IMPOSSIBILITY OF SEX : Stories of the Intimate Relationship Between Therapist and Patient  - Orbach, Susie

IMPOSSIBILITY OF SEX : Stories of the Intimate Relationship Between Therapist and Patient

Susie Orbach

Yayınevi: Scribner

Yayın tarihi: 03/2000

ISBN: 9780684864266

Ciltli | İngilizce | 256 Sayfa | 15,75x23,88x2,79 cm.

Tür: Sosyal Psikoloji

The conventional view of a patient in therapy has been that of someone who forms a powerful, erotic bond with the therapist. On the other hand, the view of the therapist has been that of a neutral listener, emotionally unaffected by the patient. But what really does go on within the sacrosanct space of the therapist's office? Surrounded by the vast wall of therapist-client confidentiality, it is difficult to know.

The Impossibility of Sex allows us to experience the intimacy of the therapeutic encounter. In a manner easily accessible to lay readers, distinguished therapist Susie Orbach presents six stories of patients, all of whom suffer from such common afflictions as depression, loneliness, compulsive eating, consuming sexual desires, and fear of attachment. In each story, Susie reveals not just the client's problems, but -- with startling honesty -- the effect the client has on her as therapist.

The story of Adam, the Vampire Casanova, a man consumed by his sexual desires, illustrates one of the most intense interactions that can occur between therapist and patient. We read how the therapist went to bed at night after a session during the day with Adam: "He stayed with me so that when I awoke I was not sure whose bed I was in or who was in mine. My senses were sharpened as they can be in the throes of an infatuation. The important thing, I told myself as I stepped out of the shower, was to be aware of any desire on my part to exploit the situation for my own sexual ends....Did I need Adam to confirm some aspect of my own sexuality?"

The story of Edgar, a compulsive eater, focuses on food and body image. Susie describes how Edgar causes the therapist to take on the largeness of his body. In the story of Carol and Maria, we see how this troubled gay couple draws the therapist in as a necessary third party to their relationship.

For the psychotherapeutic couple -- therapist and patient, analyst and analysand -- part of what makes for effective therapy is the close, collaborative nature of the venture. The two people must work together to understand the shape of the patient's difficulties. The therapist has particular knowledge and expertise. But the beneficial aspects of therapy depend upon its being experienced as a joint discovery.

The Impossibility of Sex breaks new ground by taking us into the center of this magical process. It takes us well beyond the sexual to the much larger realm of the erotic. The many forms this may take are revealed here in all their amazing diversity. Susie Orbach's deep and alert experience of the therapeutic process illuminates how effective it may truly be. It is an important work for therapists, patients, and all readers interested in how our psychologies work. The Impossibility of Sex also allows readers to appreciate the beauty and art of therapy. It is a human endeavor with its own aesthetic that captures something profound about the condition of being human.

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