Today sex therapy is known to have been founded by Masters and Johnson (1970), whos published report on a “new” therapeutic approach to sexual problems, revolutionized what health professionals saw as the appropriate treatment for sexual dysfunction. In contrast to psychoanalytical approaches, the new sex therapy was relatively brief, problem focused, direct and behavioral with regard to technique. Ultimately, the large majority of sexual difficulties were seen as arising from a sexually restrictive or religiously orthodox upbringing.
This resulted in decreased communication with sexual partners, a lack of information about normal sexual functioning and subsequent anxiety and preoccupation over performance during sexual interactions. Theirs was a learning model of sexual functioning and the objectives of treatment consisted of effectively achieving alleviation of performance anxiety and re-educating clients regarding sexuality.
In 1974 Helen Kaplan used Masters and Johnson’s new therapy and elaborated her version with a direct approach to symptom treatment that worked. Nonetheless, many clients resisted the new behavioral techniques and the therapist relied on other methods of theory and interpersonal roles of sexual dysfunction. In other words, clients with serious underlying causes did not respond well to direct intervention.
Masters and Johnson (1970), sex therapy included short-term but intensive work with the couple. The work detailed information about human anatomy and physiology, as was more general counseling. The therapists conducted their work as a male-female pair of cotherapists; hence, traditional sex therapy involved four individuals; the cotherapists and the client couple.
In addition, the sessions consisted of direct activities, including a direction of nondemand pleasuring or “sensate focus”, where the client was to experience sexual pleasure without performance anxiety from performance demand or unwarranted self-monitoring of sexual performance. In effect, clients were instructed and advised through a series of sexual experiences to rediscover sexual pleasure with their and their partner’s bodies.
Masters and Johnson success rate with their new sex therapy methods were rather high. It seemed their failure rate was a mere 20% for all sexual dysfunctions. The health professionals were enthusiastic about a therapeutic approach to alleviate their clients’ sexual dysfunctions and quickly accepted Masters and Johnson’s new methods. This event was probably driven by social factors with such a great cultural emphasis on personal fulfillment and openness to discuss sexuality, as well as their reported success rate.
In the 25 years subsequent to Masters and Johnson (1970), several changes have taken place in sex therapy. Sex therapy in the 1970s was an outgrowth of an earlier cultural shift toward greater focus on increased sexual gratification and discussion of sexual issues. The typical client seeking sex therapy in the 1970s was relatively young and well educated and had come of age during the 1960s. Accordingly, anorgasmia in women and premature ejaculation in men were the prominent sexual dysfunctions presented to clinicians in the early days of contemporary sex therapy. The treatment model Masters and Johnson (1970) provided, including a brief, directive, problem-focused emphasis, was appropriate for many sex-therapy clients during the 1970s, many of whom simply needed to overcome ignorance and negative sexual attitudes. As a result, treatment outcome was generally positive, and a sense of optimism about the efficacy of sex therapy was evident among practitioners.
At the same time as the birth of contemporary sex therapy, there was a noticeable increase in mass media attention to issues of sexual enhancement. To an unprecedented degree, articles in magazines introduced topics as orgasm, sexual satisfaction, and ways to achieve them. Similarly, self-help books aimed at improving sexual functioning and enjoyment became widely available. As a result of these cultural changes, many types of cases that early sex therapists saw became scarce during the 1980s. That is, adults whose sexual difficulties could be addressed successfully from a direct, educational approach no longer sought sex therapists, assistance was forthcoming from the mass media. Over the past decade or so, clients who simply needed education and direction dwindled and the amount of clients with more pervasive and chronic sexual problems increased.
The sex therapists’ new caseloads consisted of erectile failure, low sexual desire and compulsive sexual behavior. Thus therapeutic approaches changed with the more complex, relationship-bound problems that sex therapists were facing. Also early sexual trauma causing sexual dysfunction needed to be address changing their treatment methods to include bibliotherapy, group therapy and medication for sexual issues.
Who stands to profit? Pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies from urologists and gynecologists than from sex therapist. Due to society, people would rather have a medical disorder than a sexual dysfunction.
Where to Begin to Use Forgiveness in Sex Therapy: A potential client must be willing to seek and/or grant forgiveness or it may not be an effective technique for healing. It is essential for a therapist to be skilled in the therapeutic use of forgiveness to correctly assess the clients openness and readiness in terms of timing, development and religion.
