Sex Games for Couples

Advanced Sex Games for Couples

Advanced Sex Games for Couples

 

It’s time to have some fun and talk about easy sex games for couples you can use to keep things new and playful with your partners!

We’re all stressed out right now. Most of us are quarantined at home, worried about the coronavirus and the latest news on shutdowns and phased openings. Frankly, it can be overwhelming. When stress enters our lives, it distracts us from what we should be focused on. That includes the people we love and those we want to have sex with!

In my time with clients during the pandemic, sometimes the little problems or inequalities in our sexual relationships become larger. One person wants sex all of the time to take their mind off what’s going on, and another partner isn’t thinking about sex because they’re trying to hold it all together.

Sex games are the perfect way to lighten the mood and connect with your partner on a different level than what you’re accustomed to.

Here are some Kink/BDSM games and tantra tips that you can use immediately to shake things up.

 

What Is Kink and BDSM?

BDSM is thought of as a kinky and non-traditional sexual activity. 

What’s non-traditional, you might ask? 

As a long-time sex therapist, I probably have a different idea of what “normal” sex looks like than most people.

I think everyone has some type of kink, whether it be a sexual fantasy, a certain type of body shape, or some sexual power dynamic that really gets them off. I’m here to say, that’s totally OK!

Exploring your kink means you’re diving into what sex can do for you and how you feel the best with yourself and your sexual partners. Everyone’s into something, just most people are not into everything.

BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism) is the intersection where power dynamics and sexuality meet. Yes, there are typically toys and props like whips, chains, leashes, and other things involved. Some people love being tied up. Those are merely props. The main thing is the intention and the power play at work with the people having sex.

 

Sex Games for Couples New to BDSM

If you’re exploring your kink and want to give BDSM a try, here’s a game for you. It’s a fun and light game that will help introduce the idea of being powerful at times and submissive at others. What it involves is writing down certain parts of your body like back, lips, nipples, or thighs.

Then, on a different set of papers, you write out certain actions like a blow, suck, lick, or caress. Get creative! You and your partner take turns pulling one item from each list. So, you might get lick – nipples, and then have to lick your partner's nipples and so forth.

The BDSM part is you allowing your partner to have the power as you submit to their sexual act and vice versa.

 

Who’s Calling the Shots?

Flipping the switch with who’s in charge during sex is another fun BDSM game that will ease you into the dominant/submissive world. It’s a simple concept.

At one- or two-minute intervals, you and your partner flip a coin to decide who is calling the shots. When you’re in charge, anything goes, and the same goes for when your partner’s boss. Of course, you should agree to some boundaries before playing with BDSM, so you both can feel safe exploring your sexuality.

 

Getting Deeper Into the BDSM World

As you become more comfortable in the BDSM world, you can start to introduce props into sex. Things like blindfolds, chains, ropes, whips, and other props sharpen the physical and emotional power dynamic during sex.

One great game to play with props is to tie your partner up and blindfold them, making them totally under your control. You can use vibrators to tantalize and tease them, slowing or speeding the pace of how turned on they are.

How far you’ll go will depend on your and your partner’s kink level. As you mess around with humiliation and degradation, you open yourself to new sexual experiences.

 

What Is Tantra?

Tantra is Sanskrit for weaving the energy between lovers. It emphasizes a very deep level of physical and emotional sexual connection.

Breathing is a big part of tantra. It’s the number one thing you need to be mindful of when you’re practicing tantric sex. You want it to be cyclical. In through the nose, out through the mouth.

Sound also plays a big role. When I went to the Hawaii Tantra Festival, I realized how important sound is in sex. Different sounds elicit different reactions. We use different voices with friends, children, and pets, so why not our sexual partners?

Pay attention to the noises you make during sex. Why are you keeping your voice down? Do you feel comfortably letting out a loud moan when a touch fills you up? Explore the sounds you make. The sexual experience includes grunts, moans, requests, and make the sounds we want to.

 

Tantra Sex Games for Couples

Tantra games start early. You can begin by being touchy and flirty on a date or early in the day as you let your partner know you’re up for some fun later on. Here are a few fun tantric sex activities to try.

Massages - A massage table and some high-quality oils are a great way to teach each other how you like to be touched. You can lay your partner on the bed or the massage table and caress their body slowly with oils.

Your hands can eventually find their way to your partner’s breasts, vagina, or penis as the massage continues. You can even use your body instead of your hands for the massage. Climb up on the bed or table and, as you straddle over your partner, rub them with your chest, abdomen, and legs.

