Barriers to Loving is an intriguing exploration of the role of sexual love over the course of life. Beginning with the mental health professions’ avoidance of the topic, Levine proposes a compendium of love’s pathologies by reorganizing what is familiar to clinicians into the barriers that limit the formation of adult-adult love, impediments that diminish a partner’s lovability, and the impediments to feeling and expressing love for a partner. Before reviewing scientific contributions to the understanding of love, he explores the topics of sexual excess and infidelity and how they relate to the aspiration to love and be loved. The final two chapters synthesize with clarity what to teach about love to young professionals in order to prepare them for the complexities they will soon encounter and provide a sophisticated answer to the question, What is love? Barriers to Loving integrates humanism, science, and clinical experience in Levine’s long-appreciated unique and mature voice.
Table of Contents
The Avoidance of Love. A Compendium of Love’s Pathologies. Love Problems Manifested During Courtship. Impediments that Diminish a Person's Lovability. Impediments that Limit a Person's Ability to Express Love. Problematic Sexual Excess. Infidelity. Love and Science. Love and Therapy. What is Love?
Stephen B. Levine, MD, is clinical professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is the author of Sex is Not Simple, Sexual Life: A Clinician’s Guide, Sexuality in Midlife, and Demystifying Love: Plain Talk for the Mental Health Professional. He is the senior editor of the Handbook of Clinical Sexuality for Mental Health Professionals. He has been teaching, providing clinical care, and writing since 1973. He is codirector of the Center for Marital and Sexual Health in Beachwood, Ohio. He is a recipient of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research’s Masters and Johnson’s Award for Lifetime Achievement.
"As a seasoned therapist, I appreciated this new framework that Barriers to Loving offered. It would be equally valuable to those just learning the craft of couples’ counseling, providing them not only with copious amounts of scientific information about love’s workings, but also powerful and pragmatic tools for helping our clients reach the universal goal of feeling truly known and appreciated by another." — Pega Ren, EdD, Private Practice, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy