This book presents an integrative, growth-oriented approach to therapy with couples that demonstrates the dynamic interplay between partners' emotional issues and their sexual difficulties. It offers a model for relational and sexual enhancement that focuses as much on partners' present, nonverbal body-to-body communications as on their words. Dr. Stella Resnick draws on research from interpersonal neurobiology, sexology, positive psychology, and Gestalt therapy, and shares a rich assortment of therapy vignettes to demonstrate the transformative power of pleasure and how a focus on body-to-body intimacy can heal emotional wounds from the past and encourage greater presence, empathy, authenticity, playfulness, and sexual pleasure between intimate partners.
The therapeutic process is explored in four related spectrums: the Problem-Transformation Spectrum, the Attachment-Sexuality Spectrum, the Pain-Pleasure Spectrum, and the Cognitive-Somatic-Experiential-Behavioral-Spectrum. Part I lays the theoretical foundation for the work. Part II examines the early attachment bond between parent and child and its effects on adult capacity for emotional closeness and sexual pleasure. Part III offers methods for resolving painful emotional issues underlying many sexual difficulties. Finally, Part IV describes the procedure for moving from a cognitive reframing of the problem to a somatic focus on the body and tracking present-moment emotional interactions to the repair of relational injuries that nurture transformational change. Also included is a series of process-oriented exercises and a handout that therapists can use in their own practice.
Body-to-Body Intimacy will enable couples and sex therapists to expand their practices and enrich their clients' sexual and relational dynamics. This book also contains valuable information that will be appreciated by anyone interested in a greater understanding of a growth-oriented therapeutic process for couples and what can be achieved together by gaining a deeply loving and sexually fulfilling intimate love relationship.