Eventually, you and your partner won’t be able to stand it anymore and you’ll move straight into some amazing, oily sex.

Striptease – Switch up the sexual routine by ordering your partner to lay on the bed and face you. Stand at the foot of the bed and begin to move side to side as you take off your clothing piece by piece. Extra points if you turn on some music to set the mood and already have on some sexy underwear before things heat up.

Finger Tracing – Grab your partner’s hands and show them where you like to be touched. Spend at least ten minutes guiding their hands around your arms, neck, thighs, butt, and other places that turn you on. Teach them, as you control your breathing, how to stimulate you and ask them to do the same for you.

Sex games for couples offer so much fun and pleasure for everyone. Learn the art of scheduling time for pleasure to take mood out of the game. When both of you know what’s on the table for sex, it makes offering consent and buy-in easier. Stop living with the idea that arousal lives outside of yourself and accept responsibility for your pleasure.

Ultimately, it will make sex games more rewarding and create an incredibly strong sexual bond between you and your partner.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


sex games for couples

6 Unique Sex Games for Couples

6 Unique Sex Games for Couples

 

Sex games for couples are great way ease into your wilder sex side. They keep things playful as you explore your sexual fantasies.

Have you ever dreamed about being tied up to the bed or having whipped cream licked from your navel and felt too afraid to ask?

There’s just something about knowing it’s a game. It takes the pressure off. The mood is light and you both have permission to laugh when something’s funny or awkward.

 

Getting playful in bed is also a fantastic way to break out of your routine. Now, any type of sex can be good sex. If you’re stuck in a sex routine with your partner, put on your optimist glasses and be thankful you have a routine!

If you’re interested in throwing some new moves, positions, toys, or powerplay dynamics into your sex life, though, sex games for couples are a great way to do it. So, let’s take a look at some games you can play with your partner to start dipping a toe into a deeper level of sexual fantasy.

 

Sex Popsicles

Changes in temperature, both hot and cold, alter sensations. If you’re looking for a way to add a twist to the way things feel, then this one’s for you.

In sex popsicles, you and your partner use ice cubes, frozen fruit, whipped cream, or any other frozen item you love in conjunction with oral sex. As you push or tickle your partner’s vagina or penis, the cold temperatures add intensity to the sexual stimulation.

Oral Sex For Woman

You can play this game in the 69 position or take turns pleasuring each other. The cold intensity of the game adds a playful power dynamic into sex. You can see how long you and your partner can stand the cold.

 

Simple Truth or Dare Sex Games for Couples

Truth or dare is one of the classic sex game for couples. I tell clients that truth or dare works so well because it adds the veneer of game playing into the relationship.

You may not feel comfortable asking your partner to try anal sex or bondage play. Your partner may secretly want you to stimulate the clitoris differently than you’ve always done, and feels bad about asking.

With truth or dare, the insecurity barrier is taken down because you’re playing a game. Any request that may be “too out there” can be laughed off. It gives you room to express your sexual fantasy without damaging your partner’s ego.

 

The Fantasy Raffle

You’ve heard of a swear jar, what about a sex jar? In the fantasy raffle, you and your partner write down sexual requests on a slip of paper and place them in a jar.

When you’re both in the mood for a little game, you can draw one or two slips out of the jar for you to try in bed. The important part of this same game, and really any other sexual encounter, is to focus on meeting both of your needs.

That may not mean you’re both always picking sexual fantasies from the jar. If your partner’s in the mood, and you’re not, pick some fantasies out, and have some fun. You can save your turn for the next time.

 

The Porn Voiceover

This sex game for couples will get you in the mood with a little commentary. Add some fun to pornography watching together by turning off the sound before the video starts.

Each of you chooses a role in the video and you’re responsible for choosing their back story and what they’re saying in the scene. You’re sure to get some laughs as you heat things up with an adult video before sex.

 

Bondage Play

BDSM isn’t for everyone. The people who love it, though, really love it. The addition of power dynamics, the submission, and dominance, insert another layer of complexity into your sexual routine.

You can experiment with being dominant and submissive, and your partner does the same. It’s great when you can switch roles or settle into the role that you discover you love.

Being tied up or tying someone up is about control. When someone else is in charge of pleasing you sexually, the result is often better and more intense orgasms. On the other hand, there’s something so sexually charging about controlling someone else’s sexual experience.

Sex games for couples

An important thing with bondage play is to always have a safe word and to take it slowly. With BDSM, you want to push the limits without taking things too far. Too far is different for each person, so you’re going to have to find what’s right for you and your partner.

