Sexuality pp 281-307 | Cite as

Sex in the consulting room

  • Chess Denman


Breuer’s difficult experiences with Anna O (1893–5) and Freud’s (1905b) summary dismissal, with two weeks notice, by Dora both had at their core sexual wishes by the patient towards their analyst. They set the scene for an analysis first of sexual wishes on the part of the patient towards the therapist and later for an analysis of sexual wishes on the part of therapist towards patient. At times these wishes lead to sexual activity. Several cardinal features of the field should be noted. First, the major commentators are psychoanalytic. No other school of psychotherapy appears yet to have produced an extended theory-driven meditation on sexuality in the consulting room. Second, it is assumed by almost all writers that sexual activity between patient and analyst is dangerous and harmful. In conformity with this, sexual relations in this setting are illegal in some countries and result in professional sanctions in almost all countries and settings. A third feature, which will become apparent, is the tension created by a desire to explore erotic feelings during therapy and the sanctions over their expression.


Sexual Exploitation Sexual Fantasy Consult Room Sexual Feeling Dissociative Identity Disorder 
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© Dr Chess Denman MBBS MRC Psych 2004

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  • Chess Denman

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