A Depth Psychological Approach to Healing and Recovery through Sex Therapy and Research
For more than a hundred years, depth psychologists have wrestled with understanding and treating sexual issues in psychotherapy, even creating specialities in sex therapy. Sexuality was at the core of Sigmund Freud’s earliest discoveries of unconscious phenomena. He wrote, “sexuality is the key to the problem of the psychoneuroses and of the neuroses in general. No one who disdains the key will ever be able to unlock the door.” Freud had a significant understanding of the power of the sexual drive to manifest as severe patient symptoms and he pointed to the significance of the unconscious mind in driving complex and challenging problems.
C.G. Jung’s legacy to sexual pathology was to alter or expand Freud’s view of sexuality beyond the biological instinct to the spiritual level. Jung wrote:
It is a widespread error to imagine that I do not see the value of sexuality. On the contrary it plays a large part in my psychology as an essential—though not the sole expression of psychic wholeness. But my main concern has been to investigate, over and above its personal significance and biological function, its spiritual aspect and its numinous meaning. (1961)
Post-Jungians and archetypal psychologists, including James Hillman, expanded even further on the psycho-spiritual-mythic dimensions of soul as it is expressed through sexual psychopathology. Hillman pointed to the soul at work beneath the symptoms: “The sexual fascination is the soul trying to get out and get into something other than itself” (1975).
In sex therapy from a depth psychological perspective, the patient and therapist work together toward understanding the deeper causes and reasons for sexual issues, well beyond surface-level treatments for common sexual issues. It is critical to work toward understanding how the soul or deeper psyche is at work through the symptoms. This approach is ideal for those who find their symptoms are situational in nature, or when other treatments have failed to produce important changes, or for those who have tried other avenues but feel there is more to be understood and learned.
For more information, click the link below to read more about my background and approach:
Edward Santana, Ph.D., Registered Psychotherapist
*Please note: I am not currently accepting new patients, but I am happy to provide referrals.
Now available on Amazon: Jung and Sex by Edward Santana, Ph.D.
“Fear of our own depths is the enemy.” ~James Hollis, PhD