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Eros reclaimed: moving towards an embodied relational practice

Eros reclaimed: moving towards an embodied relational practice

While many therapeutic modalities have moved to more fully embrace a relational epistemology, the challenges of integrating this complex philosophical framework into clinical practice are significant. This is perhaps most evident when it comes to issues of sexuality and the emergence of the Erotic in the therapeutic relationship. Here we continue to be hamstrung by theories of sexuality that are inherently dualistic and individualistic. We struggle in our practice (perhaps for good reason) to take seriously the possibility of an emergent Eros and the complex ethics of responsibility this would confront us with

A relational approach to sexuality and Eros not only requires us to safeguard the boundaries of best practice, it also requires us to hold all of what emerges, without shaming or seducing the client. It requires us to do so with a fully embodied sense of our own sexuality and an appreciation of how Eros is an emergent relational experience. To do this effectively we need a new theory of Eros and sexuality, and one that is firmly located at the heart of the contemporary discourse on relational epistemology. We need a skill set that supports our engagement, a range of competencies that support our practice, a set of values that safeguard what emerges, and a community of colleagues that offer a perspective beyond our own. This paper will discuss how we might begin this journey towards an embodied relational understanding of the Erotic in therapeutic practice.

Speakers: Leanne O'Shea
Areas of Interest / Categories: Relationship Issues, Sexuality, WCP 2011

WCP 2011

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