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Synopsis

This path-breaking volume introduces Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy for clinical work with troubled couples. Practice-focused and engaging, it integrates real-world knowledge of the intersections of gender, culture, power, and identity in relationships with empirical findings on the neurobiology of attraction. Case examples detail the process of therapists in the moment as they develop both their clinical skills and their understanding of the social contexts fueling couples' difficulties. Applications of the method, which can be used with same-sex couples as well as heterosexual ones, are shown in addressing infidelity, tapping into partners' spirituality, and modeling and encouraging mutual respect and support.

Among the topics covered:

  • Undoing gendered power in heterosexual couple relationships.
  • Interpersonal neurobiology, couples, and the societal context.
  • How gender discourses hijack couple therapy—and how it can be avoided.
  • How SERT therapists develop interventions that address the larger context.
  • Building a circle of care in same-sex couple relationships.
  • Couple therapy with adult survivors of child abuse: gender, power, and trust.

Socio-Emotional Relationship Therapy opens out practical new possibilities for marriage and family therapists, clinical psychologists, social workers, and counselors seeking ideas for more meaningful couples work.

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