The therapeutic use of Forgiveness in sex therapy is complicated by the unsure emotions felt toward significant others, and the love”hate relationships with them. If your anger and resentment are debilitating to you, and if there is no way you can assuage them by bringing the offender to justice, it is in your own self-interest to remove them. Certain forgiveness strategies can be helpful, as we shall later see. Many people feel a deep sense of relief when a long-standing anger is dissipated and they are free at last from the perpetrator’s control over their emotions. When you hold on to an anger that consumes you without satisfying you in any way, you are, in effect, allowing the individual who hurt you to injure you continuously.
A lot of the time the clients need for revenge controls their consciousness and that prevents them from having a normal life. By letting go of the anger through forgiveness it helps them lead a healthy lifestyle. They may not forgive their partner in the moral sense, but overcoming the anger is for their well-being and for the well-being of others (members of the family) that maybe affected by the clients negative attitude.
Because forgiveness, repentance, and atonement are derived largely from religious traditions, counselors should evaluate the potential usefulness of these processes on the basis of each client’s religious.
Therapeutic Use of Forgiveness in Sex Therapy: To break unhealthy development and relational patterns and promote healing through forgiveness theoretically is a 4 step process. These steps help the client gain knowledge and recognize the sexual disease, sexual issues, sexual behavior, to give opportunity for compensation and to let the client act on the forgiveness.
Ironically, encompassing both mortality an morbidity associated with sexually transmitted disease and overpopulation, people today are faced with more problems related to sex. Relationships between men and women face great challenges with a lack of control over their sexual health. A need for sexual science is as great today as ever.
Not everyone knows the idea of self-worth and will not forgive someone that has behaved in an evil way. Also at some point it is hard to differentiate between the sin itself and the sinner, especially if the sinner does it over and over again. Sins are done by people and when done by relatively good people it seems odd. The sin usually doesn’t mirror the person who did it..but what if they are a repeat offender? Why should the client have negative feelings?
Be that as it may, if you have successfully been able to reframe your view of the offender, and find empathy and compassion for him, you might be willing to absorb your pain rather than pass it on to him with punitive words or actions. Your willingness to forgo your right to punish him will also save innocent others from the negative consequences of a sustained and exacerbated conflict. Your willingness to forgive will be a gift to your spouse and to your children as well.
I want you to know I am not talking about rape, murder or sexual abuse but offenses like insensitivities, a miss perception of one’s intentions or narcissistic preoccupation. Are these offenses worth all that built up resentment and hate? Forgiveness is influenced by factors over a long period of time; advances, retreats and diversions it should not be an all or nothing situation in which you forgive or you don’t
When it comes to embracing the wisdom of the virtue of humility, please keep in mind the fundamental weakness of human nature. Everyone has a tendency to be selfish and hurt others. It is hard to be good and caring all the time. The client must realize they are not perfect either, even if not in the same matter as the person that hurt them.
I might behave in a similarly offensive way under some circumstances. I should also bear in mind that someday I might be in a position in which I will have done wrong to another and will want to be treated with empathy and compassion by my victim. If, when I relate to an offender, I don’t allow empathy and compassion to influence my reactions, then I should not expect others to act in that spirit toward me. I shall forgive so that I will be forgiven. The ultimate goal of the forgiveness process is the gift of love extended by the victim to the perpetrator. If you fear that by forgiving you will appear weak, in the sense of making the offender more prone to take advantage of or attack you again, then you can forgive without letting him know that you have done so, or by taking precautionary measures to protect yourself.
Maybe your clients concern is if they forgive their partner they are condoning the offense. They can forgive their partner without overlooking what they have done. To give someone a “second chance” is not to close your eyes to the offense, but to hope for a change for the better.
It is healthier in the long run for your client to lose their victim status. Their status should be determined by who they are and not by the pain they have endured. Let everyone know their true self and not rely on having been someones victim. Don’t let their victim-hood benefits stop them from forgiving. Without forgiveness there may be increased problems in keeping and restoring sexual and mental health.
In the more clinical aspects of sexual science, we find that sex therapy is also in crisis at the present time. In part this is because we in the field have not taken the task of demonstrating its efficacy and value seriously enough. And that, in turn, is because of the complexity of the task–just what is it that sex therapy strives to achieve? We tend to conceptualize this in terms of the treatment of sexual dysfunctions, while most of the time we focus our sex therapy on the sexual relationship. This issue has been brought into sharper focus as a consequence of the Viagra phenomenon. What is the difference between treatment with Viagra and sex therapy? A close look at sex therapy finds considerable potential efficacy when dealing with communication problems, emotional insecurity, unresolved resentment, and inappropriate sexual meanings. In some cases, that is all the therapist needs to do for worthwhile benefits to result.
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