What can clients expect throughout the therapy process?
Therapy is an opportunity for clients to explore, understand and heal aspects of themselves that no longer serve their highest good.
It is an opportunity to transform how one shows up as an intimate partner, to create positive sexual relationships, and to create lasting positive change.
Therapy is a process that helps clients take the most painful experiences and uncover the invaluable lessons hidden deep within, leading to greater love and trust.
Intimate relationships and sex therapy are invitations to cultivate authenticity while taking the risk of vulnerability. It is an opportunity to access one’s internal strength and courage.
All growth, healing, and transformation require courage. For relationships to be vibrant and strong, each partner must be willing to learn how to regulate their nervous systems and emotions, address past trauma/wounds, and be committed to their own growth and evolution.
What can clients expect when working with me?
I bring my heart and soul to my work. I strive to be authentic and fully present in every session. I am comfortable discussing all aspects of sex and sexual relationships. I am well-versed in the complexities of intimate relationships.
I am a sex-positive human who values living a life aligned with one’s true erotic authenticity. I recognize that becoming erotically and sexually liberated is a life-long process. It requires different things for different people. And so I meet you where you are:
- If you are already thriving sexually but want to enrich this even more, I can help.
- If you have a specific sexual challenge (desire, arousal, pain, identity/gender, relationship), I can help.
- If you have been raised by caregivers who approached sex from a shame-based or fear-based perspective, and now are struggling to connect to your sexual self in a positive way, I can help.
- If you want to heal from negative sexual messages you received on a religious, cultural, or societal level and cultivate erotic liberation, I can help.
What is required of clients who work with me?
I expect clients to come to therapy with an open heart and open mind. Intimate relationship and sex therapy require clients to dive deeply into the process so that they can understand both their strengths and limitations.
It requires taking an honest inventory of how one contributes to the challenges and struggles within a relationship.
We are all experts in what our partners do “wrong” and in knowing how our partner(s) should change. But this focus only leaves us feeling powerless, frustrated, and discouraged. It also distracts us from doing our own work and prevents growth because we are putting all our energy into controlling another’s behavior, which is always futile.
Taking responsibility for and exploring one’s own emotions and behavioral responses is the source of empowerment. In doing this, we can cultivate and create the kind of relationship we truly desire and long for. It is only in our honest and ongoing self-reflection and exploration that we are able to access our internal resources and cultivate the potential to become our best selves. When each partner focuses on their own contributions to relationship dissatisfaction and begins to commit to becoming the best they can be, relationships are healed and transformed.
Initial Discovery Call: This initial contact between therapist and clients helps to clarify what the clients are seeking as well as specific issues and expectations. The purpose of the Discovery Call is to also clarify the clients’ readiness to commit to the therapy process. Are the partners ready to focus on their own contributions to dissatisfaction, conflict, and pain? Are they aware that therapy is an investment of time, money, and committed effort to growth? Are they willing to take risks for the sake of growth? Do they see that their active engagement in their relationship now, increases the chances that they will successfully create the kind of relationship they are hoping for and desire moving into their future? Have the partners considered what may happen if therapy is not pursued at this time (increased frustration, slowly disengaging, unresolved hurts turning into resentment and anger, unable to recover and repair)?
Intake Appointment: The focus during the intake appointment is on developing a strong foundation for a positive, respectful client/therapist relationship. During this session, the therapist collects information on the client(s)’ relationship history, sexual history, discusses the clients’ perspectives on current issues and pain points, identifies problem patterns, and sets the stage to help the clients envision a more satisfying, positive, loving and intimate relationship.
Sessions Two and Three: The focus in these sessions is family of origin background, significant life experiences, sexual experiences, and sexual history. During these sessions, we explore the things that have influenced and continue to influence current issues on an intra-psychic level and on an interpersonal level. We explore any past trauma, and how this currently gets triggered as well as how it prevents the client(s) from thriving now.
Session Four: I provide an assessment that integrates all the information from first three sessions. The clients and I agree to and clarify, the issues to be addressed in therapy. We discuss how these issues are being exacerbated by the client(s)’ unique challenges and life story. We discuss how the relational interactions fuel feelings of being misunderstood, unsupported, and not listened to. Each partner identifies and agrees to goals for themselves; what they want to stop doing and what they want to start doing.
Ongoing Sessions: The subsequent sessions focus on diving into issues more deeply. Throughout these sessions the focus is on helping clients:
- Explore what it means to create sexual and erotic liberation and wellness.
- Resolve, repair or navigate more effectively sexual challenges.
- Learn how to manage emotions effectively (learning how to calm their emotional brain and nervous system)
- Express their authentic self with confidence
- Develop curiosity about their partner’s authentic self
- Not take the limitations of each other personally
- Understand how each partners’ life experiences, events, and relationships influence current responses
- Develop ways to respond to conflict with compassion, empathy, and love in a context of trust and respect
Challenges in the Process: The therapy process mirrors the process of intimate relationships. Just like intimate relationships, in order for therapy to be satisfying and feel as if it makes life better, clients need to invest their energy, effort, time, and money. Sometimes this reality can feel overwhelming. It is not unusual for clients to feel disillusioned when the therapy process requires things that may initially create anxiety, fear, or discomfort.
Whether the concern is about what you will have to do or say in sessions, how changing current habits and patterns will impact your relationships, how you will make time for therapy with your busy schedules, or whether you are ready to financially invest in therapy, these are all valid concerns. Please take the time to reflect on what you truly want to create in your life moving forward. If you decide you would like help and support in your journey of growth and healing, I hope you will reach out today.