The Enigma of Desire: Sex, Longing and Belonging in Psychoanalysis, introduces new perspectives on desire and longing, in and outside of the analytic relationship. This volume explores the known and unknown, ghosts and demons, sexuality and lust. Galit Atlas discusses the subjects of sex and desire and explores what she terms the Enigmatic and the Pragmatic aspects of sexuality, longing, female desire, sexual inhibition, pregnancy, parenthood and creativity. 

The author focuses on the levels of communication that take place in the most intimate settings: between mothers and their babies; between lovers; in the unconscious bond of two people― in the consulting room, where two individuals sit alone in one room, looking and listening, breathing and dreaming. Atlas examines the ways in which different languages, translations and integrations focus on birth, death, sexuality, and human bonds. 

In The Enigma of Desire each chapter opens with a narrative, a therapeutic story which illustrates both the analyst’s and patient’s desires and the ways these interact and emerge in the consulting room. This book will be of interest to anyone who is interested in the intricacies of sex and desire and of great appeal to psychoanalysts, therapists and mental health professionals.


Galit Atlas, Ph.D.

Previous Publications

Atlas. G. (2015). Confusion of Tongues: Trauma and Playfulness. In: "The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi:From Ghost to Ancestor” Ed. Kuchuck, S. & Harris, A. London & New York: Routledge.

Aron. L. & Atlas. G. (2015) Generative Enactment: Memories From the Future. Psychoanalytic Dialogues: The International Journal of Relational Perspectives, 25: 309-324.
Atlas, G & Benjamin, J. (2015). The “Too Muchness” of Excitement: Sexuality in Light of Excess, Attachment and Affect Regulation. International Journal for Psychoanalysis. Feb;96 (1):39-63.
Atlas, G. (2015). Touch me, Know Me: The Enigma of Erotic Longing. Psychoanalytic Psychology. 31:1. P. 123-139.
Atlas. G. (2014). What’s Love Got to Do With It. In: The Bonds of Love Revisited. Ed. E. Rozmarin. London& New York: Routledge.
Atlas, G. (2014). Fireworks. Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 10: 390-391.
Atlas, G. (2014). Sex Lies and psychoanalysis. In When the Personal Becomes Professional: Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience, New York: Routladge. Edited by Steven Kuchuck.
Atlas, G. (2013). Eat, pray, dream: Contemporary use of dreams in psychoanalysis, Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 49:2, 239-246.
Atlas, G. (2013). Eating, cooking and the space between: Response to panelists' commentaries, Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 49:2, 276-286.
Atlas. G. (2013). What’s Love Got to Do With It? Sexuality, Shame and the Use of the Other. Studies in Gender and Sexuality. 14:1, 51-58.
Atlas, G. (2012). Sex and the Kitchen: Thoughts on Culture and Forbidden Desire. Psychoanalytic Perspectives. 9, (2).
Atlas-Koch, G. & Kuchuck, S. (2012). To Have and To Hold- Psychoanalytic Dialogues on the Desire to Own. Psychoanalytic Dialogues. 22:93-105.
Atlas-Koch, G. (2012). East of Freud. Division Review, 1 (3).
Atlas-Koch, G. (2011). The Bad Father, the Sinful Son and the Wild Ghost. Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Fall 11, 8. (2): 238-251.
Atlas-Koch, G. (2011). Attachment Abandonment Murder. Contemporary Psychoanalysis. 47:(2). 245-259.
Atlas-Koch, G. (2010). Confusion of Tongues- Trauma and Playfulness. Psychoanalytic Perspectives. 6 (2): 93-114.
Atlas-Koch, G. (2008). Three pregnancies and psychoanalysis- A thin line between fusion and separateness.The psychoanalytic Review, 95 (2), April 2008.