In this 4-part series we will study the “must read” authors whose ideas are central to current perspectives on sex. We will begin with Foucault who traces how sex changed from something we do, to who we are. Sex went from a quotidian part of life to something that had to be talked about endlessly—to the priest in the confessional and to the analyst. Identity categories like homo/hetero, the pervert, and normative sex were created, policed and “treated.” Moving to Ruth Stein’s work on excess and the “otherness” of sex we consider how who we are when we are sexual often can have a quality of ego alienness and may conflict with who we feel we are in non-sexual contexts (e.g. a woman who identifies as a feminist may have her most powerful orgasms when fantasizing about being raped). Finally we will study 2 papers by Avgi Saketopoulou who applies Laplanche’s idea of the “enigmatic signifier” and the “implantation” of sex in the child via the Mother’s unconscious, along with Stein’s ideas of otherness and excess. Saketopoulou brings together major theories in exploring perversion, consent and excess using clinical examples.
The Class size will be limited to 12 individuals. To benefit from the series, it is essential that participants read the material which some may find challenging. The format will be more study group than lecture.
1) Participants will learn the history of how psychology/psychoanalysis created diagnostic categories for sexuality, making some normative and others perverse.
2) Participants will examine how sexual experiences may take us out of our everyday sense of self and identity—sexual experience may be “ego shattering.”
About the Instructor
Sally Bjorklund is a psychoanalyst, supervisor and consultant. She was co-founder and faculty member of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Seattle. She is on the editorial board of the journal Psychoanalytic Perspectives and Supervisor for the National Training Program at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. She was a contributor to “Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience: When the Personal Becomes Professional,” and has written and presented on topics including sex and gender, adoption, aging, working with hard to reach patients, treatment by telephone, and erotic transference.
Fees: $180 membes / $215 non-members (plus the cost of copying the readings)