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Arch Sex Behav. 2014 Jan;43(1):213-20. doi: 10.1007/s10508-013-0242-6.

Towards a compendium of the psychopathologies of love.

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Center for Sexual and Marital Health, 23425 Commerce Park, Suite 104, Beachwood, OH, 44122-5402, USA,


Adults are commonly preoccupied with their love lives and in psychotherapy they often express frustrations with themselves and their partners. Ironically, patients' preoccupations with the processes of love have not created many professional deliberations on the nature of love and mechanisms of its subversion. This essay describes the converging influences that may explain the professional avoidance of love. It then describes the reasons to try to create a compendium of clinically apparent impediments to loving. The pathologies of love are divided into three categories: (1) characteristics that impede the formation of a sexual adult attachment; (2) patterns that diminish the index person's lovability to the partner; (3) processes that deteriorate the index person's ability to continue to love the partner. The compendium seems to present several important utilities. It clarifies the pathogenesis of some mental suffering. It defines a distinct, more relevant focus to psychotherapy. It makes clear that a better understanding of love's subtle processes of evolution is needed. It invites further refinement of both healthy and problematic love processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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