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“Bisexuality as Map and Mirror”

  • PPSC 80 Fifth Avenue, Room 1408 New York, New York 10011 United States (map)

David Pauley, LCSW

*This talk has been approved for 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit by New York State for LCSWs, LPs, LMSWs and LMHCs, by the American Psychological Association for Psychologists, and by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists for Sex Therapists. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information please contact

The concept of “psychic bisexuality” has a storied past. An outgrowth of Freud’s eroticized friendship and epistolary self-analysis with Wilhelm Fleiss during the turbulent decade of the 1890s, it went on to become a cornerstone of his theory of the human unconscious. Despite its prominence, psychic bisexuality occupies a controversial place in psychoanalytic history. It has been enlisted in heteronormative and transphobic narratives of development, yet has also been a beacon for sexual minorities. This talk will trace the history of the concept, reviewing its uses and its misuses in Freud’s time and our own, while laying out its implications for affirmative work with LGBTQ patients.

DAVID PAULEY, LCSW is a Supervisor and Training Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center. He is a former Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work and has also taught in the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Programs at PPSC and at the William Alanson White Institute. His recent paper, “The Half Embrace of Psychic Bisexuality,” co-authored with Rajiv Gulati, M.D., appeared in the February 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He practices in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

*For a refund to a PPSC Annex event, we must receive cancellation notice 7 days prior to the event. Please contact if you want to cancel within this time frame. Please note: A $5 surcharge will apply for those paying at the door, but we suggest buying your ticket in advance as the event may reach capacity before the date of the presentation.

*Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work and for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of Continuing Education for Licensed Social Workers #SW-0054 and for Licensed Psychoanalysts #P-0040 and for Licensed Mental Health Counselors #MHC-0166.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

*This PPSC event is wheelchair accessible, and any participant with a special need should contact PPSC at 212-633-9172 or in advance. PPSC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual preference, national or ethnic origin, or analytic orientation in the administration of its admissions and educational policies.