In choosing the topic of sex and psychotherapy for this issue, our aim was to open up a very important and basic area of psychotherapeutic theory and practice. Our contributors have dealt with both the fundamental and theoretical aspects in their articles: Rob Weatherill, for example, on Seduction and Therapy; Geraldine Grindley on sex and groups; Anna Davis looks more at the transcendental approach while Yvonne Jacobson and Joni Crone deal with specific areas and questions. We cannot hope to cover all aspects of this major and far reaching topic, but we hope that this issue will provide a stimulating read and encourage people to re-visit this topic which is a basic, and often unacknowledged, element in every therapeutic encounter.
One of our most public functions is to be seen in the role of ‘counsellor’, sorting out people who are abused or abusers and bringing psychotherapy into the news. It sometimes seems as if society was pushing this on to the psychotherapy profession and we need to be clear about whether we accept such a role or whether we think that is what we should be doing. Effectively we may be coerced into the provision of therapy to cope with this, to ‘mop it up’ for those who can find no other way of dealing with it. In working with sexual issues on behalf of the client or society it can be a very difficult area, made much more complex because of these moral and social aspects.
As one of our contributors notes, secrecy and reluctance to deal with issues of sexuality in therapy suggests that it may be a relatively unintegrated aspect of the self. This makes it all the more important that psychotherapists should not themselves be inhibited in this area.
Our remaining three issues will look at Anger, Gain and Loss, and the Future of Psychotherapy. We would strongly encourage our readers to think of contributing your thoughts on some of these topics so that Inside Out can fulfill its stated aim of being an open forum for debate and discussion.