PhD in Literature, PhD in Psychopathology and Psychoanalysis, Clinical Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Paris Cité
This presentation delves into the challenges of countertransference in relation to gender variant patients. The speaker recounts his own supervised treatment of a transgender adolescent during which the supervisor-supervisee transference lapsed into a sadomasochistic relationship and a folie-à-deux, leading to the premature termination of both the therapy and the supervision. An initial interpretation of this experience explores the theoretical bias associated which transgender subjectivities, which blinded the supervisor and made him irrationally aggressive. A second post-hoc reading of this case reveals the analyst’s own blind spot: his overidentification with the patient and his ensuing need to protect the latter from pathologization. Accordingly, the failed supervision may be viewed as an attack of the “third-party function” linked to the patient’s psychic organization. Finally, the countertransference madness to which the analyst succumbed with his supervisor can be understood as the unbinding of repressed infantile sexuality and the reenactment of paradoxical messages intromitted to the patient’s body ego by his parents. The underlying thread of the speaker’s argument is that trans friendly pre-transference can be as misleading and devious as transphobic prejudice.
Dr. Nicolas Evzonas is a Greek Cypriot Paris-based psychoanalyst in private practice. He is a candidate in the French Psychoanalytic Association (APF, IPA) and Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Paris Cité. He has published numerous papers in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Greek on clinical and applied psychoanalysis as well as essays on films, theater, and literature. He is the author of a forthcoming French book on Gender and its Discontents and the co-editor of the Psychoanalytic Inquiry issue on “Sexualities, Gender, Class, and Race: A Psychoanalytic View from France.” He has also guest-edited a double special issue of The Psychoanalytic Review on “Trans* Becomings and Countertransference”. Nicolas is currently preparing a French-based issue for Studies in Gender and Sexuality on perversion and an edited volume on Trauma and Sexuality.