Sex and Couples Therapy

July 23, 2012

I attended my 2nd Crucible Marriage and Family Workshop this weekend. I have now completed 7 days of very intense training. The Crucible combines sex therapy and Couples Counseling.  One would think that these two therapies are the same, however, the field of psychology has always considered these to be two separate fields.   As a trained Couples Therapist, I have also been taught to see them as two different areas of expertise.  I no longer perceive this to be true.

Maybe the separation of these two therapies has been based on the fact that we view long term relationship problems as issues of communication, distance, fighting and avoidance.  There is also the belief that inevitably our sex life diminishes because of length of partnership or marriage and our age.   Another reason is that many therapists are uncomfortable talking about sex.   This also allowed people in our field to not  broach the topic of sex at all, or certainly not intimately talking about the vagina, penis, oral sex, intercourse and more. Keeping the two topics of relationship separate has protected the therapist from having to deal with their own issues around sex.  It also kept them from having to deal with issues around gay sex , not having to talk about anal intercourse or dildos etc.  However, this was  doing our clients a disservice. David Schnarch one of the founders of the Crucible has proven over 30 years, that sex can become more frequent and more satisfying in our later years.  Sex in our sixties can be hotter than sex in our 20s.  Hot Sex has little to do with biological drive.  The hormones of  teenagers keeps them horny all the time, but that does not mean they know how to please their partners whether female or male.  Age and Intimacy are the ingredients for great sex.

Couples have a hard time talking about and negotiating intimate, hot, sloppy sex.  Heterosexual couples have a more difficult time talking about what they want, need and consider steamy, than gay and lesbian couples.

The amount of sex we are having is the direct result and a reflection of rest of our relationship.  If we are not having good sex, we are having other problems.  If one partner wants sex and the other is consistently withholding, than their is probably a tremendous amount of anger in the relationship.  These two issues do need to be worked on together.  Marital and Sex Therapy need to become one.

The Word Crucible is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:

1: a vessel of a very refractory material (as porcelain) used for melting and calcining a substance that requires a high degree of heat.

2: a severe test

3: a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development.

In order to change the dynamics of our relationship and sex life, we need to be willing to heat up our interactions, do intense self-reflection and confront the underlying issues that immobilize our relationships.  hense: the word Crucible.  What does heating up our interactions mean:  It means being honest with ourselves and each other about our blocks to sex and intimacy.  We need to put our relationships to the test, looking at what works and what doesn’t work

Two Books worth reading are:

Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships Desire and Intimacy

Both books are written by David Schnarch, Ph.D

Randy Weled, MFT






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