A new integrated model of ‘sensate focus’ for treating sexual problems in couple psychotherapy
In this study morning, Dr Susan Pacey will question the continuing split in psychotherapy between psychodynamic approaches that focus on the emotional-relational arena and psychosexual approaches that focus on the body, behaviour, and sexual technique. Why is a 'dual' approach, integrating mind, body, and relationship, such a challenge? Why are there so few practitioners publicising an integrated approach?
The seminar is based on Susan’s recent doctoral research at Tavistock Relationships on 'sensate focus', an enduring and widely used tool in psychosexual therapy. Her paper on sensate focus and couple psychotherapy is in the most recent issue of the journal Couple and Family Psychoanalysis (Autumn 2019).
The presenter will consider possible unconscious dynamics generated by the introduction of this intervention in couple work and its possible impact on partners, the therapist, and the couple-therapist relationship. She will also consider the arguments for and against the use of this 'concrete' intervention in couple psychotherapy.
Susan will propose an integrated model based on some of Winnicott’s most celebrated concepts and will think about the value and limitations of applying Winnicottian theory to sexuality in couple work, and how integrated 'dual' couple therapists go beyond a purely Winnicottian approach.
Relevant clinical material will be discussed during the morning.
About Tavistock Relationships
Tavistock Relationships is an internationally-renowned charity for advanced practice, training and research to support couples, individuals and families.