Normality, Perversion, and Countertransference

What do we consider normal sexuality and how does it affect our work with patients? When we delve into the world of sex we tap into primitive psychological processes; the wise therapist will continually examine his/her own internal machinations and responses. Dr. Picker proposes that when it comes to sexuality, we tend to define normal via a rather narrow set of activities that tends to correspond to our personal sexual behavior. The need for attending to and understanding our own primitive processes and countertransference biases as we engage in psychotherapy around sexual matters will be discussed and illustrated. Utilizing clinical work from his somewhat unusual subspecialty–patients involved in BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism) — Dr. Picker intends to explore why someone would desire to be a submissive, as well as the unconscious processes of sexuality and the countertransferential work needed when patients bring up such loaded sexual matters in session. Psychological theories ranging from psychoanalysis to signal detection theory will be incorporated. Please Be Aware: Explicit photographs and language will be employed during the presentation. Please contact the presenter if you are concerned you might be offended.

Dr. Bill Picker joined the Child and Adolescent faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at New York/Presbyterian Hospital in 1986. It was there that he attended presentations by fellow faculty member, Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan, which sparked his longstanding interest in sex therapy. He is the Administrative Coordinator of the Manhattan Sex Therapy Peer Group (MSTPG) and is listed in Kink Aware Professionals and Polyamorous Friendly Therapists. His sex therapy-specific presentations and publications focus on demystifying and explaining the benefits of sex therapy to non-sex therapists, as well as BDSM issues.