The Paradigm of "The Erotic Hinge" and Its Clinical Utility
James Tobin, Ph.D.
A workshop sponsored by the Orange County Psychological Association
Saturday, February 25, 2017: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Argosy University, 601 South Lewis Street, Orange, CA
Fee: OCPA Members: $60.00; Non-members: $90.00; Students: free
**To attend this workshop, please contact Dr. Andy Schwartz at 949-588-5984 or at
or register at
. CUEs (3.0) for mental health clinicians have been approved for this workshop**
While divorce rates continue to be high, the modern couple is challenged by a host of social and technological factors that negatively impact the maintenance of long-term, healthy romantic relationships. The alarming rise of internet pornography use, the proliferation of "hook -up" apps, an emerging "sugar-daddy" subculture, and increasing rates of infidelity for both men and women are significant cultural trends that exist against the backdrop of ever-changing gender roles and what some characterize as the gradually diminishing relevance of marriage. Are traditional notions of "love" literally fading away in this apocalyptic cauldron, leaving the human heart largely incapable of or even invested in the integration of physical and emotional intimacy with one partner for the long haul? In this workshop, I draw from classical analytic theory to articulate a structure for heterosexual romantic love that organizes male and female partners into viable revisions of Freud's "phallic position" and his notion of female psychic-sexual development. The modern couple's capacity to attain this structure (what I call the "Erotic Hinge") is protective against the many contemporary challenges of love relationships. The Erotic Hinge has served as a useful tool in my clinical practice for individuals and couples seeking to overcome repetitive enactments, "maternalizing" dynamics, role diffusion, narcissistic and co-dependent tendencies, diminishment of sexual and emotional intimacy, and infidelity.
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