My experience in working with clients who struggle with addiction is that the addictive cycle always reaches a point of diminishing returns. Whether the “high” is derived from sex, porn, food, love, money, or substances, addiction creates a schism between a false self and an authentic self. Simply put, the lies are no longer sustainable; it just takes too much energy to cover the trail to not only others but to the self. Anxiety churns the wheel of addiction but it is not the cause of addiction. Process addictions like sex and food are little more complex to treat than substance addictions because the formation of self is so closely twinned with a core coping strategy or belief system. The most beautiful thing about addiction is: there is a way out. I watch people and transform their lives daily and it is awe inspiring to witness clients move from acting out with escorts or porn or masturbation or alcohol or any “cocktail” of escape to being honest with themselves and returned to their families or partners with a new capacity for healthy connection.
The traditional model of working with partners of sex addicts has been to view recovery through a lens of co-dependency. The current thinking leans more towards seeing partners as recovering from trauma and I agree with this. Most likely, if you are a partner of an addict that has just discovered your lover’s, wife’s, or husband’s secret sexual acting out, you are going through the shock of your life. Snooping through texts and emails are safety seeking measures. How can you trust someone who has lied to you over and over? I work with partners to heal the shattered self, to find voice, and strength, and safety whether the addict recovers or not.
If you are suffering with erectile dysfunction or rapid ejaculation do not lose heart. Very often unwanted symptomtology has an emotional pay-off. I believe there is wisdom in the body. Very often healthy sexual function returns through introspection and anxiety reduction techniques.
Healing from vaginismus and vulvodynia is best addressed case by case. Painful intercourse is not always rooted in trauma. There is often a tendency to minimize symptoms or blame sufferers. Obviously, not helpful! My treatment approach for vaginismus and vulvodynia involves honoring the physical. Many of my clients benefit from progressive desensitization exercises along with the insight that comes through talk therapy.
Therapy is a way to move closer to the best version of you and of your healthy sexual self. Change is possible. Therapy for lasting change is possible; as you implement new choices both your inner and outer life will invariably transform.
My Therapy Specializations Include:
- Individual Sex Therapy
- Couples Counseling/ Conflict Resolution
- Sex Addiction Treatment
- Love Addiction Treatment (based on Pia Mellody’s therapeutic approach)
- Sexual Dysfunctions (Rapid or Retarded Ejaculation; Vulvodynia, Vaginismus)
- Loss of Sexual Desire/ Low Libido
- Sexual Trauma/ PTSD
- Sexual Anorexia
- Sexual Phobias
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Couples Sex Therapy
- EMDR (eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing)
- Adult Children of Alcoholics