Psychodynamic Approaches to Sexual Problems

Psychodynamic Approaches to Sexual Problems

Psychodynamic Approaches to Sexual Problems

Psychodynamic Approaches to Sexual Problems

Synopsis



• How do we currently understand sexual dysfunction?

• How can psychodynamic theories contribute to an understanding of sexual difficulties?

• How can we treat sexual problems psychodynamically?

Counsellors and therapists can be hesitant about addressing the sexual problems of their clients from any perspective and sometimes lack the confidence to tackle the issues as they arise. This is the first book to describe comprehensively a specifically psychodynamic approach to sexual dysfunction. It reviews the range and nature of sexual difficulties, and evaluates the relevance of psychodynamic theory and interventions to the understanding, assessment and treatment of sexual problems with individuals and couples. It is illustrated throughout with helpful case study material. It shows how physical and cultural understandings of sexuality and sexual difficulty need to be an integrated part of work with clients.

Psychodynamic Approaches to Sexual Problems is an important and useful book for all trainee and practising counsellors and therapists working within a psychodynamic or integrated framework.

Excerpt

This book explores the application of psychodynamic theories and techniques to clients in counselling or psychotherapy who have sexual difficulties. However, it is not aimed only at the counsellor or psychotherapist who works entirely in a psychodynamic way. The ideas discussed are also relevant to those who use an integrative approach incorporating psychodynamic ideas and interventions, as well as practitioners who wish to increase their psychodynamic understanding and insights. It provides useful knowledge, for example, for those needing to assess whether a referral to someone using a psychodynamic approach would be appropriate.

Looking back at the way that sexual problems have been approached psychologically reveals a period, starting from Freud and lasting until the emergence of behavioural methods of treating sexual problems in the 1970s, which was dominated by psychoanalysis. Surprisingly, though, psychoanalysts have given little attention specifically to the commonly occurring sexual difficulties, and as a result, within psychoanalysis little of substance has been added to Freud's understanding. It was the work of two physiologists, Masters and Johnson (1966, 1970) that was to revolutionize the treatment of such difficulties both in Britain and the United States from the mid-1970s onwards. The background to their work is to be found within sexology rather than psychotherapy or psychoanalysis.

Belliveau and Richter's (1971) authorized account of Masters and Johnson's work lists only one psychologically minded . . .

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