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Book details
  • SubGenre:Developmental / Lifespan Development
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Hear the Word, Religious Experience, Discernment, and Sex and Gender
  • Series Number:4
  • Pages:176
  • Duration:3 Hours 59 Minutes
  • eBook ISBN:9781667895215
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667895208
  • Audiobook ISBN:9798350945195

Sex, Gender, Fantasy, and Desire

Through the Lenses of Christian Anthropology and Catholic Psychotherapy

by Deacon Ray Biersbach Ph.D.

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Connecting sex, gender, fantasy, and desire is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The many pieces all have a place. Plus, all the parts interlock with the others, and each is essential to seeing the whole picture. In this book, each part is linked to professional resources. Then, each part is evaluated from Christian anthropology and evidence-based psychotherapy perspectives. Catholics' moral and lived experiences inform the goals and interventions of therapists, clients, and readers.
There is no one explanation for the multiple expressions of gender. Rather, many influences shape any individual's self-image and gender presentation. Among those influences have been advances in both philosophy and psychoanalytic theory. They have each contributed to our understanding of self-image and self-expression in gender. What has resulted is that birth sex has become less normative for about 20% of young adults. Instead, that group presumes that defining how they think about their gender and express it is part of authentic development. Essential to the responses of psychotherapists, parents, and others is to deepen our capacity for empathy. Advanced empathy skills include reminders that humans live "in time" and that the journey toward maturity and Christian holiness is not instantaneous but gradual and step-by-step. One tool for expanding empathy is to find the courage to acknowledge our fantasies. They can be clues to both our inner needs and motivations along that journey and the journeys of those we know and care about. Also, as part of accompanying those on their life journey, psychotherapy becomes "Catholic" when evidence-based treatment is linked to the Church's insistence on the centrality of life, the church's sexual morality, our call to holiness, and the belief that to live a happy life requires virtue, courage, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This book reviews the multiple influences on self-image and gender expression. Each chapter includes a couple of connections to the vast treasure trove of Christian anthropological and Catholic psychotherapeutic resources. The forty short chapters include definitions of terms and brief introductions to personality influences. The book also adds that navigating our developmental journeys involves examining our expectations, loneliness, similarity versus complementarity, genuine self-love, attractions, romance, and intimacy. Lastly, shaping our desires requires responsibility, virtue, courage, and a commitment to modeling our sexuality on the inner life of the Trinity.
About the author
Ray Biersbach is a Catholic deacon who has been active in ministry for 50 years. He also worked as a licensed psychologist for 40 years. He closed his practice in 2019 to write about the intersection of Christian anthropology and Catholic psychotherapy. This is his fourth book in a series. His books are available from his webpage, www.ourcfe.com, or from the BookBaby.com store