Andrea Celenza Ph.D, February 29, 2020

The Erotic in our Being and Work

Andrea Celenza Ph.D.

February 29, 2020, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM,

National University

Costa Mesa, CA

Lunch provided


It is remarkable to note the pervasive desexualization of psychoanalysis, the once sex-infused theory of human development.  Hence, the cliché, “In psychoanalysis, everything is about sex … except for sex, that’s about aggression.” Through the exploration of erotics in clinical process, this presentation will address the many manifestations of erotic longing in psychoanalysis. Some form of erotic transferences of whatever shape, should make their way into every analysis, yet our theories have become desexualized to an extent that fails to prepare clinicians with the necessary armamentarium to cope with the level of desire and erotic material likely to emerge.  This presentation aims to address the deficiency in our literature and theories of technique and to encourage more open discussion about erotic transferences in all of their manifestations.  Dr. Celenza will examine the varieties and meanings of the analyst’s countertransference over the course of a psychoanalytic process and discuss the range of erotic transferences from the analyst’s point of view, and how these countertransference experiences aid the analyst in understanding unconscious factors in the patient’s experience.


    1. Describe clinical limitations arising from the desexualization of psychoanalysis.
    2. List ways that erotic themes show up in clinical process, both directly and indirectly.
    3. Explain how erotic transference can be used defensively to avoid important issues.
    4. Predict how countertransference can either foster or inhibit the emergence of erotic transference.
    5. Assess reasons why erotic countertransference can lead to either positive or negative developments in a client’s treatment.
    6. Identify ethically appropriate ways to disclose erotic countertransference.

Schedule of the day

9-10am               Erotic Transferences, definitions and forms

10-12noon:         Michael, phases of analysis

12-1pm:             Lunch

1-2pm:               Thomas, the use of the body in analysis

2-3pm:               Disclosure of erotic feelings

3-4pm:               Q&A

Andrea Celenza, Ph.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Faculty at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis and an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Celenza has consulted with, evaluated, supervised or treated over 350 cases of therapist-patient sexual boundary transgressions. She has authored and presented numerous papers on the evaluation and treatment of therapists who have engaged in sexual misconduct with a focus on training and supervisory issues. Her book,Sexual Boundary Violations: Therapeutic, Supervisory and Academic Contexts, was published by Jason Aronson in 2007.  She has recently produced an online videorecorded lecture on sexual boundary violations designed for ethics seminars, group viewing or individual use.

Dr. Celenza is Co-Director (with Martha Stark, MD) of a blended, online program in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy sponsored by William James College (formerly, MSPP).  As part of this program, she teaches an online course, What, Where is Psychoanalysis: Classic Concepts, New Meanings designed for teachers, students, supervisors and practitioners who want a firm grounding in psychoanalytic theorizing and practice.

Dr. Celenza has been the recipient of  the Karl A. Menninger Memorial Award, the Felix & Helena Deutsch Prize and the Symonds Prize.  Her second book was published in 2014: Erotic Revelations:  Clinical Applications and Perverse Scenarios, published by Routledge.  She is in private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts.

6 Continuing education credits

For more information contact:

NPI Administrator:  Socorro Klingman, 714.505-9080 or [email protected]

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