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Quickies The Handbook of Brief Sex Therapy (Norton Professional Books) [Paperback]

Douglas Flemons , Shelley Green

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Book Description

11 Sep 2007 Norton Professional Books
Here, Shelley Green and Douglas Flemons gather a wonderful array of approaches to sex therapy, each presented by a well-known therapist in the field. Quickies takes its cue from clients and keeps it positive and quick, as readers are reminded that the point of sex therapy is sexual change.

Frequently Bought Together

Quickies  The Handbook of Brief Sex Therapy (Norton Professional Books) + Sex, Sexuality and Therapeutic Practice: A Manual for Therapists and Trainers + Couple Burnout: Causes and Cures
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 Rev Exp edition (11 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393705277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393705270
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 16.1 x 2.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


A refreshing addition to any therapist's collection of sex therapy resources...a great read of innovative insight. -- Heather Guttormson

About the Author

SHELLY K. GREEN is an associate professor of family therapy at Nova Southeastern University. DOUGLAS FLEMONS is a director of the Brief Therapy Institute and professor of family therapy at Nova Southeastern University.

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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!!! 19 April 2007
By A. Ramirez - Published on Amazon.com
Dear Dr. Green and Dr. Flemons,

After reading your book, Quickies the Handbook of Brief Sex Therapy, I discovered sex therapy could be possible for someone like me! I had been baffled for about a year thinking how sex therapy could occur in the therapy room in a brief and systemic way. Your book managed to put my questions into perspective. I particularly found the Narrative approach to be very helpful. Using a literary metaphor as opposed to the medical model made perfect sense to me. I have found it to be very popular in the mental health field to rely on the medical model in order to make sense of the "problem." However, the eclectic/narrative stance brought about a very new intriguing way in which sex therapy could be incorporated. The book brought out a systemic way towards sex therapy in which the clients do not have to feel someone is "wrong." I must have reread this segment at least 5 times. How wonderful it is to have a conversation with clients without having to identify someone to blame. The book gave me an understanding of how to include externalizing in therapy. For example, the idea that "the problem is the problem" as opposed to "person is the problem" liberated me and my clients from the ongoing trap of medicalizing therapy.

The book presented a good look at therapy in a systemic/cybernetic fashion. I was intrigued by each chapter's introductory paragraphs. The book provided profound insight into the techniques and concepts that were to be applied in the case vignettes. I discovered how much I benefited from the first few paragraphs of each chapter.

The uses of case vignettes were very helpful as well. As a graduate student struggling to learn how to incorporate techniques within a systemic foundation, the vignettes helped display how these skills were used. Specifically in chapter eight, you speak about a relational approach to sex therapy. This chapter helped me experience the importance of a systemic approach in therapy. For example, the chapter mentions, never to focus on just one relationship at a time, but to be aware of other changes in the couples' lives. This allows flexibility and relational freedom to the clients' relationships with whatever the problem may be. Information such as this helped me as the reader grasp the overall concept of the books message.

One aspect of the book that took me a bit off guard was the title. When I first read the title I had some anticipation that the book would be a bit more sexual. For example, sexual in the sense that it would include more graphic details about sexual experiences and styles. However, the book ended up being much more informative than I had expected. The title had me thinking different things about the book as opposed to what I had ended up reading.

The book overall was very enlightening. It was one of those books that never end up on the shelf read only once. The book served more than just a manual for me, but also a very enjoyable read.


A.J. Ramirez
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! 18 April 2007
By L. Queen - Published on Amazon.com
Dr. Shelley Green and Dr. Douglas Flemons,

I am a student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. One of our professors, Martha Laughlin, used your book for one of our classes: Couples and Sex. I must say that for an overall read, being a student, it was very educational and helpful to me in my journey towards being a marriage and family therapist. The use of case illustrations, while intertwining the disciplines of Batesonian systemic thinking, helped me to more clearly understand how to apply these principals that I am learning. Additionally, when reading through the case illustrations, I was able to apply the teachings of my sociology background, such as social construction and dominant social narratives, and have a clearer understanding of how these can be used in therapy.
On account of personal preference, I found certain chapters more interesting than others. Chapter ten, "How Do Therapists of Same-Sex Couples `Do It'?" was a favorite of mine. Being open to either an opposite-sex or same-sex relationship myself, I could relate to the information described in both chapter ten and chapter two. It is true that there is limited research that can speak about the sexual difficulties of same-sex relationships, and I was glad to see that you both included these chapters. I found this book to also be intriguingly humorous. The double-meanings in some chapter headings such as, "Come Again? From Possibility Therapy to Sex Therapy," "Out of My Office and Into the Bedroom," "Just Between Us: A Relational Approach to Sex Therapy," "Who Really Wants to Sleep With the Medical Model? An Eclectic/Narrative Approach to Sex Therapy," and my personal favorite, "How Do Therapists of Same-Sex Couples `Do It'?" were a delightful aspect to the book. As mentioned in the introduction of this book, these chapter headings and titles grab the reader's attention and hold it there. Sex therapy is indeed a "serious business," but the lightheartedness of these chapter headings makes the book not only a "serious" read, but a fun one too. It is refreshing to know that you can read one of your class books for fun. You had mentioned in the introduction that this was one of your motives. Well, in my opinion you succeeded.
One other chapter that I enjoyed was chapter six, and how author Thorana S. Nelson "briefly" spoke about the different parts of family therapy that have helped to form her orientation to therapy, structural, Bowenian, behavioral, solution-focused, and narrative. For me, as a reader this helped me to better articulate the views behind the therapist and why she chose certain interventions. As a therapist, it is my orientation that you have to be able to make sense of your client's behavior in order to form that therapeutic relationship of change. Vice versa, it is helpful for me to be able to make sense of the therapist in order to understand how change occurred.
The book was well written; therefore, I did not find anything to be significantly confusing. I understand that as a writer/editor, it is more helpful to receive criticisms as opposed to praise, but I do not want to find myself trapped into trying to find something out of nothing. Yet, this did not surprise me considering that I agree with the majority of the ideologies contained in the book. If anything, what I gained most from this book was a better understanding of how to put these theoretical principals into practice. It was an "out of the book and into my therapy room" experience. Thank You for this.

L. Queen
Valdosta State University
Family Therapy Student
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful foreplay 20 April 2007
By Miss Manuel - Published on Amazon.com
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.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many Ways to Skin A Cat! 12 April 2006
By C. Shawn Oak - Published on Amazon.com
The collection of brief sex therapy models provides a vast array of techniques that may be employed with heterosexual couples, homosexual couples, and singles of either gender. The models include narrative therapy, catalytic therapy, multi-contextual therapy, relational approach, and techniques rooted in MRI and solution focused based therapy. These models employ a variety of techniques and in some cases crossover in ways that would be described as hybrid models. At the same time, all of the models presented in this work value similar approaches to the conceptualization of the therapeutic process.

The strongest technique that crossed all of the models presented was that of deep respect and the honoring of the client's individual and couple worldviews. The various therapists worked with their clients from an open and collaborative position. It seemed that most of the work exemplified in the case studies reflected a therapeutic stance from a position of second order cybernetics. In some cases, the therapists functioned from a both/and position in which they moved from first to second order cybernetic positions and back as the situation required. The fluidity of movement from these two positions was impressive and invoked a great deal of thought in how I may develop ways to utilize both positions effectively with clients.

A second major commonality across modalities was the respectful shelving of the DSM-IV and the medical model of sex therapy. While the therapists highlighted in this work recognized the impacts that physical health and disease may have on sexual functioning, they did not allow the medical model and the approaches to sex therapy rooted within to organize their treatment methods. Consistently, these therapists both checked with their clients about their physical health and if they had been recently examined with regard to their problems, or required their clients to obtain an examination in relation to their identified problem prior to continuing psychotherapy. It is refreshing to observe clinicians operating from a both/and position in which the validity of physical impairment may exist and at the same time, not allowing physical symptoms whose cause cannot be determined by a physician to organize how they approach therapy.

In addition to continuity of conceptualization in the approach of these clinicians, a careful understanding and a willingness to understand clients and educate regarding the newest pop pathological disorder of sexual addiction was refreshing. One of the contributors, Tracy Todd, labeled this trendy diagnosis the "premature ejaculation of sexual addiction diagnosis. Todd spent a great deal of space addressing the numerous online self assessment instruments that have become widely available to internet surfers who are attempting to understand their own behavior or label the behavior of someone else. Yet, as she pointed out, these instruments are not valid assessments and more importantly, the absence of any DSM criteria for this now popular diagnosis. As systemic theorists, we have come to understand that everything makes sense in context. These various therapists make clear that through the teasing apart of the contextual realities of each case, an understanding of behavior becomes clear. In the cases representing sexual addiction, the context and its deconstruction revealed that the behavior label as sexual addiction was revealed when the clients were asked what they were hoping to gain from the behavior. Rather than a compulsive need for some form of gratification, there were other reasons related to maintaining the existing relationship, avoiding external relationships that may exacerbate emotional pain, and research to teach themselves betters ways to please their partners.

As a reader and clinician, the efforts of the writers to expose how easily the medical models may seduce one and past practices of sex therapy rooted in that model were appreciated. Moreover, the emphasis and examples on how the interactions between partners seem to be more influential in how couples may or may not relate sexually, than the physical dysfunction that may presented. In the several cases provided, the presenting problems that were held prisoner by the medial model of sex therapy gained the freedom to change as the interactions between partners and those around them were altered.

In much of the writings, the influence of Milton Erickson, Don D. Jackson, John Weakland, Gregory Bateson, Jay Haley, and Paul Watzlawick were quite strong. The post modern and social constructionist roots of these "Fathers of Systemic Thinking" were evident in all of the models. In addition, the use of humor and irreverence seems to be a useful method to aid in creating space to talk about this sometimes-difficult subject. I noticed the influence of Erickson, Bateson, and Jackson in some of the humor used and found myself laughing and recognizing some of the comments from their case examples.

While there was much information across models of their effectiveness as sex therapy interventions, the reflection by some of the writers about their failures and difficulties throughout the history of their practice was a strong connection for this reader. This reflection of failures and difficulties experienced by these clinicians, normalizes for practitioners that nothing is 100% and creates room for mistakes, errors, and full-blown blunders from which to learn as well as normalize the sometimes trial and error nature of therapy.

The content and writing style of the authors easily maintained this reader's attention throughout the various models and approaches until reaching the last chapter, John Weakland at Work. While I appreciate and value the incredible knowledge that Weakland has given to the field of marriage and family therapy, this particular transcript lost me as a reader. Becoming lost was not about the content and did seem to be a matter of style. I found this particular chapter to be long and boring. The beginning of this chapter was strong, held the readers attention, and then suddenly lost it. Feeling lost and irritated, the continued reading of this chapter became too monotonous and rather than continue plowing through it, the after word, suddenly became irresistible.

The editors have succeeded in providing an excellent resource that exhibits the creativity and wisdom of some of the best brief therapists in the field. The book invites a variety of conversations concerning the approaches to sex therapy. These conversations contrast with the longer processes; traditional approaches pioneered by Masters and Johnson, and others.

As a new clinician entering the field, I anticipate using some of these models and have already begun conceptualizing how some of these may be combined as a means to increased effectiveness. In addition to my own use of these models, I would strongly recommend this handbook to any clinician working in the field of marriage and family therapy, and especially to those working with sexual issues.

In spite of the attention-losing final chapter, this book rates 5 stars!
5.0 out of 5 stars Between Us 9 Feb 2014
By John William Soria - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an impressive collection of case studies. The topics considered are intellectually provocative, diverse, and stimulating. It has been quite a useful reference book on solution focused brief therapy. Indeed, this book has exceeded my expectations. And, the editing is fabulous.
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