Attachment and Sexuality

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Diana Diamond, Sidney J. Blatt, Joseph D. Lichtenberg
Taylor & Francis, Jul 6, 2007 - Psychology - 288 pages
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The papers featured in Attachment and Sexuality create a dense tapestry, each forming a separate narrative strand that elucidates different configurations of the relationship between attachment and sexuality. As a whole, the volume explores the areas of convergence and divergence, opposition, and integration between these two systems. It suggests that there is a bi-directional web of influences that weaves the attachment and sexual systems together in increasingly complex ways from infancy to adulthood.

The volume’s unifying thread is the idea that the attachment system, and particularly the degree of felt security, or lack thereof in relation to early attachment figures, provides a paradigm of relatedness that forms a scaffold for the developmental unfolding of sexuality in all its manifestations. Such manifestations include infantile and adult, masturbatory and mutual, and normative and perverse.

Also central to the papers is the idea that the development of secure attachment is predicated, in part, on the development of the capacity for mentalization, or the ability to envision and interpret the behavior of oneself and others in terms of intentional mental states, including desires, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Topics discussed in the book will help to shape the direction and tenor of further dialogues in the arena of attachment and sexuality.

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About the author (2007)

Diana Diamond, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at the City University of New York, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the Weill Medical Center of Cornell University, where she is also a senior fellow at the Personality Disorders Institute.

Sidney J. Blatt, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Yale University and Chief of the Psychology Section, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. He is also a graduate and a member of the faculty of the Western New England Psychoanalytic Institute.

Joseph Lichtenberg, M.D., is a practicing psychoanalyst in Washington, D.C. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Inquiry and the Psychoanalytic Inquiry Book Series. He is on the faculty of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, the Washington School of Psychiatry, and is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Georgetown University. He is also on the editorial boards of the Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is Founder and Director Emeritus of the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (Washington, D.C.).

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