Types of sexual transference and countertransference in psychotherapeutic work with children and adolescents

Alvarez, Anne (2010) Types of sexual transference and countertransference in psychotherapeutic work with children and adolescents. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 36 (3). pp. 211-224. ISSN 0075-417X

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The question of normal sexuality begins to arise in the treatment of severely sexually abused or sexually offending patients. The author suggests that it is an interesting and delicate moment during the process of recovery when less perverse, more normal sexuality appears mixed with, or even disguised by, the more habitual perverse fantasies. Writers in the adult field have drawn distinctions between perverse, eroticized and normal erotic transferences, and between Oedipal and post-Oedipal sexuality. Some have also distinguished between countertransferences in the analyst of an erotised versus a normal erotic nature. The paper discusses whether these distinctions could have any relevance for child patients. Freud and Klein have taught us much about the child's sexuality in relation to his interest in and attraction to his parents as sexual beings. But can we also detect some origins in earlier experiences in infancy of the child's later capacity to feel himself a sexual being capable of being wanted by an other? How might such a feeling of sexual self-worth differ from narcissism and from sexualised exhibitionism? The paper asks how therapists might deal with such problems and such possibly healthy developments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Disordered Sexuality, Perverse Sexuality, Normal Sexuality, Transference, Countertransference, Psychotherapy, Children
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Adolescents - Psychotherapy
Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/455

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