Queering the Couch

October 12-14, 2012

Psychoanalysis’ history of pathologizing non-normative expressions and experiences of gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation is well known. However, in its current view, psychoanalytic theorists and clinicians have been shoring up the gap between psychoanalysis and the critical insights about gender and sexual diversity that are coming from philosophy and gender studies. Often labeled “queer theory”, the writings of Ken Corbett, Eve Sedgwick, and Judith Butler, among many others, are indicative of this paradigm shift, which is changing the psychoanalytic landscape. In our view, the very essence of psychoanalytic thinking – its cherishing the diversity of lives and desires, as opposed, for example, to DSM-IV classifications – makes for a strong fit between queer theory and contemporary psychoanalytic practice.

This weekend, we will consider gender and sexual diversity from a queer perspective. We will explore the ways that queer theory offers two useful streams of thought for our lives as analysts/therapists and as writers. Queer theory offers new and important ways of thinking about gender and sexuality for each of us, regardless of orientations or object choices. And it offers new ways of thinking about these issues for those who are relegated to positions of non-normative gender or sexuality. Join us as we explore the fundamental queerness of the analytic couch.


KEN CORBETT is the author of Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities, artist, psychoanalyst, coeditor of the psychoanalytic journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality, and Clinical Assistant Professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

PATRICIA GHEROVICI, PHD is a psychoanalyst and analytic supervisor practicing in Philadelphia and New York.  She directs the Philadelphia Lacan Seminar.  Among her many publications, she recently wrote the foreword for Erotic Anger: A User’s Manual and contributed to The Dreams of Interpretation: A Century Down the Royal Road.  Her book The Puerto Rican Syndrome won the Gradiva Award from The National Association of the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and the Boyer Prize of the American Anthropological Association.  Her most recent book is Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism.

OREN GOZLAN, PSYD, CPSYCH is a clinical psychologist and a psychoanalyst in private practice. He is also a professor of psychology and psychoanalysis as well as a director of clinical training at the Adler Graduate School in Toronto.  His publications include: “The Accident of Gender” in The Psychoanalytic Review; “The ‘REAL’ Time of Gender” in Journal of European Psychoanalysis; “Transsexual Surgery: A Novel Reminder and a Navel Remainder” in International Forum of Psychoanalysis; and “Pictogram: Identity and the Myth of Sexual Difference” in Other/Wise.

GRIFFIN HANSBURY, MA, LCSW, is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist practicing in New York City. His analytic writing has appeared in journals such as Psychoanalytic Dialogues and Studies in Gender and Sexuality. A graduate of New York University’s Creative Writing program, he has written for the national public radio show “This American Life” and his first novel is due out in September 2012.