Psychic Bisexuality: A British-French Dialogue clarifies and develops the Freudian conception according to which sexual identity is not reduced to the anatomical difference between the sexes, but is constructed as a psychic bisexuality that is inherent to all human beings.
The book takes the Freudian project into new grounds of clinical practice and theoretical formulations and contributes to a profound psychoanalytic understanding of sexuality. The object of pychoanalysis is psychosexuality, which is not, in the final analysis, determined by having a male or a female body, but by the unconscious phantasies that are reached après coup through tracing the nuanced interplay of identifications as they are projected, enacted and experienced in the transference and the countertransference in the analytic encounter.
Drawing on British and French Freudian and post-Freudian traditions, the book explores questions of love, transference and countertransference, sexuality, and gender to set out the latest clinical understanding of psychic bisexuality, and includes chapters from influential French analysts available in English for the first time. Psychic Bisexuality: A British-French Dialogue will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists as well as gender studies scholars.
"This book is precise and intense, engaging and illuminating. To say that we are all bisexual does not dismiss the psychoanalytic recognition of sexual difference and does not replace it with the phantasy—nowadays increasingly common—of a ‘neutral’ gender. The notion of psychic bisexuality as developed in this profound book recognizes the incompleteness of masculinity and femininity and the conflict inherent in desire. The speaking individual continuously adjusts their sexuality to the subtleties of their own desires and those of the other. Perelberg’s introduction is both brilliant and indispensable; the detailed and nuancedclinical examples open up a space for intimacy, within which psychic bisexuality can be expressed and reinvent itself."-Julia Kristeva, Training Analyst of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society and Professor Emeritus at the University Paris Diderot. Holberg Prize for outstanding contributions to research in the arts and humanities.
"This is a remarkable book; it celebrates and develops further Freud’s seminal insights on sexuality. The chapters, so aptly gathered and meticulously discussed by Rosine Perelberg, cohere around a search for a deeper understanding of psychic bisexuality, and examine with detailed clinical examples the centrality of this concept to the understanding of the feminine, the masculine, hysteria, psychosis, maternal and paternal transference, castration, and the the primal scene. I strongly recommend this wonderful book, both to analysts in training and to seasoned ones. It is a real gem, contemporary, intellectually stimulating, and a pleasure to read."-Claudio Eizirik, Training Analyst of the Brazilian Psychoanalytical Society of Porto Alegre and Past-President of the International Psychoanalytic Association.
Table of Contents
Introduction: a psychoanalytic understanding of bisexuality Rosine Jozef Perelberg 1. The beautiful differences
Christian David 2. Tell me whom you like best Catherine Chabert 3. The origin of psychoanalysis between bisexuality and transference Monique Cournut-Janin 4. Love and melancholia in the analysis of women by women Rosine Jozef Perelberg 5. From bisexuality to the feminine Jacqueline Godfrind 6. On bisexuality: being born with two eyes Marilia Aisenstein 7. Stumbling blocks of the feminine, stumbling blocks of psychic bisexuality
Nathalie Zilkha 8. Unconscious pacts and the bisexuality of the countertransference in the treatment
Denis Hirsch 9. "No sex, please, we’re British": some reflections on bisexuality in contemporary clinical theory
Rosemary Davies 10. How to be both, by not being both: the articulation of psychic bisexuality within the analytic session Rachel Chaplin 11. Alienating identifications and sexuality Donald Campbell 12. The neuter gender
André Green 13. Bye-bye, sexuality Gregorio Kohon Glossary
About the Editor
Rosine Jozef Perelberg is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society, Visiting Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit at University College London and Corresponding Member of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society. Her books include Psychoanalytic Understanding of Violence and Suicide, and Female Experience: Four Generations of British Women Psychoanalysts on Work with Women (with Joan Raphael-Leff). She is the author of Time, Space and Phantasy and Murdered Father, Dead Father: Revisiting the Oedipus Complex. In 2007 she was named one of the ten women of the year by the Brazilian National Council of Women.