Erotic Transference

“Working with Erotic Transference” – with Professor Joy Schaverien on Saturday 11th November 2017

This day is designed for professionals to consider this sensitive clinical topic in an atmosphere of exploration and collaboration. It is suitable for both new counsellors and psychotherapists and experienced therapists alike.

The erotic transference reveals much about the patient’s way of being in the world. It is the centre of the psychoanalytic project in many ways but it is highly sensitive, raising issues of intimacy and love, as well as hate. This may induce shame and confusion in the patient and engage the therapist-as-person, bringing to the fore the fear of acting out. It may challenge the therapist’s sense of personal and professional identity. Therefore confronting the topic in supervision may be vital.

This one-day workshop with Professor Joy Schaverien will include presentations by the speaker based on her extensive writings on erotic transference and desire in the consulting room, and will also include small group work and whole group discussion/Q&A. The workshop will help with reflecting on:

• How to address these sensitive areas within the psychotherapeutic frame
• What do we do if we are attracted to our client?
• How to 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.

The Erotic Transference – Countertransference Perspectives
The morning session will be a presentation, which will address the erotic transference with close attention to clinical material. It will be illustrated with dreams. We will raise questions such as how to recognise the erotic transference when it might be masked by other emotions. There will be time for discussion within the group and it is hoped that participants will bring their own questions and concerns. The focus will be on present day concerns including gender identity and sexual orientation in the consulting room.

Exploration of the Erotic in Supervision
In the afternoon the focus will be on supervision. It may be difficult to discuss the erotic in supervision especially if there is sexual arousal or fear of acting out. We will consider factors that may inhibit full and open disclosure in supervision. In a climate of potential litigation this may present as an ethical dilemma. Thought will be given to the symbolic aspects of the therapeutic relationship and how acting out may be confusing the symbolic with real. It is hoped that participants will bring examples from their own experiences as therapist and as supervisor so that a lively exchange of ideas may take place.

Optional 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


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.


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

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