Erotic energy is associated with vitality, growth and creativity. It holds relational patterns of engagement with others and can relate to trauma and difficulty. Attending to the erotic field, therapists need to consider these traumas but also societal concerns and prejudices that become embedded in our bodies.
Some questions we may ask when working with clients and the erotic field include: how do we even start a discussion on erotic energy in the therapeutic context? What is appropriate? What kind of language should we use? Can we be authentic and what does it mean to be authentic when acknowledging erotic energy? These and similar questions are grounded in clinical considerations as well as embodied prejudices.
We are born into genderism, homophobia and cultural and religious repression of sexuality, and these shape our lives. The societal pressures to fix gender and sexual orientation have had a direct impact on how we are embodied. Relatedly, ideas about what healthy sexuality means have created fixed ways of understanding and discussing eroticism in psychotherapy.
Transference in a relational approach includes the therapist as an agent in the creation of all feelings in the room that includes erotic feelings. Thus, eroticism in the therapy room challenges the therapists to explore their sexuality beyond fixed sexual choices and preferences.
Through the use of spatial experiments, therapeutic work, case studies and presentations, we will jointly consider the question: How do we explore the intimacy of co-created erotic field with our clients in a prejudiced society?
All presented research outcomes are based on the doctoral thesis examining the relationship between Gestalt therapy, sexuality and masculinity through autoethnographic methodology.