Specializing in

Couples Therapy, Sex Therapy, Family Therapy and Individual Therapy

SPECIALTIES

In addition to seeing many people in individual psychotherapy, I have specialty training in couples and family therapy from The Ackerman Institute for the Family and I am a certified sex therapist through the American Association for Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). This page will provide a brief overview of these areas.

What does it mean to be a certified sex therapist?

Currently, the only way to know if someone is a qualified sex therapist is by choosing someone who is certified. The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) is the premier credentialing body for sexual health professionals in North America and in various other countries as well. AASECT requires rigorous testing, training and supervision before certifying someone as a sex therapist. See AASECT.org for more information.

COUPLES THERAPY

Couples come to see me at various stages of their couplehood, from the dating phase through long-term partnership. They find themselves feeling unhappy, angry, disconnected, unable to resolve conflicts, or just stagnating. Commonly, couples are grappling with whether or not they want to stay together. For some, the decision has been made to separate, but they wisely want to work on partnering as divorced parents. My approach is to work collaboratively in a non-judgmental atmosphere to explore the couple's vulnerabilities, to understand their patterns and to explore the possibilities of healing the rift and repairing the connection.

Many people avoid seeking couples therapy. Some feel hopeless and cannot imagine how couples therapy could possibly help, others want to come in but their partner refuses. Whether you are experiencing intimacy issues, incessant fighting, communication problems, parenting conflicts, the disclosure of an affair, help is out there. I will work with you to navigate the complexities of your relationship, to build upon your strengths and resources and to help you find clarity and calm.

FAMILY THERAPY

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that brings the strengths, resources, wisdom and support of the family right into the therapy room. Working with families rather than individuals is a way of recognizing that people's issues do not exist in vacuums. Often the best way to address an issue is through family members working together to recognize and solve problems. Rather than pointing a finger at one person as the "problem" in the family, the family recognizes that what ultimately needs to be addressed is the larger dynamic. As they begin to work together, families are often able to share helpful insights and generate creative solutions to difficult problems.

The families I have worked with include nuclear, divorcing, step, single-parent, gay, lesbian, adopted, foster and non-blood related households. Both families with young children and all-adult families can benefit from family work.

SEX THERAPY

My training in sex therapy is something that differentiates me from other psychotherapists. Some people come to see me with sexual issues as their primary complaint, but most are just happy to know they can discuss how their sexuality and sexual functioning have been affected by the other problems they face.

Many people, including some psychotherapists, think of sex therapy as a behavioral method of treatment that solely focuses on sexual function and dysfunction. In reality, much the same as other therapies, sex therapy is a much broader field that looks at the influence of psychological, emotional, relational, physical and sociological aspects of our lives on our sexuality and sexual functioning. Our sex lives are connected to everything that makes us who we are. Our early experiences in our families of origin, our perceptions and feelings about our bodies, our physical health and wellbeing, the cultural and religious communities in which we were raised, our personalities, and our intimate partnerships: all facets weave a tapestry that affects the way we live and experience our sexuality, and may have an impact on sexual concerns.

In my practice, behavioral interventions are only used in the context of this holistic approach. There is no sexual or physical contact involved in sex therapy; it is strictly a talking therapy. It is important to get a thorough medical evaluation from someone who is well versed in sexual care. Oftentimes, the sex therapist and physician or nurse will work collaboratively to ensure that you are receiving the most comprehensive care.

Common Sexual Issues

There are several common complaints that individuals and couples experience. These issues may include, but are not limited to:

  • Low or no sexual desire
  • Discrepant desire or frequency needs in a couple
  • Difficulties communicating about sex with partner
  • Erectile dysfunction (difficulty attaining or maintaining an erection)
  • Ejaculatory issues (premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation)
  • Complaints about sexual boredom
  • Sexual challenges brought on by illness, age, medications, trauma or life cycle events
  • Body image issues
  • Issues with orgasm
  • Arousal problems
  • Sexual aversion
  • Vaginismus
  • Unconsummated marriages
  • Sexless partnerships
  • Sexual pain
  • Out- of- control or compulsive sexual activities
  • Concerns about sexual orientation or preference
  • Gender issues
  • Alternative sexual practices and relationships (e.g. BDSM, polyamory)