Weekend Elective: Sexuality & Psychoanalysis (3rd year)

Sexuality and Psychoanalysis

Meeting Time:            Fridays, 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Dates:           9/22/19, 11/3/19, 12/8/19, 1/26/20, 3/23/20, 5/4/20

Hours of Instruction:  2.5-hour sessions x 6 meetings = 15 hours

Instructor: Stacy Berlin, Psy.D. (drstacyberlin@aol.com)


Course Description

This course will provide candidates an opportunity to examine and select psychoanalytic literature on sexuality and gender, which will include when, what, and why it has continued to be or not be included in the zeitgeist, and its application to psychoanalytic theory and practice. Candidates will read and discuss material from various authors with diverse theoretical orientations.  The focus of the course will be to understand and recognize the meaning and significance of gender and sexuality for clinical formulations, attitudes, and interventions.

Course Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to demonstrate the ability to analyze, critique, compare, recite, integrate, and apply diverse traditional and contemporary theory–literature to clinical decision making.
  2. Participants will be able to use ethical and responsible clinical judgment.
  3. Participants will be prepared with knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and skills required for effective and sensitive clinical treatment.
  4. Participants will be able to articulate, dialogue, react, and give examples of several concepts related to diverse theories.
  5. Participants will be able to discuss the significance of sexuality from in-utero to the mature adult and in various contexts.
  6. Candidates will be able to demonstrate and analyze the unconnectable connection and objective and subjective differences between pragmatic and enigmatic sexuality.
  7. Candidates will be innovative—create/design/recite a project from the Project Readings.
  8. Candidates will be prepared to work with gender binaries and nonconforming gender identities in a clinical setting.
  9. Candidates will negotiate their evolving professional identities and behaviors through self-reflection, self-evaluation, and effective interpersonal communication skills.
  10. Candidates will discuss systems of Sexual and Gender oppression that impact one’s clinical practice.
  11. Candidates will describe their own prejudices, values, and attitudes toward Sexuality and Gender and how they can potentially impact their clinical practice.

Schedule & Readings

  • Articles 2015 or prior: found on PEP
  • Articles 2016 -2019: PDF provided (2016 found on PEP after 1/1/20)

Class (1) Gender Introductions

  1. Butler, J. (1995). Melancholy Gender—Refused Identification. Psychoanal. Dial., 5:165-180.
    1. Phillips, A. (1995). Keeping It Moving: Commentary on Judith Butler’s “Melancholy Gender—Refused Identification”. Psychoanal. Dial., 5(2):181-188.
    2. Butler, J. (1995). Reply to Adam Phillips. Psychoanal. Dial., 5(2):189-193.


Brothers, D. (2017). If Freud Were a Woman: Gender, Uncertainty, and the Psychology of Being Human. Psychoanal. Inq., 37:419-424

Class (2) Gender continued

  1. Corbett, K. Dimen, M. Goldner, V. Harris, A. (2014). Talking Sex, Talking Gender—A Roundtable. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 15:295-317
  2. Ehrensaft, D. (2014). Listening and Learning from Gender-Nonconforming Children. Psychoanal. St. Child, 68:28-56.
    1. Brinich, P.M. (2014). Discussion of Diane Ehrensaft’s “Listening and Learning from Gender-Nonconforming Children”. Psychoanal. St. Child, 68:71-78.
    2. Weinstein, L. Wallerstein, H. (2014). If We Listen: Discussion of Diane Ehrensaft’s “Listening and Learning from Gender-Nonconforming Children”. Psychoanal. St. Child, 68:79-88.


Harris, A. (2000). Gender as a Soft Assembly: Tomboys’ Stories. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 1:223-250.

Class (3) Theories of Sexuality

  1. Phillips, A. (1988). On Kissing. Free Associations, 1(12):52-59.
  2. Green, A. (1995). Has Sexuality Anything To Do With Psychoanalysis? Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 76:871-883.
  3. Phillips, A. (1996) Monogamy, Book chapters 1, 7, 13, 15, 18, 19, 38, and 39
  4. Nathans, S. (2012). Infidelity as Manic Defence. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 2:165-180.


Saketopoulou, A. (2014). To Suffer Pleasure: The Shattering of the Ego as the Psychic Labor of Perverse Sexuality. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 15:254-268.

Class (4) Infant Sexuality

  1. Slavin, J.H. (2002). The Innocence of Sexuality. Psychoanal Q., 71:51-79.
  2. Target, M. (2007). Is our Sexuality our Own? A Developmental Model of Sexuality Based on Early Affect Mirroring. Brit. J. Psychother., 23(4):517-530.
    1. Goldsmith, L. (2012). A Discussion of Mary Target’s “Is Our Sexuality Our Own?”. Fort Da, 18(1):44-57.
  3. Celenza, A. (2013). Maternal Erotic Transferences and Merger Wishes. Rivista Psicoanal., 59(4):821-838.


Bollas, C. (1997). Wording and Telling Sexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:363-367.