 

Mirror Porn

In mirror porn, you follow the leader. The leaders are the porn actors in the video you’re watching.

You and your partner watch a pornography scene and do your best to follow the storyline. When the actors change positions, you follow suit. When there’s some hair pulling, you do the same.

It’s a fun game because pornography is often so over the top. The sounds and movements are exaggerated, so you’re bound to have some laughs as you try to match the on-screen intensity.

 

Choose Your Toy Adventure

Hopefully, you’ve got a few sex toys in the closet you use regularly already. If not, that’s your first step. Get a good vibrator as soon as you can.

In this sex game, go shopping beforehand. We’re lucky right now because we have so many online options available. There are thousands of sex toys. Everything from bondage ropes, to anal plugs, to incredible shapes of vibrators and more.

Before you and your partner have sex, spread the toys out at the end of the bed. Each of you takes turns selecting toys and telling your partner how to use them.

As you change toys, it will shift the sexual arousal and the direction sex goes. Save the best toys for last to make sure intensity builds as you go. Throw in a toy that explores play on sexual fantasies you want to try as well.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Taboo Sex

What is Fet Life?

What is Fet Life?

 

As a certified sex therapist, I often get asked “what is Fet Life?” 

I immediately imagine the judgement and terror that they feel for asking and I feel for knowing. 

Fetlife.com is a website that is essentially known as “Facebook for Kinky people.” 

Fet Life

The back of the website is black and the headlines are in red. It appears evidently NOT SAFE FOR WORK from the first moment you lay eyes on “Fet Life.” 

I use this specifically because I believe discussing what this is all about helps those who aren’t familiar with kink to get it a bit more. 

For those of you that are BDSM pros, this may not be the post for you! 

We are going to talk about the Fetish Lifestyle - Fet Life. 

We hold a sex-positive perspective at our practicee. To our clients, we start out with the theory that sexual behavior is neither inherently negative nor pathological between consenting adults, unless shown to be otherwise.

Fun fact: A fetish is something you need to have in order to complete orgasm. People who have a fetish for feet NEED the feet to be there to climax, for example. Most people in the lifestyle are more commonly known as “kinky” or a “kinkster” instead of a fetishist. 

Two people can be engaged in the same exact behavior (one partner getting off to the foot fetish - feeling that it is pleasurable and empowering, while for the other person it can be experienced as abusive or troubling (the other partner perhaps). 

The reasons for sexual fetishes are often complex, and that is beyond the scope of our conversation here. I believe it is important to note the individual experiences that happen while two or more people are engaging in sexual conversation or sexual exchanges. 

Those with fetishes or kinks aren’t necessarily a “bad guy” and just because you know what “fet life” is doesn’t make you part of the community. 

Like regular Facebook, Fetlife.com isn’t really something to be afraid of, yet all kinky interactions should be treated mindfully. The reason for this is because there is still a high mental correlation with those who are kinky to have a history of abuse. 

Fet Life

 

When you go to the website, you will see you have to make a login. There are a variety of ways to identify yourself:

  • Gender
  • Relationship and sexual orientation
  • Your “role” in kink (such as submissive, Rigger, bottom, Dominant, masochist, etc). 

 

There are even places you can go to report needing help if you get in trouble with the law for being in fet lifestyle.  Make sure you practice safety, integrity, radical honesty, and erring on the side of CAUTION! 

The possible motivations for being on fet life are really endless. 

Hopefully, this blog helped you understand why people engage in fet life, as well conceptualize some of the ways in which you think about fantasies. 

The possibilities of what you are open to, curious about, or what you're looking for could be endless! 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


couple talking

Couple Talking – The Quarantine Communication Crash Course

Couple Talking – The Quarantine Communication Crash Course

 

It is perfectly understandable that couple talking techniques would change, because when we find ourselves in new situations, we need to come up with new ways of coping and flourishing. 

I’ve noticed in meeting with clients that some couples are finding challenges communicating effectively, and as couples spend more time together than ever, couple talking changes! You can’t expect the same results from old ways of thinking and communicating! 

Just spend a moment considering how much your work routines have changed. 

We’re all on some sort of video conferencing software, balancing parenting or caretaking, health and exercise, financial stresses, and other tasks within the boundaries of our home. 

The coronavirus pandemic has forced all of us to make fast decisions about what’s vital and what’s not. What doesn’t work fails immediately, and effective results stick.

The same goes for couple talking techniques. 

Quarantining all day has been a crash course for many of my clients on verbal and non-verbal communication with their spouse or partner. 

The more you utilize effective strategies and techniques, the faster you’ll adapt to this new reality.

