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August 1977

The Treatment of Sexual DysfunctionA Review

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(8):881-890. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770200019001

• In this article we describe and contrast the psychodynamic and directive approaches to the treatment of sexual dysfunction. We have also summarized and critically reviewed published reports with ten or more cases.

No firm conclusions can be drawn on the efficacy of the psychodynamic approach with this population because of the absence of controlled studies. Fairly conclusive evidence for the efficacy of the directive approaches is now available, but solely with highly selected populations. Success rates in studies with unselected psychiatric outpatient populations are much less favorable. The effect of characteristics of the patient population on outcome with the directive sex therapies has received dangerously little attention.