Class (5) Infant Sexuality continued

  1. Thomson-Salo, F. Paul, C. (2017). Understanding the Sexuality of Infants Within Caregiving Relationships in the First Year. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(3):320-337.
    1. Bekos, D. Russo, T. (2017). The Joyfully Sexual Infant in the Room: A Response to Frances Thomson-Salo and Campbell Paul. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(3):338-343.
    2. Vaughan, S.C. (2017). In the Night Kitchen: What Are the Ingredients of Infantile Sexuality? Psychoanal. Dial., 27(3):344-348.
    3. Thomson-Salo, F. Paul, C. (2017). Out of the Night Kitchen and Into Clinical Practice: Response to Commentaries. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(3):349-353.
  2. Lombardi, R. (2018). What Is the Stuff We Are Made Of? The Body and the Body–Mind Relationship in Early Development: A Discussion of Thomson-Salo and Paul’s “Understanding the Sexuality of Infants”. Psychoanal. Dial., 28(4):496-505.
    1. Thomson-Salo, F., Ph.D. Paul, C., M.B., B.S. (2018). Response to Lombardi. Psychoanal. Dial., 28(4):506-509.
  3. Atlas, G. (2018). Has Sexuality Anything to Do with Relationality? Psychoanal. Dial., 28(3):330-339.

Class (6) Theories of Eroticism

  1. Celenza, A. (2018). Andrea Celenza on “The Threat of Male to Female Erotic Transference”. PEP/UCL Top Authors Project, 1(1):22
  2. Kavaler-Adler, S (2003). Lesbian-erotic Transference in Dialectic with Developmental Mourning. Psychoanalytic Inquiry 20 (1) 131-151
  3. Atlas, G. (2015). Touch Me, Know Me: The Enigma of Erotic Longing. Psychoanal. Psychol., 32:123-139.


Abel-Hirsch, N. (2018). How Bion’s Work on Thinking Might Throw Light on the Development of Sexuality. Psychoanal. Inq., 38(1):76-82.

Project Readings List

  1. Laplanche, J. Pontalis, J.B. (1968). Fantasy and the Origins of Sexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 49:1-18.
  2. Bollas, C. (1994). Aspects of the Erotic Transference. Psychoanal. Inq., 14:572-590.
  3. Davies, J.M. (1998). Between the Disclosure and Foreclosure of Erotic Transference-Countertransference: Can Psychoanalysis Find a Place for Adult Sexuality?. Psychoanal. Dial., 8:747-766.
  4. Celenza, A. (2000). Sadomasochistic Relating: What’s Sex Got to Do with it?. Psychoanal Q., 69:527-543.
  5. Davies, J.M. (2001). Erotic Overstimulation and the Co-Construction of Sexual Meanings in Transference-Countertransference Experience. Psychoanal Q., 70:757-788.
  6. Davies, J.M. (2003). Falling in Love with Love: Oedipal and Postoedipal Manifestations of Idealization, Mourning, and Erotic Masochism. Psychoanal. Dial., 13:1-27.
  7. Goldner, V. (2003). Ironic Gender/Authentic Sex. Studies in Gender & Sexuality, 4:113-139.
  8. Kristeva, J. (2004). Some Observations on Female Sexuality. Ann. Psychoanal., 32:59-68.
  9. Kavaler-Adler, S. (2005). From Benign Mirror To Demon Lover: An Object Relations View Of Compulsion Versus Desire. Am. J. Psychoanal., 65:31-52.
  10. Laplanche, J. (2007) Gender, Sex, and the Sexual. Studies in Gender & Sexuality, 8:201-219.
  11. Stein, R. (2007). Moments in Laplanche’s Theory of Sexuality. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 8(2):177-200.
  12. Stein, R. (2008). The Otherness of Sexuality: Excess. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 56(1):43-71.
  13. Corbett, K. (2008). Gender Now. Psychoanal. Dial., 18:838-856.
  14. Elise, D. (2008). Sex and Shame: The Inhibition of Female Desires. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 56:73-98.
  15. Corbett, K. (2009). Boyhood Femininity, Gender Identity Disorder, Masculine Presuppositions, and the Anxiety of Regulation. Psychoanal. Dial., 19:353-370.
  16. Botticelli, S. (2010). Thinking the Unthinkable: Anal Sex in Theory and Practice. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 11:112-123.
  17. Goldner, V. (2011). Trans: Gender in Free Fall. Psychoanal. Dial., 21:159-171.
  18. Schiller, B. (2012). Representing Female Desire within a Labial Framework of Sexuality. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 60:1161-1197.
  19. Atlas, G. (2012). Sex and the Kitchen: Thoughts on Culture and Forbidden Desire. Psychoanal. Perspect., 9:220-232.
  20. Klockars, L. (2013). On the essence of sexuality. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 36(2):97-103.
  1. McNamara, S. (2013). Gay Male Desires and Sexuality in the Twenty-First Century: How I Listen. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 61:341-361.
  2. Atlas, G. (2013). What’s Love Got to Do with It? Sexuality, Shame, and the Use of the Other. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 14(1):51-58.
  3. Backström, J. (2014). Fearful fantasies: sexuality as a response to love. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 37:48-59.
  4. Saketopoulou, A. (2014). Mourning the Body as Bedrock: Developmental Considerations in Treating Transsexual Patients Analytically. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 62:773-806.
  5. Benjamin, J. Atlas, G. (2015). The ‘Too Muchness’ of Excitement: Sexuality in Light of Excess, Attachment and Affect Regulation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96:39-63.
  6. Marion, P. (2016). Infantile Sexuality and Freud’s Legacy. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(3):641-664
  7. Shenkman, G. (2016). Classic Psychoanalysis and Male Same-Sex Parents: A Reexamination of Basic Concepts. Psychoanal. Psychol., 33:585-598.
  8. Slavin, J.H. (2016). “I Have Been Trying to Get Them to Respond to Me”: Sexuality and Agency in Psychoanalysis. Contemp. Psychoanal., 52(1):1-20
  9. Slavin, J.H. Rahmani, M. (2016). Slow Dancing: Mind, Body, and Sexuality in a New Relational Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Perspect., 13(2):152-167
  10. Goren, E.R. (2017). A Call for More Talk and Less Abuse in the Consulting Room: One Psychoanalyst-Sex Therapist’s Perspective. Psychoanal. Psychol., 34:215-220.
  11. Grand, S. (2017). Seductive Excess: Erotic Transformations, Secret Predations. Psychoanal. Psychol., 34(2):208-214
  12. Stefana, A. (2017). Erotic Transference. Brit. J. Psychother.,33(4):505-513
  13. Wallerstein, H. (2017). Real Gender: Identity, Loss, and the Capacity to Feel Real. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 18(1):62-71.
  14. Hartman, S. (2017). The Poetic Timestamp of Digital Erotic Objects. Psychoanal. Perspect., 14(2):159-174.
  15. Elise, D. (2018). A Winnicottian Field Theory: Creativity and the Erotic Dimension of the Analytic Field. Fort Da, 24(1):22-38
  16. Losty, M. O’Connor, J. (2018). Falling outside of the ‘nice little binary box’: a psychoanalytic exploration of the non-binary gender identity. Psychoanal. Psychother., 32(1):40-60.
  17. González, F.J. (2019). Writing Gender with Sexuality: Reflections on the Diaries of Lou Sullivan. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 67(1):59-82.
  18. Saketopoulou, A. (2019). The Draw to Overwhelm: Consent, Risk, and the Retranslation of Enigma. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 67(1):133-167.
  19. Silber, L.M. (2019). Locating Ruptures Encrypted in Gender: Developmental and Clinical Considerations. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 18(2):134-154.
  20. Perlman, L. (2019). Breastfeeding and Female Sexuality. Psychoanal. Rev., 106(2):131-148.


Ability: Participants are expected to discuss oral, nonverbal, and written communications; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts; and demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.

Attendance and Missed Assignments:  Regular class attendance is expected. Participants are responsible for all academic work missed during absences. If the first-class is missed, the instructor may assume that the course has been dropped, so all participants need to contact the instructor if they cannot attend or have missed the first-class session.

Instructor Assumptions: This course requires a critical, analytic and a synthesis approach to the reading.  It is assumed that you will complete all the required readings and participate in class with an integrative understanding of what you have read.

  1. Presentation: 5-30 minutes (Reading from syllabus)
  2. Response to Presentation (Above): 5-10 minutes (Reading from Presentations)
  3. Freedom Project Presentation: 5-30 minutes (Reading from Project List — partner or solo)
  4. Reaction Papers (Not evaluated): 1-3 pages double spaced (Hard copy due class 2,3,4, & 5)
  5. Class Participation (due by the end of class six)

Policies and Professional Attitudes

Confidentiality: Disclosure of Personal Information. Candidates may choose to participate in learning activities that require different levels of self-disclosure.  These multiple areas include but are not limited to, demonstration of sufficient: 1) interpersonal and professional competence; b) self-awareness, self-reflection and self-evaluation; c) openness to processes of consultation; and d) resolution of problems or issues that interfere with professional development or functioning in a satisfactory manner. CONFIDENTIALITY IS ESSENTIAL!

Respectful Speech and Actions. In line with ICP’s mission to “promote an environment of free inquiry, a sense of community, a culture of diversity, inclusion, invitation, dignity and respect for the therapeutic process,” participants must treat one another as they would wish to be treated themselves, with dignity and concern. Candidates are expected to: (a) behave with integrity, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others; (b) engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; and (c) actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback.

Right to Alter Syllabus. This syllabus does not constitute a contract between the instructor and the candidates in the course.  While every effort will be made to present the material as described, the instructor retains the right to alter the syllabus for any reason at any time. When such changes are made every effort will be made to provide participants with both adequate notification of the changes and to provide them with enough time to meet any changes in the course requirements.

Course Requirements During Religious Holidays In keeping with the institution’s commitment to issues of cultural diversity as well as humanitarian considerations, participants will not be penalized for religious observances when they are absent from classes on holy days. Participants should be similarly respectful of the instructor’s right to observe religious days.