by Stella Resnick, PhD
This book presents an integrative, growth-oriented approach to therapy with couples that demonstrates the dynamic interplay between partners’ emotional issues and their sexual difficulties. It offers a model for relational and sexual enhancement that focuses as much on partners’ present, nonverbal body-to-body communications as on their words.
Dr. Stella Resnick draws on research from interpersonal neurobiology, sexology, positive psychology, and Gestalt therapy, and shares a rich assortment of therapy vignettes to demonstrate the transformative power of pleasure.
The therapeutic process is explored in four related spectrums: the Problem-Transformation Spectrum, the Attachment-Sexuality Spectrum, the Pain-Pleasure Spectrum, and the Cognitive-Somatic-Experiential-Behavioral-Spectrum. Chapters show how a focus on body-to-body intimacy can heal emotional wounds from the past and encourage greater presence, empathy, authenticity, playfulness, and sexual pleasure between intimate partners. A series of process-oriented exercises and a Family Closeness Profile for therapists to use in their practice is included.
Body-to-Body Intimacy will enable couples therapists and sex therapists to expand their practices and enrich their clients’ sexual and relational dynamics.
This book also contains valuable information that will be appreciated by anyone interested in a greater understanding of a growth-oriented therapeutic process for couples and the quality of life that can be achieved together through a deeply loving and sexually fulfilling intimate love relationship.
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Praise for Body-to-Body Intimacy
Neurological research shows there are striking differences between the two lobes of the brain, the right hemisphere that we’re born with and the left hemisphere that comes online around age two. The right hemisphere is connected to the nervous system and is the embodied, nonverbal, intuitive, and emotional brain; the left hemisphere is the analytic, language-and-logic brain. Studies show that we may admire power and intellect, but love begins in the right brain: nonverbal, body-to-body, heart-to-heart, emotionally expansive. Likewise, wonderful sex, is nonverbal, body-to-body, heart-to-heart, playful, and full of feeling.
Couple’s therapy that is all talk without any attention to partners’ nonverbal interactions fails to expose the programmed right brain-to-right brain implicit communications and the subtle body-based emotional triggers that underly their distress together. I have found the most productive resources for growth in therapy—personal, relational, and sexual—involve drawing partners’ attention to internal visceral reactions that illuminate what has been subtly felt but previously unseen. The major keys to success in therapy involve breath and body awareness.