Sex therapy is a powerful way to transform your relationship.
The most effective and powerful place to develop as a person and to change your relationship is to make the changes required to transform your sex life. It doesn’t usually work the other way around. A lot of people believe that if you learn to communicate better or if you take care of some of the other issues between you, a good sex life will naturally follow. Most marriage counselors believe this, too. But that often doesn’t happen. I see many couples in my practice who have been through couple therapy (and benefitted from it), but whose sex lives are as stagnant as when they started.
Improving your sex life will positively affect the rest of your relationship.
In fact, working on the sex problem is going to positively affect the rest of your relationship. When you master what it takes to improve your sex life, you’re set up for success in the other areas of your partnership as well. Working on your sex life – on the specific challenges you have in your relationship, your desires, your capacity to ask for what you want, your ability to reveal yourself, your skill at collaborating – requires growth and change that does ripple out to the rest of your relationship. When you tackle the parts of you that need to change to show up differently in your sex life, you are transforming fundamental parts of yourself that affect all the dynamics between your partner and you.
I focus on sex therapy with couples because it transforms relationships.
I find it most effective to work from the inside out like this – to tackle what’s going on your sex life to improve everything about your relationship. That is why I focus my therapy practice almost exclusively on working with couples and their sexual issues. I’ve assisted hundreds of couples in their work to reconnect intimately, emotionally, and sexually. I have been granted access to the inner workings of relationships and sex in a way few people ever experience. I have developed ways to think about sex (and what’s important about it) that create permission, freedom, and lightness in a relationship instead of heaviness and pressure. My practical exercises help people learn how to bring these ideas to fruition and apply them in their sexual lives.
Are you ready for sex therapy?
I focus on helping great couples who wish their sex lives were great, too. What makes you a great couple? When at least some of these apply:
- you are still friends, even best friends
- you manage something well together: you co-parent successfully, you manage your money, or you are cooperative partners in the home
- you can still have fun together
- you have a great relationship, separate from sex
- you can talk about most things
- you share a basic kindness and decency with each other.
This is not to say the two of you never quarrel, or that there aren’t some problems in your relationship. But to make the most out of sex therapy, you do need to have a solid foundation. If you have goodwill, love, and respect but don’t know what to do to address your sex life, therapy can help.
If this doesn’t sound like your relationship, though, it may not be time to delve into sex therapy. John Gottman, a famous researcher of marital stability, writes about what he calls the four horsemen of the apocalypse: defensiveness, stonewalling, contempt, and criticism. These behaviors are good indications of bigger issues in your relationship that will need to be addressed before you can work as a team to tackle your sexual issues. This is where marriage counseling is a good first step – not to improve your sex life but to get a strong enough alliance between you that you can then work together to address your intimate life.
In upcoming posts, you are going to learn about how people get stuck exactly where you are and why it’s such a common problem. You’re going to learn how to think about sex and what kinds of expectations set you up for success. You will begin to understand what kind of baggage you bring to your relationship and its impacts on your sex life. You will also see what your role is in the problems and what you need to do to change your part. You’re going to learn to transform your sex life.
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