One of my interests in the area of sexuality is the interaction of sexuality and spirituality, so I was somewhat disappointed that there was not mention of that in the book. In my opinion, the messages that many people receive from their faith community often form the basis for their self-defeating ideas about sexuality. However, I found the chapter on Narrative therapy most helpful because it provided some substance to my argument. Doan explained that "narrative work, informed by social constructionist notions, seeks to liberate clients' voices from the oppression of cultural mythologies and discourses" (p. 155-156). In addition, I believe that the conversation on pages 165-169 further highlights the impact of what I refer to as "religiously defined sexuality."
Of all the chapters in the book, I was able to connect to this chapter most because I consider myself to be a Narrative Therapist. It offered new insights for me into how to work with clients who present with complaints about their attitudes about sex. Though the chapter did not go into great details about the influence of spirituality on sexuality, I was able to apply the core ideas in my personal project for the class which centered on the influence of spirituality on individual's ideas about sexuality. With that said, I feel that the next edition of the book would greatly benefit from an article that deals specifically with the issues of spirituality and sexuality. As a therapist who belongs to the Christian community, I am often left feeling as if I am being pulled between two worlds--the world of therapy and the world of Christianity. Quite often it seems that the suggestions made by therapists are not in sync with fundamental Christian doctrine or practices, and the suggestions made by Christian writers and leaders are often not in harmony with systemic assumptions. While this tug-of-war can be exhausting, it does provide me with some understanding of what clients may be experiencing.
Again, I thank you for your contribution to the field and for your influence on my educational experience as I have been fortunate to study under two of your best and brightest students. I am anxiously awaiting the release of the next edition.
Quickies served as wonderful foreplay! Several thoughts in the book provoked ideas and challenges, which have helped me to evolve into a better and more aware therapist. The highlight of the book can be found on page 174. This section discusses the therapist's exploration and evaluation of self when seeing clients. The questions were very useful. I believe I can apply this idea to every client, based on their particular incoming issue, simply by rephrasing the questions.
I also particularly enjoyed Chapter Eight - Just Between Us: A Relational Approach to Sex Therapy. I really appreciated the distinction that was made between professional and personal conversation made on page 127. I think that that is something very important to highlight. In addition, reading the section on Relational Sex Therapy was very helpful to my development as a therapist. I could really appreciate and understand your understanding of the multiple relationships that exist within the therapy room. This concept indirectly reiterates the importance of going into the therapy room from a stance of curiosity. This resonates with my own therapeutic assumptions and orientation. By taking a not-knowing posture, the therapist is being non-assuming and showing genuine interest by asking questions to the client. A great example of this is described on page 175 regarding gay and lesbian clients.
Furthermore, great conversations were explored in my Masters level Couples and Sex Therapy class. Your book initiated discussions about a variety of topics, such as some of the following:
* Is there really a difference between making love and having sex?
* What is "making hate"?
* The struggle between parents and children to talk about sex
* Is nudity sexual?
* The definition of sexual intercourse
* One's relation to sex vs. the relation to the person you're having sex with
* Language separation - being female vs. feminine and being male vs. masculine
* The concept of there being more than just two sex types
So, yes, in my opinion, you have accomplished your third goal of "stimulating conversations and further explorations of brief sex therapy." Hence, I am thankful for your thoughts on the subject matter. It has influenced my ideas and created a better understanding of therapy. Thank you.