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Dear members,

Hello and welcome to our first newsletter for 2020.  I hope the year has been off to a thriving start for you; full of potential and possibilities for the year ahead.

Over the past three years the USPBSPA has been working to shape and strengthen our organisation in order to best continue the work of Al and Diane in North America.  This year (forgive the pun!) our vision for the US PBSP Association is sharper than ever, with the launch of our Three Year PBSP training program under way this month.  Our trainers have been working very hard to establish the foundations of an amazing program. We're excited about what's to come, and we're excited to be sharing this journey with you all.  

Please take a moment to review our remaining schedule of events and training this year, along with our 4th Annual Conference to be held in San Diego for the first time -- organised with great assistance from our wonderful PBSP community on the West Coast.  We hope to see you there!

On a quick administrative note -- we've received some enquiries regarding membership renewal.  Our system does not currently send automated reminders to renew membership, however you can check your membership status by logging in to your account on  A log-in icon is located at the top right corner of the screen with an option to reset your password if forgotten.  Once you're logged in, your profile will give you all your membership details, including your renewal date.  Please feel free to contact me if you need assistance:

You may also notice some changes to the newsletter this year which we hope you'll like.  Rather than the regular articles on the practice of PBSP, we'll aim to keep the newsletter to relevant organisational news, upcoming events of course, and book reviews and articles as they become available.  As always your suggestions and feedback are welcome.

Warmest good wishes

Hazel Latoza

USPBSPA Newsletter Editor

Sex & Belonging: On the psychology of sexual relationships

By Tony Schneiderstralian Academic Press 2019

Reviewed by Jim Amundsen, PhD

Sexuality looms very large in the theories of Al Pesso. As Pesso put it to me once, “Human motivation is like a coaxial cable: it has many strands, but one of them is always sexuality” (personal conversation). In Pesso’s thought the ubiquitous quality of sexuality is based in its function to keep the species alive. However, many of us in PBSP have yearned for a fuller understanding of human sexuality. For example, this understanding doesn’t explain things like homosexuality or the experience of sex as being just plain fun. It is in this light that I can happily recommend to the PBSP community Tony Schneider’s book, Sex & Belonging. Just as it sounds, his concept of “belonging” is identical to Pesso’s concept of the basic need for “place.” As Schneider puts it, “Probably one of our most powerful drives is the desire for ‘home’, the place where we belong and where others agree we belong” (p.1).

The basic structure of Schneider’s theory is the demand that everything about us is constructed out of our biology, our social interrelatedness and our history of the dialectical relationship with the biological and social. In this perspective it’s never “nature” or “nurture”, it is always both. His model proposes that human sexuality is comprised of sexual arousal, sexual desire and interpersonal sexual attraction. The sexual arousal phase is the basic biological response that fits with Pesso’s notion of sexuality. The definition of sexual arousal is simply a genital response to some stimuli. Upon this basic biological platform develops a very complex combinations of drives. Schneider catalogs two basic types of drives in human sexuality. These are biological drive profile (BDP) factors and subjective drive profile (SDP) factors. The biological drive aspects are, simply put, Pavlovian in nature. As he puts it, “…an animal learns to be sexually aroused by things that happen to be associated with sexual arousal” (p.45). In this way even the basic biological aspects of sexuality are affected by our histories.

When it comes to subjective drive profiles (by profiles he means what in PBSP we would call “maps”) there is an exponential increase in complexity. Much of his book describes 22 different subjective drive profiles that can motivate sexual behavior. He points out that the reward involved in the actual sexual act (orgasm) is in fact very brief compared to the rewards of the subjective drive profiles. The SDP include themes of pleasure and desire, themes relating to broader social needs, and relationship-need themes. All of these themes have several sub-themes that he elucidates. He includes another set of SDP’s which are inhibitory themes, such as needs for protection and social inadequacy (which refers to a sexually desirable person not fitting in with one’s community).

Finally, there are sections on how socio-cultural scripts interact with all of the above. These would include things like changing gender roles, the availability of reliable birth control and other wider social contexts which our sexuality is formed in.

The book is not overly technical and not overly long. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to explore human sexuality in more depth and who also follows the premises of PBSP theory.

Please refer to our Events page for full details on this year's training programs outlined below.  There maybe more events added in the 2020 calendar year so do check the Events page for updates. 

Three Year PBSP Training Program

The Board of Directors of the USPBSPA is pleased to announce that there will be a new PBSP training program starting in 2020!  Not all of the details have been finalized as yet however the website events page will be revised with additional information as we have them.

There will be four 3-day trainings as outlined below:

Cost will be $2600 per year ($650 per three-day training weekend).

If interested, or if you have questions, please contact Robbin McInturff at: (205) 933-9276 ext. 113 or email:

4th Annual USPBSPA Conference (San Diego, CA)

PBSP: Creating new memories to transform the future. A dynamic therapeutic model for complex times

April 25 & 26, 2020

Please join us in beautiful San Diego, CA for the annual USPBSPA National Conference. For the fourth consecutive year, the PBSP community will gather for a day of learning and connecting. People with all levels of PBSP knowledge are welcome to attend – from those just beginning to learn to advanced practitioners.


9255 Towne Centre Dr.  Suite 400

San Diego, CA 92121

Registration is now open and available on our website with Early Bird discounted rates applicable until 6 April, 2020.  Click here to register.  

For more information, contact Maya Heffernan at

Five Day PBSP Training (Lutsen, MN)

"Memory Reconciliation in Psychotherapy: PBSP Training"

June 15 – 19, 2020

Jim Amundsen, PhD, LP and certified PBSP Trainer will be offering 5 days of PBSP training. The location will be in the Lutsen Resort in the spectacularly scenic north shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. Some researchers are proposing that the process of memory reconciliation is at the heart of all successful psychotherapy. PBSP has developed and employed techniques designed to use memory reconciliation for over 60 years now.

This training seminar is open to all psychotherapists of whatever discipline. It will be a combination of lectures, discussion and will be especially weighted towards hands on experiential practice.

To register, contact Jim Amundsen directly at: or, 651-649-0984 (voice only).  Register early as group size will be limited.  Cost $550. 

Please contact the Lutsen Resort separately to reserve a room. (

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