"I Help Clients Learn to Communicate about Sex and Intimacy"
Member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).
Every AASECT certified sex therapist must agree to abide by the AASECT Code of Ethics; which stresses competence and integrity along with moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to safeguard the well-being of clients. By attending ongoing AASECT approved professional development training; I keep abreast of the most current research and treatment modalities.
As a Certified Sex Therapist (CST); I help clients with relationship issues, communication, pleasure, intimacy, infidelity, gender and/or sexual orientation, sexual pain, grief, trauma, disability issues and sex, sensuality, anxiety and/or depression, sexual health, kink, and so much more!
I also have advanced training in Couples Therapy and can address the whole picture to help partners understand how sex and intimacy issues may be affecting their greater dynamic.
My Office is a Sex Positive, Judgement-Free Zone!
Sex-pos-i-tive (adjective): having or promoting an open, tolerant, or progressive attitude towards sex and sexuality.
Examples of clients who come in to speak with me in regard to Sex Therapy:
- Partners who have not been intimate in months or years discuss their concerns in regard to becoming physically and emotionally close again with their partner(s). Sometimes, partners are not ready to come in to work on this issue together, so one partner comes in to get help in individual therapy.
- Partners where one person has had an affair(s) or indiscretion(s) and are trying to get help to see if they can relaunch their relationship.
- An individual adult who has just divorced and wants to reclaim their confidence after their former partner said they were no longer attracted to them.
- A couple who have lost a child and are struggling to reclaim their connection due to grief.
- A lesbian couple where one partner is undergoing fertility treatments and who wants to discuss the impact that the fertility treatment and drugs are having on the relationship; as well as the fear that they may not be able to become parents.
- Parents/guardians who have a child, teen or adult that is questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender. I provide compassionate parent support to help you process and discuss the feelings surrounding your child’s disclosure, and sex education to help you better understand what they are experiencing; so that your bond and attachment with your child stays strong!
- An individual adult who has a disability and is in a relationship with a non-disabled partner and wants to discuss how they can speak with this partner to share what supportive measures they need in order to give and receive pleasure.
- Partners who have differing religious and/or cultural beliefs that affect intimacy.
- A woman who has had breast cancer reconstruction surgery and feels different about her body and wants help in reconnecting sexually with her partner.
- Polyamorous partners who are experiencing challenges maintaining balance and connection; to include poly-parents who may be experiencing judgement from non-poly parents, as well as fear of their children being excluded and/or bullied, and/or their union being threatened.
- An individual young adult who is stating that they believe they are bisexual and wants education, support and validation about how they are feeling.
- A couple where one partner is stating that they are having feelings of transitioning genders and needs support.
- A couple where one partner has awareness that their sexual orientation might be asexual.
Sex Therapy Qualifications
I am a Certified Sex Therapist by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), and in addition, I am licensed by the State Department of Health in Connecticut as a Licensed Professional Counselor to treat clients as a psychotherapist, and also a Board-Certified Coach.
AASECT credentials sexual health professionals on the basis of rigorous standards for academic preparation, supervised training and consultation, field-related experience and applied skills. Field experience and practical application of skills and competencies carried out under trained and approved supervision or consultation are crucial aspects of certification. Applicants must substantiate completion of certification requirements with academic transcripts and other formal documentation and must also undergo peer review of their credentials. The requirements for an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist include 90 hours of courses in 15 core areas of human sexuality, plus, 60 hours of training in seven specific disciplines related to sex therapy. In addition, CST’s need to have provided documentation at the time of application submission that they have treated a minimum of 300 client sex therapy cases. Further, AASECT certification requires 50 hours of supervision by an AASECT certified sex therapy supervisor.
As part of our training, Certified Sex Therapists are encouraged to accept the differences in how people identify and interact, to prioritize consent, safety, having a voice, healthy boundaries, as relationships are co-created and change over time. We prioritize the importance of clients having both self-compassion and compassion for others, and to have those difficult conversations such as: desire discrepancies, the need for connection and attachment, pleasure, trauma and post-traumatic growth, body image concerns, fantasies, etc.
It is an honor to help people discuss this very private aspect of their lives in a confidential and respectful manner. Clients tell me that they relate very well to how I structure our conversations, and that they are surprised about how comfortable they feel discussing this topic with me. My clients also appreciate the blend of sex education and sex therapy from our sessions and usually find it interesting to learn that they are not alone in what they are experiencing, and that treatment is available.
MANY partners have “emotional distance” in their relationship that may be a part of why they feel like they don't need and/or want sex. I hear on a daily basis how a partner discusses their sadness and/or frustration over the loss of sex in the relationship and another partner states their reasons for not having sex. Some clients tell me that they don't want or need sex anymore, or that they want it on a very infrequent basis. In some cases, there may be sexual trauma that occurred that has never been shared and/or properly treated. Some have underlying issues such as chronic pain, erectile issues and/or vaginismus, grief, depression, anxiety, body image issues, sexuality and/or gender questions, and/or unknown pelvic floor challenges.
Arousal a.k.a. “Turned On”
Many people suffer in silence with sex and pleasure challenges, when in many cases, relatively short-term sex therapy could bring healing. Satisfying intimate connections to others can give our minds and hearts a boost and floods our bodies with healthy hormonal releases; which also helps boost our immunity and overall health.
Many people feel sad and hurt that they do not see their partners’ body responding in a positive way during intimate moments, and they begin to feel like their partner(s) isn’t enjoying their connection, and sometimes they blame themselves and/or their partner(s). We will develop a plan to ask for clarity from your partner before you assume that they aren’t enjoying the physical and emotional connection during sex.
The process of becoming aroused is a dual process; where you are essentially turning on those “on” buttons in your body and brain for sex and turning off those “off” buttons. I work with clients to develop strategies to minimize the things in their lives that are causing them to hit the “brakes” for sex. We will also discuss the impact of stress and the correlation to sex avoidance, and that when you are stressed, your brain will interpret any sensation, even a positive one, as something to be avoided.
Clients feel glad to hear about the term arousal non-concordance, which means that your mind might be turned on for your partner, but your body is not responding. Is this normal to occasionally happen? Yes… it…is! Sometimes, it’s necessary to refer clients to see other medical professionals to rule out physical causation to what they are experiencing. I can also collaborate with your pelvic floor specialist, gynecologist, urologist and/or other medical professionals to provide you with a continuum of care.
I work carefully and respectfully with partners and individuals regarding issues of: sexual desire and functioning, guilt about sex, low sex drive, gender and sexuality, erectile problems, vaginismus, mismatched sexual desire, inability to orgasm, hormonal issues, infidelity, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual trauma, perimenopause and menopause, chronic pain, identify how medications and/or legal or illegal drugs affect sex, identify the effect of drinking excessively, smoking, and/or lack of exercise and sex, and to identify how a major medical event can affect sexual functioning, including: diabetes, surgery, multiple sclerosis, cancer, etc.
Male Menopause Issues - Did you know that men go through a process called andropause, commonly referred to as male menopause, and most have never heard of this phrase and are surprised that their body goes through this?