Creativity and the Erotic Dimensions of the Analytic Field - Dianne Elise, PhD (Live)

September 8, 2023


Continuing education information to follow

In this presentation, Dr. Dianne Elise will be making use of a Winnicottian formulation of the analytic field to highlight the often unspoken, implicit erotic dimensions of our work. She puts forth the premise that psychoanalysis is an erotic project and proposes that a creative aesthetic can provide a clinical container for the engagement and exploration of erotic life within the analytic field of each treatment. An atmosphere of libidinal energy is seen as a crucial aspect in enlivening the intersubjective field. When fully articulated as an energy potential in both participants, analytic eroticism can offer libidinal engagement within an ethical frame as a stimulus to emotionally embodied thinking—linking—that can lead to transformations in many dimensions including the erotic. Maternal eroticism, as the libidinal vitality and investment that a mother brings to her fully embodied engagement with her child, is developed as a metaphor for clinical process: The analyst holds, contains, and stimulates; each of these capacities is mobilized in the service of the patient’s growth. An intertwining of the erotic and the creative in the embodied, affective interaction of the analytic dyad allows for deepening contact with an authentic sense of being.  

Target Audience

______ Introductory                ___X___ Intermediate                  __X___ Advanced

Learning Objectives

  • Participants in this seminar will be able to discuss the mutually reinforcing relationship between creativity and erotic life as it emerges within the clinical relationship.
  • Participants in this seminar will be able to analyze the relationship between maternal eroticism and the development of a capacity for expression of desire in a given patient.
  • Participants in this seminar will be able to assess their clinical approach to patients who come to treatment with an experience of devitalization.
Course summary
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
09/08/2023 - 6:30pm EDT
Event ends: 
09/08/2023 - 8:00pm EDT

Dianne Elise, PhD, 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 40 psychoanalytic publications include wide-ranging papers and book chapters on the subjects of gender, sexuality, and erotic transference. Dr. 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 is in private practice in Oakland.

Austen Riggs Center Inc. adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. All those at Austen Riggs Center involved in the planning of this activity, including the presenter(s) listed above, report they have no relevant financial relationships with an ineligible company*.

The views and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the Austen Riggs Center.


* An ineligible company is any entity whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.


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