensuring the reliability and safety of the therapeutic relationship? And what of the patient or client who mistakes their therapist’s care for something much more?

We are all erotic beings who have sexual fantasies. We cannot deny that erotic feelings arise in both patient and therapist. A survey in 2006 found that 90% of psychotherapists were sexually attracted to a client on at least one occasion, yet we probably spend very little time discussing these ideas in supervision or with our patients!
In this one-day conference our three expert speakers will consider a number of perspectives on working with erotic transference and countertransference, both within our clinical work and within supervision.


David Morgan is a consultant psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, both in the NHS and private practice, and worked for many years as a Consultant Psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic. He is a training/supervising analyst of the BPA, Fellow of the BPAS, and training therapist/supervisor for the BPF and Tavistock Clinic. He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at City University, London and Essex University. David will focus on erotic transference as an exploration of the capacity of the other, the analyst, to tolerate and understand the conflict between seduction and taking care of the patient.


Jackie Gerrard is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist who is a Fellow, Senior Member, Training Therapist and Supervisor of the British Psychotherapy Foundation—an Organisation recently formed from the London Centre for Psychotherapy (where she trained), the Lincoln Centre and the British Association of Psychotherapists. She is the author of The Impossibility of Knowing (Karnac 2011) – a compilation of some of her published papers, including papers on Love, on Hate and on Seduction and Betrayal. Jackie’s presentation will focus on how love, hate and the erotic meet in the consulting room.


Joy SchaverienProfessor Joy Schaverien is a Jungian Psychoanalyst, a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology (London) with a private practice in the East Midlands. She is Visiting Professor at the Northern Programme for Art Psychotherapy (University of Sheffield). She teaches internationally and is a member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology and of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. Her many publications include three books on the 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. Her presentation today will focus on how erotic transference and countertransference can be met and worked with successfully in supervision.


Go to the CURRENT EVENTS page to book your place by clicking here.

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