An Unwanted Outcome: Erotic Transference

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What is eroticized transference?

Eroticized transfer in psychotherapy refers to the phenomenon where one person (typically a client) will feel an intense sexual or romantic attraction towards their therapist. It can also be referred to as transference-love or transference-erotica.

By definition, erotic transference is defined as “transference of sexual interest outward from an original love object to a new one.”

Erotic transference occurs when the client creates feelings, thoughts, or behaviors that are sexual in nature for someone outside their current romantic relationship.

This can occur because of unresolved problems with an earlier loved one. This usually happens unintentionally between couples seeking counseling for marital issues. The therapist does not try to “cure” or change these preexisting feelings but instead focuses on helping the patient find healthier outlets for their desires and urges.

Erotic Obsessions About the Therapist in Eroticized Transfer Process That Are:

Vivid, intense, irrational, inappropriate, stubborn, chaotic, childish, ambitious, wanting immediate satisfaction and appear to be ego syntonic. The client constantly tries to seduce the therapist and tries to flirt with the therapist outside the therapy office.

While the client wants to give and receive sexually charged love to her therapist, they believe that they can unconsciously replace the therapist as a parent and is unaware of the repetition of the past.


SSometimes even excessive love and love feelings and obsessions, like a defense mechanism, may also aim to protect the therapist from unconscious aggressive feelings or to prevent the emergence of depressive feelings. The heavy erotization of the transference, which is a severe distortion and reality evaluation disorder, indicates the severity of psychopathology.

This transference, suggesting the existence of severe psychopathology such as borderline personality organization. It should be distinguished from erotic transference, which is a positive transference.

This is because the eroticized transference is a negative transference. And it is accompanied by extremely destructive action and hatred impulses. So they are willing to attend sessions. But in reality, they have no intention of healing, they just want to be near the therapist.

There are also conscious fears of the therapist not responding to their love and fantasies of being the most beloved. They also believe that their therapists really love themselves through the defense and reflection mechanism. However, this should not be confused with erotomania.

You may be interested in this article: Erotic Transfer in Borderline Personality Patients ( )

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Aaron Beck

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About Author

I am studying in Florida about Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I'm doing research on Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET), Cognitive psychology, Metacognitive Therapy.

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