Couples therapists tend either to emphasize trust, warmth, and security, or focus on differentiation, eroticism, and unpredictability. However, every couple is different, and requires an approach that recognizes each partner’s needs for stability and/or excitement. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to help couples explore their sexual and emotional needs and create a balance between eroticism and closeness. We’ll also explore the promise and perils of playing out sexual fantasies, keeping in mind that the most common sex fantasies--a new partner, forced or violent sex, and group sex--can be disastrous for a relationship.
Barry McCarthy, Ph.D., has a diplomate in clinical psychology and practices at the Washington Psychological Center. He’s a professor of psychology at American University and is the author of Men’s Sexual Health, Discovering Your Couple Sexual Style, and Enduring Desire: Your Guide to Lifelong Intimacy.