Sex, Attachment and Couple Psychotherapy: Psychoanalytic Perspectives

Editor : Christopher Clulow

Part of The Library of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis series - more in this series

Sex, Attachment and Couple Psychotherapy: Psychoanalytic Perspectives

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The contributors to this book have drawn on different mentors to provide a framework for understanding the sexual problems of the couples they see, and to inform the work they do. But whether Freud, Jung, Klein or Bowlby has been the progenitor of their own particular therapeutic narrative, the spirit of enquiry and curiosity is evident in their approach. This has created space to explore the dimensions of sex, love, hate and power in ways that allow the facts of life to emerge and be discovered as something unique and authentic to each couple. It has also created a platform from which new understandings may emerge to inform practice in the future.

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'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?

Threading through the chapters of this book is a strong sense of the interconnection between sexual behaviour and patterns of attachment in couple relationships. Each provides a window on the other, and, like a double helix, they snake an intertwined pathway together over the life course. Different psychoanalytic conceptual narratives may give one spiral prominence over the other, and they may differ in the images they use in telling this central story of life, but there is an emerging relatedness and coherence between the perspectives that they offer.'
- Christopher Clulow, from the Introduction

The 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(s)

Christopher Clulow, PhD, is a Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, London, where he works as a visiting lecturer and researcher. He has published extensively on marriage, partnerships, parenthood and couple psychotherapy, most recently from an attachment perspective. He has a long history of contributing to thinking about the processes involved in ending relationships, and his most recent work has involved heading up a project identifying competences for treating depression through couple therapy under the Department of Health's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies initiative. He has also recently consulted to and evaluated interventions provided by a mental health agency to reduce depression in parents of young children. He is a founding member and past Deputy Chair of the British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors and a member of the editorial board for the journal Couple and Family Psychoanalysis.

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