Sexual Attraction in Therapy presents new findings from multiple perspectives into the complex phenomenon of sexual attraction in therapy. Detailed clinical examples and strategies from expert contributors demonstrate how therapists can engage with sexual attraction, when it arises, in positive ways that facilitate client progress and ensure appropriate professional conduct.
* Challenges practitioners to think about sexual attraction as a normal dynamic developing through the unique intimacy of the therapy encounter * Presents new findings from research to enrich understanding of the lived experience of therapists and how they confront, avoid, make use of the process of sexual attraction * Provides clinical examples to highlight common challenges faced by practitioners, the strategies they use to overcome them and how they normalize the taboo of sexual attraction to make positive use of it in therapy * Makes an important contribution to current literature on professional practice, an area of increasing importance as more emphasis is placed on issues of ethics, ongoing supervision and appropriate professional conduct * Expert contributors include Doris McIlwain, Michael Worrell, John Sommers-Flanagan and Martin Milton
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).
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