Let’s look on the bright side and imagine how much better we’ll know and communicate with our partners as things transition back to “normal” life. 

You can use your time now as a petri dish to experiment with some of these expert couple talking strategies.

couple talking

Dr. Gottman on Intimate Conversation

Dr. Gottman has been helping couples build bonds and communicate effectively for decades. One of his main strategies for building trust in a relationship is related to open communication free from any hint of defensiveness.

Your partner could be hiding something from you or masking destructive behaviors because they fear your reaction. It could also be one of the reasons they react strongly to anything that resembles criticism. 

For example, that sort of thing happens a lot when a spouse attempts to talk to their partner about what they see is a pornography problem. They move to strike back quickly to discourage any more questioning.

For many of us, our first inclination when our partner has a problem or talks about something challenging is to offer solutions. We want to immediately problem-solve their way out of it. We tell ourselves that’s how we’re projecting that we care about them.

Instead, though, Gottman says that before advice must come understanding

Intimate communication must include couples talking  that’s free from judgment.

One of the best ways to do this is by asking your partner open-ended follow-up questions. These invite them to speak more freely and get out whatever feelings they’ve got pent up inside. The next time your partner expresses frustration, anger, or even joy, ask them to talk more about how they feel and why. You’re on your way to build a more free and open communication platform.

 

Find Healing with Imago Relationship Therapy

Imago relationship therapy focuses on building intimate connections through healing. Fear of being truly known is one of the main obstacles my clients face. Most of us naturally maintain some semblance of a distance between our true selves and those around us. It may not be as simple as we don’t trust them. Often, we feel uncomfortable thinking or discussing our past or trauma we still live with.

Sharing intimate feelings, both fears and aspirations will help you as a couple build a love that’s more connected and intimate. Easier said than done, however. To feel comfortable opening or, you and your partner have to feel safe in your relationship.

Worries, concerns, doubts, and other emotions have to be communicated in a safe environment without risk of retribution.

The best couple talking happens in safe conversations. You can discover how to create safe conversations by talking to your partner about what makes them feel unsafe. Eliminate any conditions that could trigger anxiety as you speak. Sit closely to stay physically connected. Maintain eye contact. Offer validation often as your partner shares difficult emotions.

couple talking

Couple Talk with F-A-S-T

As a therapist, I help people understand how their emotions can hijack conversations. We all must understand how our messages are conveyed, especially to our intimate partners who we care deeply about.

In many couples, there’s often one partner who feels it’s appropriate to make their feelings subordinate to their partner’s to “make things work”. They are quick to apologize to try and smooth things over and withhold their true feelings because they don’t want to rock the boat.

What these people don’t realize is that they’re setting themselves up for long-term failure. That negatively impacts their partner and also their self-worth. If you find yourself sacrificing too much for the good of the relationship, you need to reexamine things.

For example, sometimes clients struggle with different sexual desires in their relationship. The higher-desire partner can feel frustrated and that they’re giving up something incredibly important because their partner doesn’t want to have sex as much as they do. Either that or they’re into kink or want to try some roleplaying.

Telling yourself that that’s just the way things are can only last so long. Eventually, the resentment will be so strong it will lead to collapse, infidelity, or some other disruption.

The point of learning how to speak about difficult topics is to find a way to meet in the middle for a solution that’s acceptable to both parties.

I recommend the FAST method of communication as a way to stay grounded when communicating with your spouse or partner. FAST stands for:

Fairness – Remember to be fair to yourself and your partner. Avoid criticism and judgment.

Apologies – Reserve apologies for when they’re required. Don’t apologize for feeling a certain way or being who you are. Apologize when you’ve done something wrong.

Stick to Your Values – There’s a compromise, and then there’s self-sacrifice. Too much sacrifice will make you feel resentful. Don’t cheat on your values to make something work or to make someone feel better.

Truth – Don’t exaggerate and don’t lie. Stay grounded and honest in your communication. Your partner will listen to what you have to say and know you are being sincere.

FAST is just one communication technique I recommend for couple talk. Several other methods can help you remember effective communication skills when conflict arises or it’s time to give your partner validation and praise.

I think we forget too often that we need effective communication when things are good just as much as when they are bad. How you speak to your partner when things are positive is like filling the well that you can draw on when stress is high and you’re having disagreements.

If there’s anything everyone needs right now during this troubling time it’s more praise and validation. These are simple things you can do to build your partner up and create stronger bonds in your intimate relationship.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


couples therapy video option

Uncovering Couples Therapy Video Options

Uncovering Couples Therapy Video Options

 

Have you tried couples therapy video options yet due to the pandemic? 

