Sexual Orientation and Psychoanalysis: Sexual Science and Clinical Practice

Sexual Orientation and Psychoanalysis: Sexual Science and Clinical Practice

Sexual Orientation and Psychoanalysis: Sexual Science and Clinical Practice

Sexual Orientation and Psychoanalysis: Sexual Science and Clinical Practice

Synopsis

This book bridges psychoanalytic thought and sexual science. It brings sexuality back to the center of psychoanalysis and shows how important it is for students of human sexuality to understand motives that are often irrational and unconscious. The authors present a new perspective about male and female development, emphasizing the ways in which sexual orientation and homophobia appear early in life. The clinical section of the book focuses on the psychodynamics and treatment of homophobia and internalized homophobia.

Excerpt

This book, written for psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapists, is divided into two parts, scientific/theoretical and clinical. The sections may be read independently or in reverse order. Clinicians working with gay patients who wish to focus on the treatment of internalized homophobia, for example, may wish to get directly to the clinical part of the book and return to the more scientific/theoretical section at leisure. The authors are psychiatrist-psychoanalysts, graduates of the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies of Columbia University, and engaged in the practice of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy in New York City.

Many traditionally trained psychodynamically oriented clinicians have remained wedded to concepts we now know require revision in light of a knowledge explosion in extra-analytic fields. Our goal in writing the first part of this book was to build bridges between psychoanalysis and these other disciplines. We could not be all inclusive and while respecting the importance of anthropological and sociological research, we focused on other areas. We attempted to integrate selected aspects of extrapsychoanalytic research in genetics and psychoendocrinology, psychological development, and sexology with psychoanalytic theory. Consideration of research from these disciplines, in addition to psychoanalytic observations, results in rich, complex, and empirically supported paradigms of female and male development.

Although Freud's insights about sexual functioning were at the center of psychoanalysis at its inception, the field seems to have moved further and further away from discussion of human sexuality. Much of our emphasis in the first part of this volume is on distinguishing Freud's observations and . . .

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