Constructing the Sexual Crucible

An Integration of Sexual & Marital Therapy

Published in 1991 by W. W. Norton & Co.

Constructing the Sexual Crucible: An Integration of Sexual and Marital Therapy

Praise from the Experts

"Intimacy is a multifaceted state of subjective and objective appreciation of multiple dimensions of partners' sensual, sexual, and social personas. Many have tried to define and describe an interpersonal state of intimacy--most have failed. David Schnarch has succeeded to a level never previously attained. A well-worn copy of Constructing the Sexual Crucible should be in every psychotherapist's library."

William H. Masters, M.D.
Masters and Johnson Institute

"Schnarch is outspoken, compassionate, energetic, scholarly, and visionary. He offers the most unifying model of sexuality, intimacy, psychological development, and systemic interaction I've ever read. Constructing the Sexual Crucible may just be the most important book on integrating sexual and marital therapy to come along in decades."

Alan S. Gurman, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin Medical School

"David Schnarch not only offers an original approach to sex and sex therapy, but also includes an encyclopedic coverage of all other approaches. He is the first to identify significant theoretical and therapeutic controversies in the field and to organize the lines of debate. In addition, this book is the first to be about sex, in that Dr. Schnarch engages in highly explicit discussions of what goes on in bed. He presents the reality of our struggles with sex, avoiding the easy evasions of the yes-sayers (once you realize it's OK, sex just happens) and the know-nothingness of the behaviorists (when you are not anxious, sex just happens). Given it's high level of theoretical and clinical sophistication, this book should be a milestone in the field."

Bernard Apfelbaum, Ph. D.
Director, Berkeley Sex Therapy Group
Berkeley, California

"After more than two decades of independent, often parallel development, David Schnarch has brought sex therapy and marital and family systems therapy into a meaningful integration. This book is an imposing combination of scholarship, analysis, and self-disclosure from an experienced and sensitive clinician. It is hard going in many places, because the issues are complex and difficult to explicate. In other sections, particularly the clinical examples, the book reads like a well-written novel.
Beyond helping the reader to understand what modern sex and marital therapies are, and how they came to be, Dr. Schnarch defines their limitations. He goes far beyond the usual goals of therapy to show us what sexual potential may mean for the few fortunate humans whose struggles in the crucibles of life lead to differentiation, spirituality, and love. This book should enlighten and enrich every therapist fortunate enough to read it."

Joshua S. Golden, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute