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The Impossibility of Sex

The Impossibility of Sex

Stories of the Intimate Relationship between Therapist and Patient

The conventional view of a patient in therapy has been that of someone who forms a powerful, erotic bond with the therapist. On the other hand, the view of the therapist has been that of a neutral listener, emotionally unaffected by the patient. But what really does go on within the sacrosanct space of the therapist's office?
Distinguished psychotherapist Susie Orbach provides the answers as she presents six stories of patients, all of whom suffer from such common afflictions as depression, loneliness, compulsive eating, consuming sexual desires, and fear of attachment. In each story, Orbach reveals not just the client's problems, but -- with startling honesty -- the effect the client has on her as therapist.
The Impossibility of Sex breaks new ground by taking us into the center of the therapy relationship, one usually shrouded by therapist-client confidentiality. From the unlikely role the therapist plays in the troubled relationship of two lesbians to the unsettling dreams the therapist experiences while treating a man consumed by sexual desire, Orbach illuminates the complex human interactions at the heart of the therapeutic process and the "joint discoveries" that contribute to its effectiveness.
Choose a format:
  • Touchstone | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684864273 | 
  • March 2002
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Read an Excerpt

The Vampire Casanova

I felt twitches in my vagina, pleasurable contractions. It was a sunny Sunday morning in spring, two years after I had stopped seeing Adam. I was chopping some fennel when he not so much entered my mind as tapped on my body, as he had so many times during the course of a five-year therapy. Adam was a chef and from time to time when I was preparing food, his presence would insinuate itself and I would be back in the physical ambiance of our therapy time together.

Adam was a fornicator, a lover, a stud; a man whose daily life was shaped by sexual desire and sexual conquest in a spiral of infatuation, seduction and... see more

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