Reviewed by Kevin Jeffrey Goldwater
Despite the obvious benefits the world of psychotherapy has brought into both individual and communal lives, many cultures still consider therapy taboo. The action of attending therapy is misunderstood and often maligned: going to a shrink is for the crazies, seeking out professional help signifies inability for self-sufficiency, deviating from a biopsychosocial norm from translates as if you are broken. Surpassing the taboo of therapy itself is that of sexuality. Sexuality alone is a taboo subject—the exploration of one’s sexuality, the preferences and expression of such are hushed, driven into the darkness by a societal dictum that preaches uniformity and singular experience. Discussing one’s sexuality in terms of therapy and biopsychosocial healing can be difficult under the effect of the taboo nature. It is precisely this attitude—the one of taboo avoidance—that Shelley Green and Douglas Flemons combat with a smile in their edited anthology entitled, Quickies: The Handbook of Brief Sex Therapy.
Therapists can and do feel uncomfortable and unqualified to handle sexual discussions with their clients. They often refer clients to a ‘sex’ therapist or a like-focused clinician to have these sorts of conversations. Green and Flemons, however, suggest that therapists encourage active discussions (maintained with professionality and a clinical lens) about sexuality; it is, after all, part of the patient’s development and understanding of their relationships. Quickies reflects just that attitude— encouraging open and integrated discussion throughout the entries.
Although potentially considered a taboo topic, this anthology attempts to abolish the apathy and discomfort associated with discussing sexuality in the clinical setting. The twenty contributors offer clear, concise, and intriguing entries regarding the most under-discussed and ever pressing issues in sexual theory, such as non-monogamous relationships and sexual lives of cultural minorities.
Content and Coverage
Quickies is in its third edition. The growth it has shown in the revisions team-up perfectly with the immense drive for social change, i.e. the #metoo movement, indigenous resurgence movements, education reform and such that are being elevated to a new level by increased social activism and through social media.
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