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The issue of same-gender sexual identity has challenged our understanding of psychological development and psychological intervention throughout the century just past and continues to provoke discussion in the century upon us. Over the past three decades, psychoanalysis advanced toward a contemporary perspective, which holds that the dynamics of sexual orientation must be an important element of the psychoanalytic process, but must be approached without prejudice regarding the outcome of analytic exploration of wish and desire. Taken together, the essays in Rethinking Psychoanalysis and the Homosexualities, a thematic volume of The Annual of Psychoanalysis, provide a developmentally grounded and clinically consequential enlargement of this basic premise. The result is a timely overview of contemporary approaches to the study of sexual orientation within psychoanalysis that highlights issues salient to clinical work with lesbian and gay patients.
The section on "The Meaning of Sexualization in Clinical Psychoanalysis" demonstrates the importance of psychoanalytic study of same-gender desire and sexual orientation for analyst and analysand alike. Philips considers the analyst's own sexual identity as a factor shaping the analysand's experience of sexuality, whereas Shelby, Lynch, Roughton, and Young-Bruehl, from their various perspectives, address the problem of stigma and prejudice as they distort same-gender desire and same-gender sexual identity. Two concluding sections of the book explore the implications of a clinical psychoanalytic perspective for the study of gay and lesbian lives. Timely and essential reading for all mental health professionals, Rethinking Psychoanalysis and the Homosexualities underscores the profound distance traversed by psychoanalysis in arriving at its contemporary understandings of gender, sexual identity, and sexual desire.
Part I: Homosexuality in Time and Place. Nussbaum, Other Times, Other Places: Homosexuality in Ancient Greece. Schafer, On Male Nonnormative Sexuality and Perversion in Psychoanalytic Discourse. Bergmann, The Relevance of History to the Psychoanalytic Controversy over Homosexuality. Person, The Homosexualities. Part II: The Question of Origins. Drescher, Causes and Becauses: On Etiological Theories of Homosexuality. Friedman, Homosexuality. Part III: Changing Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Homosexuality. Roughton, The Two Analyses of a Gay Man: The Interplay of Social Change and Psychoanalytic Understanding. Cohler, Two Analyses, Two Times: Discussion of Ralph Roughton's Chapter. Tolpin, Discussion of Ralph Roughton's Chapter. Part IV: The Meaning of Sexualization in Clinical Psychoanalysis. Phillips, The Overstimulation of Everyday Life: Male Homosexuality, Countertransference, and Psychoanalytic Treatment. Shelby, Sexualization and the Disavowal of Tender Longings. Roughton, Transference Availability: Discussion of R. Dennis Shelby's Clinical Case. Young-Bruehl, Discussion of R. Dennis Shelby's Clinical Case. Lynch, Yearning for Love and Cruising for Sex: Returning to Freud to Understand Some Gay Men. Shelby, About Cruising and Being Cruised. Part V: Female Homosexuality. Martin, Mirror, Mirror: An Enactment that Stalemated a Psychotherapy. Jenkins, Discussion of Karen Martin's Clinical Case. Keefer, Countertransference Dominance: Discussion of Karen Martin's Clinical Case. Martin, Reply to the Discussions. Keefer, Reene, Female Adolescence: Difficult for Heterosexual Girls, Hazardous for Lesbians. Part VI: Psychoanalysis and Homosexuality in Contemporary Society. Galatzer-Levy, Cohler, Making a Gay Identity: Coming Out, Social Context, and Psychodynamics. Grossman, Queering Psychoanalysis.