Log in


The Sounds of Silence: Working with Erotic Dimensions of the Analytic Field(Dianne Elise, PhD - Oakland, CA)

  • 15 May 2022
  • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EDT)
  • Virtual meeting


Registration is closed


In this presentation, I will be making use of a Winnicottian formulation of the analytic field, and I will highlight as well the often unspoken, implicit erotic dimensions of our work.  I will be presenting material from an analysis with a very inhibited, obsessionally-constricted man, where both my patient and I seemed to have trouble “locating” one another within the analytic field. Paradoxically, a felt sense of our connection was also palpable, and possibly/impossibly erotic. Movement in the treatment required the development of what I came to think of as an “erotic sonar”—a “sounding” in the erotic body of each participant that could indicate the place of our creative connection. A sensing in the body for the “feel” of our dyad became a kinetic reading of our emotional closeness or distance, as well as indicating the subtle, and shifting, tones of our relationship.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course participants will be able to:

 1). Describe various expressions of sexuality emerging in clinical material in the embodied encounter of the patient-clinician dyad within the intersubjective analytic field. 

 2). Discuss whether or not a patient arouses sexual desire in the analyst as an important indicator of the patient's vitality and strength.


Dr. Dianne Elise is a Personal and Supervising Analyst and Faculty member of the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, a Training Analyst of the International Psychoanalytic Association and has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association and Studies in Gender and Sexuality. Her over 30 psychoanalytic publications include wide-ranging papers and book chapters on the subjects of gender, sexuality, and erotic transference. Elise’s 2019 book with Routledge, Creativity and the Erotic Dimensions of the Analytic Field, expands her work in innovative ways and presents her contemporary thinking on erotic life in psychoanalysis. Nationally recognized for her thought-provoking contributions to the psychoanalytic literature on gender and sexuality, she has consistently challenged conventional accounts of development. She has recently developed the concept of analytic eroticism to portray the role of libidinal vitality in clinical treatment. She is in private practice in Oakland, California.


Elise, D. (2017). Moving from within the maternal: The choreography of analytic eroticism. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 65: 33-60.

Katz, S. M. (2017). Contemporary Psychoanalytic Field Theory: Stories, Dreams and Metaphor. New York: Routledge.

Ogden, T.H. (2018). How I talk with my patients.  The Psychoanalytic Quarterly: 87: 399-413.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software