Sensate Focus In Sex Therapy: The Illustrated Manual

Sensate Focus in Sex Therapy: The Illustrated Manual provides health professional with specific information on the use of Sensate Focus, structured touching opportunities used regularly by Sexologists to address their clients’ sexual difficulties (Sensate Focus 1) and enhance intimate relationships (Sensate Focus 2). This book is the only one to: vividly describe and illustrate the specific steps of, activities involved in, and positions associated with Sensate Focus; emphasize the purpose of Sensate Focus as a mindfulness-based practice; and distinguish between the purposes of Sensate Focus 1 and Sensate Focus 2.

Through the use of artful drawings and descriptive text, this manual engages mental health and medical professionals and their clients by appealing to both the visual and the analytical. It discusses how modifications to Sensate Focus can be applied to diverse populations, such as LGBTQI clients, people who are elderly or disabled, trauma survivors, and those with challenges such as Autism Spectrum, anxiety, and depression. The book also offers suggestions for dealing with common client difficulties such as avoidance, confusion, and goal-directed attitudes. This comprehensive approach to Sensate Focus will remind readers of the beauty and power of touch while offering suggestions for moving from avoidance to sensory transcendence.

The book includes modifications to Sensate Focus that can be applied to diverse populations

such as LGBTQI clients, the aging, the other-abled, trauma survivors, and those challenged with Spectrum concerns, anxiety, and depression.

The First Book By

Linda Weiner MSW, LCSW and Constance Avery-Clark PH.D.

“This book is a whole-person approach
– the emphasis on touching as essential to human thriving –
are messages that make this book invaluable.”

The Co-Directors of the Institute for Sexual & Relationship Therapy & Training (Linda Weiner, LCSW, and Constance Avery-Clark, Ph.D.) announce the Routledge publication of the first reader-friendly illustrated manual showing how to do the mindful touch exercises called Sensate Focus, a foundation of sex therapy. It uses artful drawings and descriptive text. Sensate Focus in Sex Therapy: The Illustrated Manual helps therapists, their clients, and the general public use touching to resolve sexual concerns and optimize intimate satisfaction. It represents the fulfillment of William Masters and Virginia Johnson’s intention to publish a detailed account of the steps involved in Sensate Focus. It has been updated for use in the more diversified world.

Reviewers suggest, “This book is long overdue! It is a rich treasure.” In an era of increasing medicalization, the manual’s “whole-person approach – the emphasis on touching as essential to human thriving – are messages that make this book invaluable.” “Weiner and Avery-Clark refresh and revitalize this formidable tool [Sensate Focus], and apply the lens of mindfulness to understanding the power of this practice.” It “will instantly become a classic.”

Sensate Focus in Sex Therapy: The Illustrated Manual covers:

  •  Why does mindfully touching help with intimacy and sexual problems?
  • The critical attitudes: touching for your interest vs. for partner pleasure
  • The steps for doing Sensate Focus
  • Common problems and their management
  • Using Sensate Focus with diverse groups


As former Research and Clinical Associates at Masters & Johnson Institute, Ms. Weiner and Dr. Avery-Clark each have over 30 years’ experience treating intimacy and sexual concerns. They founded the Institute for Sexual & Relationship Therapy & in response to the need for a collaborative organization of sex education, therapy, and multidisciplinary training of educators, clinicians, therapists and allied medical professionals.


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