If you have tried a couples therapy video option, make sure you let us know your experience. 

When was the last time you had someone trained to listen, to reflect, and to guide you through communication issues?

Opening up and working through problems is a freeing process that, unfortunately, too few couples know.

The initial meeting with a therapist is the hardest part. 

Once you make an appointment, and then begin to fill out the intake paperwork, you start a journey of exploration and healing that often is not possible alone. 

Some people, for several reasons, are hesitant to meet and talk with therapists.

Therapists are responding to client concerns and increasing their outreach by making therapy video sessions available to everyone who is not at risk of harming themselves or others.  

Now, practices around the country, and the world, are performing couples therapy video sessions as the norm. 

They’ll meet with you in the privacy of your home.

There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a therapist or thinking about starting sessions. Video conference capability is just one more piece of the puzzle. 

Here we discuss some of the main benefits of couples therapy video sessions and why they may work for you: 

  • Convenient and simple
  • Flexible payments
  • Sometimes covered by insurance
  • Who doesn’t want to improve their love?
  • Growing leaps and bounds in weeks

 

After 4 weeks, one client reported:

“I wish I didn’t wait to start therapy so late! I'm not going to lie, I wouldn't have put off therapy for so long if I had realized all the discoveries along the way. Not just myself but also a different window into my partner’s inner world. I've very much so appreciated the way that the therapeutic relationship has been built. It was essentially everything I thought it wouldn't be and I feel like I've been making leaps and bounds in my own inner world and starting to show to the rest of the world.”

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Are you dating a narcissistic? 

Are you dating a narcissistic? 

 

Dating a narcissistic is complicated to say the least, whether the narcissist is your parent, partner, boss, or best friend. From what I have learned from my clients and my education, it is clear that there are some tell-tale signs of what it looks like to be associated with someone who is a narcissist or has narcissistic tendencies. 

Often narcissists will demonstrate obsession or idealization of the person. This person is usually on a pedestal and the narcissist will sing this person's praises (aka love bombing). The person gets significance from the narcissist and connection. The narcissist also gets significance through the adoration and admiration of the other person. This is a vital need for someone who is a narcissist. 

The relationship between the narcissist and the other person (often someone who is co-dependent, people pleaser, or a trauma victim) engage in this relationship as long as the non-narcissistic person continues to engage in the relationship in the same way. As boundaries are set or requests are made or attention shifts, the person who is engaging in narcissistic behaviors begins to disconnect from their partner or other person. 

The non-narcissist is now no longer perfect or idealized and the person with narcissism devalues and eventually discards the other person. Often at this point in the relationship the narcissist will increase behaviors such as gaslighting, crazy-making conversation, withdrawing, and seeking alternative ways to get their needs met (other friendship, partners, or family members). 

At times the person with narcissistic tendencies or with the personality disorder will self-sabotage creating circumstances where other people will abandon them due to their behavior (abusive or ethically questionable). Other times, the narcissistic person will disengage completely as to be the person in control and “to leave” before they are left. 

As long as the narcissistic person is getting their needs met of significance through someone elevating them and focusing on their needs they will continue the relationship. As soon as that need is not being met, the person will repeat the cycle. 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Consequences of Divorce

Consequences of Divorce – It’s Not All About You

Consequences of Divorce – It’s Not All About You

 

Have you ever wonder about the consequences of divorce?

When you’re in the thick of marriage hell, breaking away seems like the only option. While you and your spouse are screaming at each other from different rooms, you’re probably dreaming about what life away from them would be like.

You’re sleeping in separate rooms, barely speaking, and you haven’t had sex in months. If you’re just roommates, why not make it official and call it quits? There’s probably someone out there waiting for you who’s kinder, kinkier, and will love you for you, right?

Divorce isn’t always the magic pill people who are struggling in their relationship expect it to be. Starting over can be just as hard, and the decision impacts the people around you as well.

 

The Divorce Disclaimer

Let me preface this discussion on divorce with support for anyone who is suffering or been through marital abuse. It’s been very saddening to hear that police are receiving higher numbers of domestic violence reports during the Coronavirus quarantine.

Too many, people, especially those with children, endure abuse in marriage. Your mental and physical health comes first.

 

Thinking About Getting Out?

This is for you if you’re considering divorce because things simply stopped clicking between you and your spouse. The state of your relationship is a far cry from the cohesive bond you shared once upon a time. Things have deteriorated to the point where you’re no longer happy.

