Psychoanalytic theories of lesbian development epitomize the difficulty in liberating psychoanalysis from the past. Psychoanalytic theory has traditionally adopted a clear position that a lesbian orientation represented some form of psychological abnormality. Thankfully -- but only very recently -- some influential feminist leaders have begun to rethink issues of gender and sexual orientation, removing heterosexuality from its privileged position as normal.
In "Lesbians and Psychoanalysis, " Judith M. Glassgold and Suzanne Iasenza bring together twenty-six of these pioneers in the field of lesbian psychoanalytic theory. Through insightful chapters based on years of clinical experience, each author helps to redefine psychoanalytic theory by reinventing its foundations from an affirmative perspective so that it better represents all peoples.
"Lesbians and Psychoanalysis" addresses several topics of emerging concern including multicultural diversity, self-disclosure, homophobia, transference/countertransference issues, bisexuality, and the changing nature of lesbian sexuality. In addition, the authors examine the influence of stigma on human development. In three sections -- Past, Present, and Future -- the authors in turn critique past theory, discuss current issues in therapy, and describe new directions in theory and practice. This is a book that is sure to appeal not only to members of the psychoanalytic community but also to all those who are interested in gay and lesbian studies, feminism, and psychology.
Suzanne Slater"Author of "The Lesbian Family Life Cycle" Following their compelling indictment of psychoanalytic theory's homophobic perspective on lesbianism, these authors offer us knowledgeable and rich alternative visions. In the process, they radically shift the frame through which we can understand lesbian experience and chart present and future directions for further inquiry. With these intelligent, brave, and forward-thinking theorists speaking out, the future of lesbian psychology is in good hands, indeed. Doris Brothers, Ph.D."co-founder of The Training and Research Institute for Self Psychology and author of "Falling Backwards: An Exploration of Trust and Self-Experience" I could almost hear the creaking and groaning of tired, rigid, outdated psychoanalytic concepts as I read chapter after sparkling chapter of this remarkable collection. Representing a wide variety of theoretical perspectives, the outstanding authors, many writing with touching openness about themselves and their work, address far more than psychoanalytic approaches to lesbian experience. They compel the reader to reconsider assumptions about such fundamental matters as the nature of gender and sexuality, the therapeutic relationship, and the concept of psychopathology.