“Do you love me?”: The question of the queer child of psychoanalysis

Abstract

Queer children and LGBT youth often continue to find in the psychotherapeutic setting and the clinical literature an ill-prepared and even aversive reception. Suicidality among such children draws especially sharp attention to the need for better alternatives to current treatment modalities—the focus here is chiefly on the relational area, with its emphasis on the coupling norm and attachment theory—and, more broadly, for the further comprehensive development of queer- and LGBT-affirmative psychoanalytic theory and practice. In advocating for at-risk queer children, I also argue that the queer child is a meaningful transferential figure for the improved life-chances of psychoanalysis itself and for the enhanced role of psychoanalytic theory and practice in the realm of social transformation.

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Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Lauren Berlant, J. P. Cheuvront, Diana Fuss, Robert Grossmark, Lynne Layton, Heather Love, Maggie Robbins, Mari Ruti, Avgi Saketopoulou, and Dawn Skorczewski for their generous and transformative readings of various drafts.

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Cavitch, M. “Do you love me?”: The question of the queer child of psychoanalysis. Psychoanal Cult Soc 21, 256–274 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/pcs.2015.22

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Keywords

  • children
  • homosexuality
  • gender
  • queer
  • relationalism
  • suicide