Here are 8 consequences of divorce that you should consider as you put the divorce on the table.

 

  1. Communal Grieving

It’s easy to think of divorce as like some event where you break the chains negativity you’ve been bound in for years. In reality, divorce is like a slow grind filled with grief that often ends in a whimper. And you’re not the only one grieving.

While you may not care so much about what your spouse is going through, your parents, those great in-laws, your children, and all of the friends you’ve made throughout your marriage share in your grief.

 

  1. Financial Decisions Have a Huge Impact

 

So many unhappy couples are in such a rush to get out that they make unwise financial decisions that impact them for years. You should carefully comb through your finances and have good legal representation to make sure you’re getting a fair deal.

Unwinding your assets can be complicated. What if you own a business together? Does the prospect of paying spousal support for decades change your attitude toward divorce? Splitting up is often more work than you think.

 

  1. It’s Rarely as Amicable as You Think

    Consequences of Divorce

Even if you’re a couple that comes peacefully to terms that you no longer belong together, divorce is never going to be as easy or painless as you think.

All of a sudden, you’re going through who gets what and your partner digs their heels in over keeping the dog. You decide to retaliate by claiming the bedroom furniture. Things can spiral downhill quickly.

You need to be prepared for the worst.

 

  1. Disappearing Friends

Your friends are going to have a hard time accepting and navigating your divorce. Usually, they feel like they need to take sides.

Even if they remain cordial, eventually you’ll notice some of your friends have unfriended you on Facebook or get in touch less often. It’s not that they don’t like you. They just like your ex more and don’t want to have to guard what they say around you.

Consider that more than just the relationship with your spouse is going to be affected by divorce. Even though they may have good intentions, they’re going to feel uncomfortable with the new dynamic. As a result, some of your friends may distance themselves.

 

  1. Kids Get It the Hardest

As a parent, divorce is an excruciating decision. No matter how much you hate your spouse, you’ll worry about ruining your kids’ lives growing up in a single-parent household. Divorced parents have a very challenging time entering new relationships as well because they’re hesitant to put their kids through any more trauma.

Your children will no doubt suffer from divorce. You’ll likely get to see them less often, and during the divorce process, they’ll probably see sides of your and your spouse you’ll wish they didn’t.

 

  1. Your Ex May Flourish – Can You Handle It?

Are you emotionally stable enough to see your spouse thrive post-divorce? What if they find new love before you do or get a promotion at work with all that free time? You’re not the only one stuck in a challenging relationship.

You need to realize that your partner may benefit from divorce just like you’re hoping to, so get ready for that.

 

  1. Behavioral Patterns Exist

Whenever you are ready for another relationship, you’re going to bring emotional baggage along with you no matter what. If you were married for a long time, then behavioral patterns have set in that you may not be able to identify yourself.

Working with a therapist can help avoid dragging your new partner into bad old habits that are hanging over from your divorce.

 

  1. Not Everyone’s Going to Agree

Not everyone sees the intimate details of what unwound your marriage. There’s a chance even your family will carry some resentment because they love your ex! They always loved your ex and are sad to see them go.

They may harbor some resentment over your divorce, even while they say they completely support your decision.

The bottom line is divorce is hard. While some marriages can be saved, divorce is sometimes the only healthy option. Just know that, even without kids, it’s about more than just the two of you, and feeling that relief of separation isn’t everyone’s reality.

Divorce has significant consequences that will follow you for years. Certainly, staying in a state of misery with your marriage is not fun either! Weigh your options carefully and lean on professionals you can trust to make the best decision for you and your family.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


What is Narcissism

What is Narcissism?

What is Narcissism?

 

“What is narcissism” seems to be a buzzword lately around Life Coaching and Therapy and on the internet. 

Having and or knowing someone who is a narcissist is complicated, confusing, and at times overwhelming. 

Within my clinical practice, I work with those who have been impacted by narcissists or those who identify as narcissists. 

Today, I will try to answer the question “what is narcissism” and bring some clarity. 

According to GoodTherapy (2019), narcissism is “excessive self-involvement that causes a person to ignore the needs of others.” 

Even though we may behave in a self-involved manner, when we are doing it chronically and at the expense of others without accountability, that is when it becomes problematic. 

 

GoodTherapy (2019) states that clear indicators of narcissism are: 

  • incredibly self-focused
  • difficulty empathizing with others
  • Entitlement
  • attention seeking behavior
  • a focus on the narrative of others, need for admiration or affirmations
  • difficulty in relationships
  • inability to take responsibility for their actions or behavior
  • unable to tolerate criticism, and 
  • seeking approval from others (GoodTherapy, 2019). 

