Lesbians and Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in Theory and Practice

Overview

Psychoanalytic theories of lesbian development epitomize the difficulty in liberating psychoanalysis from the past. Psychoanalytic theory has traditionally adopted a clear position that a lesbian orientation represented some form of psychological abnormality. Thankfully — but only very recently — some influential feminist leaders have begun to rethink issues of gender and sexual orientation, removing heterosexuality from its privileged position as normal.

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Overview

Psychoanalytic theories of lesbian development epitomize the difficulty in liberating psychoanalysis from the past. Psychoanalytic theory has traditionally adopted a clear position that a lesbian orientation represented some form of psychological abnormality. Thankfully — but only very recently — some influential feminist leaders have begun to rethink issues of gender and sexual orientation, removing heterosexuality from its privileged position as normal.

In Lesbians and Psychoanalysis, Judith M. Glassgold and Suzanne Iasenza bring together twenty-six of these pioneers in the field of lesbian psychoanalytic theory. Through insightful chapters based on years of clinical experience, each author helps to redefine psychoanalytic theory by reinventing its foundations from an affirmative perspective so that it better represents all peoples.

Lesbians and Psychoanalysis addresses several topics of emerging concern including multicultural diversity, self-disclosure, homophobia, transference/countertransference issues, bisexuality, and the changing nature of lesbian sexuality. In addition, the authors examine the influence of stigma on human development. In three sections — Past, Present, and Future — the authors in turn critique past theory, discuss current issues in therapy, and describe new directions in theory and practice. This is a book that is sure to appeal not only to members of the psychoanalytic community but also to all those who are interested in gay and lesbian studies, feminism, and psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Doris Brothers, Ph.D. co-founder of The Training and Research Institute for Self Psychology and author of Falling Backwards: An Exploration of Trust and Self-Experience I could almost hear the creaking and groaning of tired, rigid, outdated psychoanalytic concepts as I read chapter after sparkling chapter of this remarkable collection. Representing a wide variety of theoretical perspectives, the outstanding authors, many writing with touching openness about themselves and their work, address far more than psychoanalytic approaches to lesbian experience. They compel the reader to reconsider assumptions about such fundamental matters as the nature of gender and sexuality, the therapeutic relationship, and the concept of psychopathology.

Suzanne Slater Author of The Lesbian Family Life Cycle Following their compelling indictment of psychoanalytic theory's homophobic perspective on lesbianism, these authors offer us knowledgeable and rich alternative visions. In the process, they radically shift the frame through which we can understand lesbian experience and chart present and future directions for further inquiry. With these intelligent, brave, and forward-thinking theorists speaking out, the future of lesbian psychology is in good hands, indeed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743213127
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 10/6/2000
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
About the Contributors
Introduction
1 A Critical Examination of the Notion of Pathology in Psychoanalysis 3
2 Out of the Closet and on to the Couch: A Psychoanalytic Exploration of Lesbian Development 19
3 "Having It Both Ways": Rethinking Female Sexuality 39
4 How to Have Your Phallus and Be It Too: Reflections of a Lesbian Therapist from Jill Johnston to Judith Butler 63
5 Queer Reflections: Mirroring and the Lesbian Experience of Self 93
6 The False Self, Shame, and the Challenge of Self-Cohesion 107
7 Rekindling the Flame: A Therapeutic Approach to Strengthening Lesbian Relationships 125
8 Addressing Racism, Sexism, and Heterosexism in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 145
9 Revisiting the Question of Self-Disclosure: The Lesbian Therapist's Dilemma 161
10 Homophobia in the Supervisory Relationship: An Invisible Intruder 173
11 Toward Visibility: Evicting the Intruder (A Commentary on Russell and Greenhouse) 191
12 Psychoanalysis with Lesbians: Self-Reflection and Agency 203
13 Coming out of the Frame: Lesbian Feminism and Psychoanalytic Theory 229
14 An Archetypal View of Lesbian Identity 265
15 Gender Identities, Lesbianism, and Potential Space 287
16 Making Gender: New Interpretations/New Narratives 309
17 The Lesbian Patient: Narratives of Subjectivity, Gender, and Sexual Identity 327
18 Platonic Pleasures and Dangerous Desires: Psychoanalytic Theory, Sex Research, and Lesbian Sexuality 345
Index 375
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