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January 3, 1986

Sex Therapy: A Practical Guide

JAMA. 1986;255(1):99-100. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370010109039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This book, written by a British psychiatrist, lives up to its title as a practical guide to sex therapy by providing a detailed format for the behavioral approach to assessing and treating problems of psychosexual dysfunction. The author notes the advances in the field over the last 20 years, emphasizing the work of Masters and Johnson. He provides a thorough review of the physiology of sexual response, helpful charts of physiological and pharmacologic factors contributing to dysfunction, and an interesting assessment of outcome studies. It is appropriate for novices in the area of sex therapy who are nonetheless highly experienced psychotherapists. Those clinicians could take advantage of the clear, helpful descriptions of sex therapy approaches.

A weakness of the volume, however, is the insufficient attention paid to the psychodynamics frequently associated with sexual dysfunction. Dr Hawton categorically states that "it is totally inappropriate for a person to be in both