 

When asking “what is narcissism,” I think it is important to consider there is a spectrum of this ranging from those who have narcissistic tendencies and someone who has an extreme form of narcissism that is a “personality disorder.” 

To some degree, we all have parts of us that demonstrate self-serving behaviors, yet that does not mean you are engaging in narcissistic behavior or abuse. 

 

Narcissism: A Family Pattern

Often people who are narcissists are raised in a narcissistic environment. 

Their family of origin or people integral in their lives are also narcissistic. 

It may appear to be an intergenerational pattern - so that if you look at the person who is acting like a  narcissist, you will find their close family members demonstrating these same qualities. 

People raised by narcissistic caregivers often struggle with questioning their own reality and emotions. 

This constant invalidation creates significant struggles for them as a child and eventual adult as they grow up to have relationships within the community. 

Being raised in an environment that is unpredictable where caregivers may show public affection and are distant creates issues in attachment. 

This is particularly challenging for children as they learn attachment (which sets the road map for their relationships moving forward) with their caregivers. 

Focusing on individual needs rather than that of the family or the child creates a system of modeling this behavior, elevating the “narcissistic part” over the “collaborative” or “empathetic” part(s). 

Thus creating another generation that may struggle with narcissism. 

This is not to say “it's my parents’ fault” or to blame someone else (that can be a narcissistic trait). 

The point is to recognize that this pattern probably began generations ago. 

Often these behaviors are strategies to get a need met or survive trauma. 

Behaviors are passed down from generation to generation until someone decides to change them. 

As a systemic therapist, this makes sense. 

We become and act on what we know. 

If we are not intentionally aware of the processes that we learned, we will repeat them. 

As someone who specializes in trauma, I often see my clients regress into narcissistic tendencies while in “trauma spirals.” 

To be clear, regardless of if you are a narcissist or acting as a narcissist due stress or trauma… it does not justify acting abusively, harmfully, or with disregard to the impact on those around you. 

If you are engaging in narcissistic behavior, you are likely engaging in some abusive patterns. I repeat, if you are engaging in narcissistic patterns of behavior, regardless of the reason, you may be engaging in abusive patterns as well. 

 

Can the Cycle be Broken?

In one word, absolutely. 

Building insight and awareness with the narcissistic part of you is a skill we teach at LCAT.

If we are looking at ourselves as made up of various aspects (see Inner Aspects model by Francesca Gentille), we can acknowledge and see that we all have parts of us that are narcissistic. 

If we are able to look at that part of us, see that part of us, and work with that part of us we are capable of disrupting the pattern. 

Acknowledging that we are engaging in these patterns, being committed to doing things differently, and showing up to do the work allows for growth to happen. 

The cycle cannot and will not be broken if individuals are not able to see their part, take accountability, and be willing to do the work though. 

If your narcissistic part is the part that dominates your person, it may be difficult to do this because that part of you will not want to take responsibility.

Our role would be to help you gently and tenderly acknowledge that you are engaging in destructive, toxic, and or abusive behaviors. 

Then, we would help give you the pieces to put your life back as you see fit. 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Couples Therapy Exercises

Couples Therapy Exercises

Couples Therapy Exercises

 

No relationship stays the same and that is why couples therapy exercises are so important. 

It starts as one thing and evolves into another. That’s a good thing! 

You shouldn’t want to live a static life. It’s unrealistic and leaves little room for growth.

The whole point of a relationship is to see whether it can make you better. A better lover, friend, and human. 

Ideally, you choose someone that will both challenge and support you as you grow. 

Ideally, you grow together into something stronger than what you started as. This isn’t always the case though, hence couples therapy exercises are often desired! 

Relationships grow and sometimes end. 

At some point, both or one of you may realize it’s run its course. There’s no point going forward.

A lot of times that decision is crystal clear, and other times it’s not. Maybe you’ve got a lot invested in the relationship like kids or too much history to walk away from easily. Other times, you still deeply love your partner and want to see if it can work despite all of the hard times.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you need to realize that the key to working through relationship difficulties lies with the both of you. There’s no magic pill. It takes hard work and changing the way you communicate and show love.

After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Hopefully, by now you know that most hard things are worth the effort. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

A relationship expert and therapist can offer unique insight into the ways you communicate. We can help you identify patterns of behavior that may be holding the two of you back. Typically, we give couples some exercises to help overcome challenges in the way they talk to and treat each other. Here are some basic exercises you can try in your relationship.

