Sexual Attraction in Therapy. Clinical Perspectives on Moving Beyond the Taboo – A Guide for Training and Practice

  • ID: 2638659
  • Book
  • 284 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Sexual Attraction in Therapy presents new and original theoretical and clinical insights from multiple perspectives into working with the complex phenomenon of sexual attraction in therapy. Challenging practitioners to think about sexual attraction as a normal dynamic developing through the unique intimacy of the therapy encounter, it encourages readers to treat sexual attraction as an opportunity for deeper work, rather than as a dread. This text fills an important gap in the market by moving beyond psychoanalytic theories of transference and countertransference, and discussing views on theory, training, practice and research from relational/integrative, cognitive behavioural, acceptance and commitment, existential, phenomenological, psychoanalytic and systemic approaches.

The contributors to the text including Doris MIlwain, Michael Worrell, John Sommers–Flanagan and Martin Milton – are highly experienced psychologists and psychotherapists with international reputations as theorists on the erotic in clinical practice. Illustrated with detailed case material and strategies for managing sexual attraction, this book  aims to stimulate understanding and dialogue by bringing theory and practice from a variety of perspectives together in one comprehensive volume.

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Notes on Contributors xi

Acknowledgements xvi

Editorial Introduction: An Encounter with Erotic Desire in Therapy xvii
Maria Luca

Part I Relational Perspectives on Sexual Attraction in Therapy 1

1 Hot Cognition in Sexual Attraction : Clarifying, Using and Defusing the Dionysian in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapies 3
Michael Worrell

2 Sexual Attraction in the Therapeutic Relationship: An Integrative Perspective 22
John Nuttall

3 Existential Psychotherapy and Sexual Attraction: Meaning and Authenticity in the Therapeutic Encounter 38
Michael D. Berry

4 Knowing but Not Showing: Achieving Reflective Encounter with Desire A Relational Psychoanalytic Perspective 53
Doris McIlwain

5 The Role of Psychological Proximity and Sexual Feelings in Negotiating Relatedness in the Consulting Room: A Phenomenological Perspective 67
Paul Smith–Pickard

6 An Acceptance Commitment Therapy Approach to Sexual Attraction 80
Richard Blonna

7 Addressing Sexual Attraction in Supervision 97
Kirsten W. Murray and John Sommers–Flanagan

8 Sexual Attraction in Conjoint Couple Therapy 115
Steven M. Harris and Tina M. Timm

9 Bound to the Mast: Reflections on Analytic Abstinence 131
Andrea Sabbadini

10 Why Can t We Be Lovers? The Love–Obsessed Clients Who Stalk Their Therapist 137
Maria Luca and Juliet Soskice

Part II Research–Informed Theoretical and Clinical Perspectives on Sexual Attraction in Therapy 151

11 Skilled Handling of Sexual Attraction in Therapy: A Grounded Theory of What Makes the Difference 153
Anthony Arcuri and Doris McIlwain

12 The Self–Preservation Society: A Discourse Analysis of Male Heterosexual Therapists and Discourses of Sexual Attraction 173
John Penny and Malcolm Cross

13 An Elephant in the Room: A Grounded Theory of Experienced Psychotherapists Reactions and Attitudes to Sexual Attraction 193
Maria Luca and Mark Boyden

14 Therapists Disclosures of Their Sexual Feelings to Their Clients: The Importance of Honesty An Interpretative Phenomenological Approach 209
Anna Marshall and Martin Milton

15 Systemic Family Therapists Narratives on Sexual Attraction in Their Clinical Practice: A Narrative Analysis 226
Desa Markovic

Epilogue 242

Index 249

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Maria Luca is a Reader in Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology, Senior Research Fellow, and Head of the Reflections Research Centre in the School of Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology, Regent s University London, UK. She has extensive clinical experience as a psychotherapist in the NHS and runs a private practice in London. She is a UKCP accredited psychotherapist, a BACP senior accredited counselling supervisor, and editor of The Therapeutic Frame in the Clinical Context: Integrative Perspectives (2004).

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