'Leopards in the temple: disorders of desire'

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This paper presents a case study in an attempt to explore the view thatsexual knowledge and erotic desire are both traumatic and yet essential to development and growth. In the good-enough maturational processes, the mother’s recognition andcelebration of her infant’s early manifestations of sexuality allows her infant to enjoy and accept his developing eroticism. Freud’s concept of Nachtraglichkeit describes how these early, mutually satisfying erotic experiences are later revised and thought about in the light of biological and sexual maturity. Drawing on Bollas’s contemporary views of hysteria, highlighting the significance of maternal ambivalence towards the infant’s physical self in later sexual development, brief psychodynamic work with a client experiencing hypoactive desire disorder is presented. The client’s difficulties in integrating a perceived traumatic aspect of the self are discussed with particular reference to transference and countertransference phenomena. The psychological function and transformational potential of erotic desire are then briefly considered.

© 2003, Taylor & Francis. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Psychodynamic Practice, uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-23
JournalPsychodynamic Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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