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Michael Perelman's Fundamental Contribution to Sex Therapy


Michael Perelman

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Sexologist
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Content: Professor Michael Perelman’s work has undoubtedly stimulated significant innovations in sex research and therapy. His career journey was inspired by his collaboration with Helen Kaplan back in the 70s, which lasted for 20 years. Kaplan’s work strongly impacted today’s integrated sex therapy, first described by Althof, Leiblum, McCarthy, Rosen, Segraves, and Perelman himself. In 1995, having been appointed Co-Director of the Human Sexuality Program (founded by Helen Kaplan), Perelman refined his mind/body ideas into the well-known Sexual Tipping Point® model (STP). The STP depicts a person’s moment-to-moment sexual response, as regulated by the interaction of their constitutional sexual capacity with biomedical, psychosocial, and cultural determining factors. It is valuable for modeling treatment and can easily be used to explain risks and benefits for patients with sexual disorders.

In this interview by Evie and Francesca, Michael walks us through the evolution of sex therapy during the last 50 years through the eyes of an active witness and agent of change. Michael shares his opinion on what the STP adds to the clinical practice of sexologists, its constant development, how it could be applied across the full spectrum of sexual concerns and disorders, and the most common misinterpretations. Michael also offers his point of view on potential pitfalls therapists should avoid, highlighting the clinical skills that contributed the most to his clinical practice.

Produced in 2022

Michael Perelman

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Sexologist
Distinguished Guest

Dr. Michael A. Perelman is a Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and former Clinical Professor of Reproductive Medicine, and Urology at Weill Cornell Medicine in NYC

He has directed its Human Sexuality Program, (founded by Helen Kaplan) for over 20 years. That program is the longest running sex therapy case conference in the world, providing continuing education for its graduates and guests. A National Institute of Health Fellow, in 1976 he wrote the first sex therapy dissertation in Columbia’s history. Dr. Perelman was Chief Intern at Duke University Medical Center, followed by a Post-Doctoral Fellowship studying sex therapy at NY Presbyterian Hospital. In 2012 he founded the MAP Education and Research Foundation a public charity, emphasizing a biomedical-psychosocial and cultural approach to sexual disorders, using its Sexual Tipping Point® Model. The Foundation grants STP Awards for best abstract/presentations delivered at professional meetings. As an international leader, Dr. Perelman served on several of their boards of directors and was the President of The Society for Sex Therapy and Research. He is a Fellow of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America, the International Society for Study of Women’s Sexual Health, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. He has received Awards for Excellence from the American Psychological Association, AASECT, and the University of Minnesota. He co-edited, Management Of Sexual Dysfunction In Men And Women: An Integrated Approach, and served as the Editor in Chief, re-establishing Springer’s Current Sexual Health Reports, and is now Emeritus Editor in Chief. He serves on several publications’ Board of Directors, and as a consulting editor, or reviewer. Besides over 200 publications including 70 peer reviewed, over 25 sexual medicine chapters, countless abstracts, 290 invited presentations, Perelman also writes an invited Blog for Psychology Today called the “Sexual Tipping Point.”

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