Topic - Sex & Sexuality

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

Can Open Relationships Ever Work—and When Should Therapists Support Them?

Helping Your Clients Create a Relationship "Contract"

Rick Miller

By Rick Miller - Partners who are basically healthy as individuals and stable as a couple may benefit from an open relationship. Even in our highly sexualized society, alternative arrangements such as open relationships may seem alien and intimidating to many people, but as therapists, our challenge is to be less prudish and frightened by potentially negative outcomes.

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VIDEO: Susan Johnson on the Power of Emotion

The Secret Ingredient in Good Therapy

Susan Johnson

Emotion is the most important motivating force bringing clients to our offices in the first place. Nevertheless, therapists are often strangely queasy in the presence of strong emotion. In this clip from her 2013 Symposium keynote address, Susan Johnson offers a vivid picture of how we can take full therapeutic advantage of the emotional force field to propel the process of change.

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How to Help Couples Move Past an Extramarital Affair

The Importance of Finding Meaning, Recommitting, and Achieving Sexual Recovery

Barry McCarthy

By Barry McCarthy - Recovery from an extramarital affair asks a lot of partners. They must not only process painful feelings, repair the rupture of trust, and share their deepest vulnerabilities, but also take steps to build a new, resilient bond, both emotionally and sexually. Allocating the right amount of time to deal with the affair and determining when partners are ready to focus on the present and future marital bond is a struggle for both clinicians and couples.

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The Transgender Journey

What Role should therapists play?

Jean Malpas

By Jean Malpas - Many parents confront new definitions of gender as pioneers, some never having heard the word transgender or cisgender before, all of them hacking their way through a wilderness of confusion, panic, and shame. As we work together, they slowly begin to understand---and act on---what we’ve found to be three essential elements of healing.

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A Therapist Struggles with the Clinical Choices He's Made

Reflections on a Marriage Therapy with a Transitioning Spouse

David Treadway

By David Treadway - Sometimes I’ve been instrumental in helping couples stay married when perhaps they’d have been happier if they’d gotten divorced. Other times, it’s been the reverse. Obviously, we all know that’s it not our job to tell our clients what’s right for them: rather, we need to create the right conditions for them to discover the answers for themselves. Frequently, however, our own reactivity shapes the messages we send and how profoundly we can influence---in unconscious and unpredictable ways---the unfolding of some couples’ lives. I feel that way about my work with Glen and Julie over a 14-year span.

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VIDEO: Susan Johnson on Attachment Issues in the Bedroom

How to Help Couples Have "Hold Me Tight" Conversations

Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson, couples therapist and author of Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships, will be a keynote speaker at this year's Networker Symposium. Here, she talks about how creating emotionally valuable experiences in therapy helps keep struggling couples engaged and better able to see their partner's point of view, and communicate better outside of therapy and in the bedroom.

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The Case for Porn

Can Pornography Actually Help our Relationships?

Ian Kerner

Porn is polarizing. Porn is confusing. Porn can be alarming. For therapists, porn can push us out of our comfort zone and trigger negative countertransference. One thing is for sure: porn is everywhere, and it’s here to stay. So what do therapists have to say about it?

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What Hookup Culture Means for the Future of Millennial Love

Alexandra Solomon on the Emotional Toll of Hypersexualized Dating

Alexandra Solomon

Even though young adults seem to be craving some safety to balance their adventure, hookup culture continues to thrive, as much as many therapists would love to see young adults create something more fulfilling than ambiguous, drunken, unsatisfying sex. Whatever changes lie ahead in our cultural rituals for coming-of-age relationally, we’ll be seeing in our therapy practices the emotional legacy of hookup culture, in all its rawness and frantic incoherence, for many years to come.

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Confronting Western Definitions of Sexuality and Intimacy

Michael Ventura on Sexuality and Romance as a Personal Journey into the Self

Michael Ventura

Today, sexuality still seems to be a territory as private and filled with fear as ever it was. We haven't advanced far in our ability to talk of our own sexuality one with another. Part of what makes sexuality scary is that it's a realm all its own: one in which the rational and the measured are overwhelmed and subsumed. It's where we meet ourselves most directly, without filters, without verbiage, and, if we go far enough, without fixed roles. It's where we meet ourselves with and through the Other, a partner as fluid we are.

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Pornography on the Rise: A Growing Mental Health Problem

Wendy Maltz on the Need to Address Porn Addiction as a Public Health Threat

Wendy Maltz

Nearly 40 million Americans visit Internet porn sites at least once a month. Not surprisingly, concerns about the effect of porn on individuals and relationships are also on the rise. Changes in how people access and use pornography have taken the therapeutic community by surprise. Many therapists don't yet comprehend the extent of the problems porn can cause, or how deeply its use can harm individuals and their intimate partners. What's more, pornography is quickly moving from an individual and couples' problem to a public health problem, capable of deeply harming the emotional, sexual, and relationship well-being of millions of men, women, and children.

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