Grounded in the cognitive-behavioral approach, The Dilemmas of Intimacy focuses exclusively on understanding, assessing, and treating common problems with intimacy. Intimacy offers both risks and rewards, which create three dilemmas that every couple must negotiate: joy vs. protection from hurt, I vs. we, and past vs. present. These dilemmas offer readers a window into the treatment of intimacy problems, and help them to structure formulations, treatment goals, and therapeutic strategies.
Unique to this book is the author’s “Intimacy Signature,” which is a comprehensive system for assessing couples’ intimacy issues, and offers a four-step formula for translating assessment data into therapeutic strategies. Along with the book, readers will have access to a web resource page that includes the Intimacy Signature assessment: therapist worksheets (that help match presenting problems to probable intimacy dilemmas), checklists of strengths and areas of vulnerability to assist the clinician in making a prognosis, a client take-home packet, and therapist tools for intervention (including therapist-client dialogues).
Table of Contents
Introduction. 1. Rewards, Risks, and Intimacy Dilemmas 2. The Assessment of Intimacy-Related Problems 3. Getting Started and Building the Therapeutic Alliance 4. Behavioral Interventions 5. Affective Interventions 6. Cognitive Intervention 7. Intimacy’s Core Dilemma: Joy Vs. Protection from Pain 8. Intimacy Dilemma 2: How Much “I” Vs. How Much “We?” 9. The Urge to Merge, Dilemma 2 and the Challenges of Differentiation 10. Dilemma 3: “The Past Lives in the Present.” Concluding Thoughts
Karen J. Prager, PhD, ABPP, is a professor of psychology and program head for gender studies at The University of Texas at Dallas. She is also a diplomate in couple and family psychology, specializes in the treatment of troubled relationships, and offers supervision and continuing education for mental health professionals on couple therapy.