In this provocative volume, Dr. Florence W. Rosiello addresses erotic dynamics in the treatment relationship within the context of a two-person therapy, emphasizing the necessity of mutuality and emotional reciprocity between patient and therapist. With rich clinical illustrations, she demonstrates how the intimacy created by working within the sexual dimension of the therapeutic relationship may present opportunities for insight and growth that could easily be missed if one seeks to avoid these highly charged issues. Focusing on those patients who are predisposed to relating to others in a sexualized manner, Dr. Rosiello has discovered that mutual exploration of both the therapist's and the patient's subjective experience offers a valuable and effective means of enhancing the treatment.
Dr. Rosiello has performed the enormous service of taking the erotic transference and countertransference out of the therapeutic closet. In this scholarly and incisive account of the psychoanalytic view of the erotic transference, she courageously ventures into territory that has tended to be off limits. With rich illustrations, she vividly shows how both same- and different-gender patients and therapists struggle to make sense of and deal with their erotic feelings in treatment. Dr. Rosiello has significantly enlarged our view of the meaning of the erotic transference to encompass a patient's positive developmental strivings for connection and intimacy. She makes a major contribution to our understanding of the ways in which therapists need to participate with patients during psychotherapy.--Eda G. Goldstein, DSW, Ehrenkranz School of Social Work at New York University