Love, Sex and Psychotherapy in a Post-Romantic Era  book cover
1st Edition

Love, Sex and Psychotherapy in a Post-Romantic Era

Edited By

Del Loewenthal

ISBN 9780367561192
Published October 29, 2020 by Routledge
110 Pages

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Book Description

How do cultural changes such as the increasing lustful possibilities of our liquid modernity affect ‘romantic’ values as psychotherapists and counsellors - and, in turn, affect how they work through their clients’ relationships? Do they embody values from a previous era that are inappropriate for the era we are in now, which some term ‘post-romantic’? For example, do they really privilege monogamous relationships? There again, do those psychotherapists who advocate polygamy really want others to legitimize their own desire to have affairs? How wary should one be of accepting such prevailing theories as Freud’s nuclear family romance and his ‘ordinary unhappiness’? Is anyone value-free regarding romanticism/post-romanticism and should they be? Is ‘to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part’ still an ideal worth working towards or more an ideological imprisonment? This book seeks to explore recent research on how notions of romanticism and post-romanticism affect therapeutic practices.

Love, Sex and Psychotherapy in a Post-Romantic Era is a significant new contribution to psychotherapy, and will be a great resource for prospective and current clients, trainee and professional therapists, academics, researchers, and advanced students of Psychology, Psychotherapy, Philosophy and Human Behaviour.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Love, sex and psychotherapy in a post-romantic era – Whatever Happened to the Magic of the Relational?

Del Loewenthal

1. Should love be unconditional?

Helen Gilbert

2. Romance and murder

Sally Parsloe

3. Polyamory - a romantic solution to wanderlust?

Marian O’Connor

4. A phenomenology of love, thanks to Lacan, Miller, and Jellybean

Tony McSherry

5. Conversations outside the walls of the city: Techniques, erotic love and the wings of desire in Phaedrus and psychotherapy

Onel Brooks

6. Is Oedipus still blind? A countertransference take on love and hate in the consulting room

Paola Valerio

7.(No) time for love: Reflecting on relationships in psychotherapy

Poul Rohleder

8. Love, sex and psychotherapy in a post-romantic age: A commentary

Christopher Clulow

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Del Loewenthal is Emeritus Professor of Psychotherapy and Counselling at the University of Roehampton, London, UK, and Chair of SAFPAC ( He is an existential-analytic psychotherapist, photographer, and chartered psychologist, with a particular interest in phenomenology ( His books include Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling after Postmodernism (2017).