Erectile Dysfunction. Integrating Couple Therapy, Sex Therapy, and Medical Treatment.

Author:Owens, Annette Fuglsang
Position:Book review

Erectile Dysfunction. Integrating Couple Therapy, Sex Therapy, and Medical Treatment By Gerald R. Weeks & Nancy Gambescia (2000) Norton ISBN: 0-393-70330-4; 201 pages, USA $30, CAN $42

The Authors:

Gerald Weeks, Ph.D. is a professor at the University of Las Vegas and is the author of numerous books on sex and marital therapy. Nancy Gambescia, Ph.D., teaches the treatment of sexual dysfunctions to therapists and has a private practice focusing on marital and sex therapy in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

The Audience:

The book is mainly targeted towards health professionals who come into contact with clients affected by erectile difficulties. General readers may find some valuable information on erectile dysfunction, its assessment, and various treatment options.


The book begins with an overview of issues and concerns surrounding erectile dysfunction (ED), including a very good list of misconceptions about erections and a discussion of why someone with ED may be reluctant to seek professional help. Emphasis is on ED being a couples' problem, and that couple/marital therapy should go hand in hand with sex therapy and sometimes medical treatment.

The authors present sex therapy and couple/marital therapy as two separate and non-inclusive fields. True, the two areas may have developed independently from each other and still be "... professionally, academically, and organizationally separate (p.3) ..." However, I believe that the two fields have already merged to a greater extent than Weeks & Gambescia recognize. Many professionals have been trained and certified in both areas. It is obvious that most sexual difficulties present themselves in the context of a relationship, and someone's sex-life, including its strength and weaknesses, simply cannot be properly dealt with out of this context.

Following is a chapter on the medical aspects of ED. The information presented in this chapter may in particular be useful for mental health professionals who wish to familiarize themselves with the most recent advances in the medical treatment of ED. This chapter may also prove useful for a person affected by ED, as it provides information regarding different treatment options. The chapter offers a good discussion, but there are a few minor errors:

1) "... Erections are often present during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and also when a man awakens from sleep with a full bladder (p. 16) ..." Authorities generally agree that the latter statement is a...

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