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A genuinely developmental theory of sexual enjoyment and its implications for psychoanalytic technique

Fonagy, P; (2008) A genuinely developmental theory of sexual enjoyment and its implications for psychoanalytic technique. Journal Of The American Psychoanalytic Association , 56 (1) 11 - 36. 10.1177/0003065107313025. Green open access

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Abstract

A small computer-assisted word frequency analysis, indicating the extent of explicit concern with sexuality in the psychoanalytic literature, has revealed an apparent decline of psychoanalytic interest in psychosexuality. The apparent decline may be related to the limitations of drive theory and object relations approaches in offering persuasive and comprehensive accounts of the psychosexual. A new model of human sexual experience is proposed, rooted in an integration of French psychoanalytic ideas with recent developmental observational research, that once again places sexuality at the center of psychoanalytic clinical inquiry Because emotion regulation arises out of the mirroring of affect by a primary caregiver and sexual feelings are unique in that they are systematically ignored and left unmirrored by caregivers, sexual feelings remain fundamentally dysregulated in all of us. Adult sexual experience serves as a way of coming to organize the psychosexual. The model accounts for some aspects of the phenomenology of sexual arousal and suggests ways of understanding pathological distortions of sexual behavior. The nature of the psychosexual is explored in the analytic treatment of an adolescent boy.

Type: Article
Title: A genuinely developmental theory of sexual enjoyment and its implications for psychoanalytic technique
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0003065107313025
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0003065107313025
Language: English
Additional information: This is the author's accepted version of this published article.
Keywords: Romantic love, seduction
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/133775
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