1st Edition

Unmet Expectations in Couple and Sex Therapy Helping Couples Negotiate Realistic Relationships

By Stephen J. Betchen Copyright 2024
    190 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    190 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Stephen J. Betchen illuminates unmet expectations as one of the leading causes of relationship problems, offering an integrative, systemic, and conflict-oriented treatment model that will help both therapists and couples develop happier and more realistic relationships. 

    This clinical guide helps therapists provide couples with the ability to recognize the origin of their expectations and when their expectations might be realistically or unrealistically too high or low. It defines and demonstrates the complexity of what met or unmet expectations are, identifying common symptoms as anger, incessant bickering, anxiety, disappointment, disillusionment, and sadness. Chapters outline how to determine the origin and impact of unmet expectations before discussing how and why we choose our partners that do or do not meet our needs. Addressing sociocultural factors in depth, Betchen provides tools to assess and treat both sexual and non-sexual symptoms and includes a chapter on how to manage the issue of when a therapist doesn’t meet the expectations of their clients.

    The book is invaluable for therapists who work with couples as well as trainees and supervisors in couple, family, and sex therapy graduate and post-graduate programs.

    Acknowledgments Preface   Section I Understanding the Expectations of Couples   1. Introduction: Complexity and Conflict  2. The Origin of Expectations  3. Mate Choice and Expectations   4. Sociocultural Influence  Section II Clinical Assessment of Expectations  5. Assessing Couples with Unmet Expectations  Section III Clinical Treatment  6. Treating Couples with Unmet Expectations  7. The Therapist’s Expectations  Epilogue


    Stephen J. Betchen, DSW, LMFT, is an AAMFT-approved supervisor and AASECT certified supervisor. He currently maintains a full-time private practice in New Jersey specializing in couples and sex therapy.

    "In the third text using his Master Conflict Theory, Dr. Betchen illustrates how to deal with unmet sexual and relational expectations in conflicted couples. Betchen is masterful in integrating psychodynamic and systemic protocols, producing another valuable resource for beginning and expert clinicians alike."

    Nancy Gambescia, PhD, Former Director, Post-Graduate Sex Therapy Program, Council for Relationships, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    "In Unmet Expectations, Dr. Betchen masterfully synthesizes theory and practice into a highly important text addressing the core issues of what brings couples into treatment. Replete with diverse clinical examples, he outlines a well-constructed, comprehensive process by which therapists most effectively can conceptualize and implement Master Conflict Theory step-by-step. This is a must-have for a therapist at any stage of practice."

    Katherine Hertlein, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

    "In Unmet Expectations, Betchen uses his Master Conflict Theory to explain why some couples continue to fall short of what they want and how they pull unsuspecting therapists into the same unsatisfying pursuit. In his usual insightful way, Betchen cuts through the confusion to explain the dynamics at work for both romantic partners and how a therapist can skillfully offer these clients the ability to grow beyond the limits of their past. And, as with the rest of his writing, it is rich with clinical acumen that will make you a better therapist with both couples and individuals."

    Ari Tuckman, PsyD, author ADHD After Dark: Better Sex Life, Better Relationship