What, from a psychoanalytic point of view, constitute the ‘facts of life’? What are the stories that our professional mentors tell us about the psychological equivalents of the ‘birds and the bees’? How useful are these stories, and in what ways do they help those of us who work with couples understand and change the sexual difficulties that they present us with? Do these stories, indeed, have anything to say about sex, or might they, like the inventions of embarrassed parents, deflect our attention away from what we really need to know in relating to the sexual lives of our patients?
This book explores sexuality in the contexts of couple relationships and psychotherapy. It presents a range of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic perspectives from which problematic sexual experience – that is, sexual experience that has troubled couples sufficiently for them to seek outside help – might be understood and worked with. Rooted in clinical practice the book assembles a rich diversity of approaches that will interest anyone wanting to learn more about the affective dimensions of sexual experience and seeking to apply this in their work with couples. The contributors are all closely associated with the Tavistock Centre of Couple Relationships, either as staff, neighbouring colleagues at the Tavistock and Portman Clinics, or through its professional association, the Society of Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists.
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Table of Contents:
Foreword—Peter Fonagy; The Facts Of Life: An Introduction—Christopher Clulow; Does Psychoanalysis Need Sexology?—Brett Kahr; What Do We Mean By ‘Sex’?—Warren Colman; Lively And Deathly Intercourse—Francis Grier; Separated Attachments And Sexual Aliveness—Susie Orbach; Dynamics And Disorders Of Sexual Desire—Christopher Clulow & Maureen Boerma; Sexual Dread And Therapist Desire—Susanna Abse; Loss Of Desire And Therapist Dread—Sandy Rix & Avi Shmueli; Loss Of Desire: A Psychosexual Case Study—Laura Green & Jane Seymour; Power Versus Love In Sadomasochistic Couple Relationships—David Hewison; From Fear Of Intimacy To Perversion—Mary Morgan & Judith Freedman; Perversion As Protection—Joanna Rosenthall; Intimacy And Sexuality In Later Life—Andrew Balfour.
About the Editor:
Christopher Clulow is a Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, Founding Member and Vice Chair of the Society of Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists, Honorary Research Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic and a Fellow of the Centre for Social Policy at Dartington. He is a Patron of Hertfordshire Central Relate and a Trustee for several charitable bodies working in the field of family support. He is the author or editor of nine other books and over a hundred published papers that consider marriage, partnerships, parenthood and couple psychotherapy, most recently from an attachment perspective. He was Therapies Editor of the international journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy between 1996 – 2008, and Chair of the International Commission for Family and Interpersonal Relationships between 1987–1994. He teaches in this country and overseas, and lives with his family in St Albans where he has a private couple psychotherapy practice.