Letting go of shame

I’d like to share a beautiful piece about letting go of the stuck energy that shame creates in the body, in our relationships and in our hearts. The author, Garet Bedrosian, is a student in my Writing and Publishing Class.

As Katie sat on the sofa in my office, she dropped her head and said she needed to tell me something she’d never told anyone before. Katie’s bowed head and collapsed torso told me she was struggling with something about which she felt shame and possibly regret. She was energetically holding against emotional pain therefore causing physical constrictions. This chronic constriction was depleting her vitality.

I waited quietly and held a space of compassion while she found the courage to speak the unspeakable. The next words out of Katie’s mouth were, “I had an abortion. I am so ashamed and I think God is punishing me by not letting me get pregnant now.”

Read the full article: Freeing Your Energy For Love

Is writing and publishing a dream for you as it is for many therapists? You may be closer than you think to publishing a book or article that can get your name out into the world. Whether you are writing to publish nonfiction, a memoir or a clinical book or article, this course will help you to feel motivated, break through your writers block, and give you a finished product to either self publish, or submit to a literary agent or publishing house. The next session is forming right now! Class starts September 4th. Reduced rates for Imago therapists.

Sign up for the next session of Writing and Publishing for Professionals

Core Couples Therapy Interventions: Healing infidelity, sexual desire and dysfunction

Whether you’re new to Couples Therapy or shifting your approach, this new online course featuring guest experts from a variety of disciplines will round out therapeutic models and provide intervention strategies.

Core Couples Therapy Interventions will focus on a non-pathological view of treatment integrating sex therapy and couples therapy modalities for beginner to advanced practitioners who want to form strength based approaches to assessment, treatment and ongoing relationship counseling with the toughest issues – infidelity, monogamy issues, sexuality and dysfunctional communication.

If you register before September 30th, this class only costs $99. Core Couples Therapy Interventions is approved for 3 CEs.

This workshop will provide clinicians with core couples therapy techniques, and the latest and best interventions and approaches to treat problematic and structural issues around monogamy, infidelity, sexual desire and dysfunction and communication issues.

Is “Porn Addiction” real? How can we help?

The debate continues around the world. An article from The New Age online (South Africa) highlights a study by clinical psychologist Dr. David Ley that found no physiological side effects of using sexually explicit material. The author of the article suggests that anyone arguing that porn addiction is valid is ignoring the positive benefits such as improved attitudes towards sexuality, variety of sexual behaviors, and pleasure in long-term relationships. The article quotes Dr. Ley: “We need better methods to help people who struggle with the high frequency use of visual sexual stimuli, without pathologising [sic] them or their use thereof.”

What effect does it have on a sexual relationship? What do you think when your partner masturbates to pornography? What about your own personal, private experience with masturbatory imagery on the internet? Does anyone have the right to tell you what to look at, or to masturbate to? Your partner? Your therapist? A “sex expert”? A researcher? What is normal? Only you can decide what pornography is doing to your sex life, to your own intimate connection with a partner and to your capacity to experience desire. I think whenever any expert comes on too strong on one side or the other there could be a problem. Both positive and negative experiences happen to individuals and to couples when pornography is involved. In fact, there are as many types of porn use as there are couples. When we lump them all together and make general sweeping statements about whether or not porn has side effects, we need to look at what kind of porn use we are talking about. How many times per day is the user looking at porn? What type of porn? Are they in a relationship? Is the porn imagery dystonic to the users fantasy life? Is the porn use secret or private? Does the partner participate? Does the masturbation occur quickly during the viewing, or later on, after the viewing? These, and thousands of other questions, will affect the “side effects” and the emotional and psychological consequences of porn use. More studies, more conversations and more research needs to focus on relational effects as well as the scientific use of masturbatory imagery as it relates to orgasm and intimacy.

Read the article yourself: Porn not an addiction, more of a pleasure giver

I’ll be speaking on non-pathologising approaches to helping with out of control sexual behavior at two events this fall:

A teleclass with Dr. Neil Cannon: A Strength Based Approach to Treating Out of Control Sexual Behavior (OCSB)
September 22, 2014 from 1:00-3:00 pm Eastern time

At the Lifestyle Intervention Conference in Las Vegas, October 6-8, 2014 I will be speaking about Erotic Recovery After Infidelity. Up to 40% of those dealing with sex addiction are currently struggling with alcoholism and/or substance abuse. Lifestyle Intervention Conference teaches professionals to recognize, diagnose and treat these addiction interactions.

Let’s talk about infidelity

Couples talking candidly about infidelity before it occurs is an interesting study in emotional intimacy. Would you, could you, ask your partner, “What would you do if I cheated on you?” Show your partner this video then try it yourself… you may be surprised by their response.

These Couples Got Candid About Infidelity. What They Said Was Fascinating.

It may seem easier to not talk about difficult topics until you have to cross that bridge, but maybe talking about it now may prevent that bridge from being built.

Is it possible to have multiple lovers, without jealousy?

Curious about polyamory or other forms of non-monogamy, but worried about jealousy? Olga Khazan published a wonderfully informative and non-shaming article including stories from people living and loving polyamorously. It’s a great place to start if you’re curious about options besides sexual and social monogamy.

Multiple Lovers, Without Jealousy