Exploring Sensate Focus: Challenges and Practical Solutions

Jordan-Rullo
University of Utah

Key Points

  1. When couples avoid sensate focus exercises, it often mirrors and reveals deeper intimacy issues.
  2. The emotional bank account theory emphasizes the need for recognizing and valuing bids for connection.
  3. Sensate focus, with its systematic desensitization approach, should be tailored to fit a couple’s unique comfort levels while maintaining its core principles.
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Not Completing Assigned Exercises

A recurring challenge with couples is the failure to complete sensate focus exercises. This avoidance is often reflective of older patterns where couples avoid intimacy. Addressing this involves:

  • Recognizing this avoidance as potentially indicative of previous behaviors.
  • Engaging in direct problem-solving during sessions to understand underlying reasons.
  • Identifying specific barriers, such as past avoidance of sex, which now translates to avoiding sensate focus.

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