 

Reflective Listening

If you look critically at your communication pattern, you may notice that you’re quick to talk and slow to listen. It can be hard to take this feedback, which is why so many couples find more success in sessions with a therapist.

Couples Therapy Exercises

When things get heated, we become so married to our point of view that we’re eager to make that the narrative in the relationship. We don’t want to cede ground. Even if you’re not speaking while your partner is talking, you’re may simply be planning what point or argument to make next.

Reflective reasoning is an effective method that both communicates that you hear and understand your partner, and helps you take in whatever message they’re giving you.

A good example of this is when, after listening to your spouse or partner say something, you say something to the effect of, “What I think I hear you saying is that part of you ____ and part of you ____. Is that close?”

You’re reflecting the message your partner is communicating. If you reflect it and your partner still doesn’t feel you understand, then you’ve identified an area you can work on.

Reflective listening requires patience as you iron our ruffles in the way you project and receive messages from one another.

 

RIGHT Intentions

Aligning your intentions is critical to relationship success. Unfortunately, too many couples get stuck in patterns of abuse and resentment that they lose sight they should be acting the best interests of their partner!

Sometimes hurt feelings can cause you to lash out, withhold love, or even actively sabotage your partner. Under these conditions, it’s hard to see any success on the horizon.

To right the ship, you have to adjust your intentions to the positive. If you want something to improve, don’t blame, and instead give clear simple, and actionable options for your partner.

This is easier than it sounds, especially if things have been bad for a while. Start small and grow from there.

 

RIGHT Tone

Have you ever heard your partner say something to you and knew they meant something different? If you’ve been together long enough, you’re attuned to their subtle cues. Not everything needs to be verbalized.

Most couples are surprised when they hear how their tone is interpreted. It might even be worthwhile for you to record some of your conversations, so you can listen back to the way you sound and how your partner may interpret your tone.

To help things get better in your relationship, shift your tone to a more positive one. Focus on speaking without judgment in a calm matter. This helps communication become more effective when things are rough. It removes some of the heat of passion and emotions like anger from your talks.

 

Thinking About Consent

Every relationship, at every stage, has a power dynamic. Even couples who don’t like to admit it experience this. That’s not to say power dynamics are static. They shift and morph as you do.

Couples Therapy Exercises

Many couples start with one partner taking a lead role in sex, where you live, what car you buy, and a million other decisions. Years down the road, the other partner may develop a desire to be more active in decision making and take on more of a leadership role. That’s fine and natural.

Relationships run into trouble when one partner is unhappy with the power dynamic and the other refuses to compromise. Essentially, the rigid partner is stifling the other’s growth. Now, they may be doing that because they feel like the growth will adversely affect them, and that’s fine. Just know that your willingness to let power dynamics mature will impact the long-term prospects of your relationships.

The best way to ensure successful relationship dynamics is by creating a system whereby consent can be given and received easily.

Each partner should be able to quickly discover whether their partner is along for the ride. Whether it’s with sex, the finances, social decisions, or careers.

You should think about scheduling regular check-ins to discuss consent or even create relationship “safewords” that each of you can use to trigger your partner into knowing something’s not right and the two of you should talk.

These are just some of the many strategies a relationship counselor can work with you on as you progress and grow in your relationship. There’s always more to learn and that’s the point.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

LCAT provides video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.


online couple counseling

Therapy on Retainer Vs. Onsite Couples Work

Therapy on Retainer Vs. Onsite Couples Work

 

For decades, therapy has been conducted on comfortable rooms on couches with pillows and soothing colors to help you relax. Face-to-face therapy works. It’s helped millions of people overcome significant roadblocks to their happiness and fulfillment.

As therapists, we rely on personal sessions immensely. We do our best to read body language, facial expressions, mood, and other non-verbal cues. Our training helps us cut through the automatic statements and responses we all speak unconsciously, which often obfuscate underlying pain or trauma.

If you’ve ever spoken to your therapist on the phone, you know it’s not the same as being there in person. Therapy done over the phone can still be good, but it’s just…different.

Meeting onsite with your therapist is always the way to go, but it’s not always possible. People are limited by financial reasons, distance, and busy work schedules that stop you from seeing your therapist as much as you’d like.

Thankfully, therapists are using technology to make it easier for you. Many clients hire therapists on retainer for shorter, more regular interactions that supplement face-to-face sessions.

Online couple counseling 

Onsite Couples Counseling 

Some couples I see are so far down a path that they can’t even see where they began anymore. The way we live every day becomes a habit. It can be hard to step outside of ourselves and see how we’ve created the lives we have.

When couples come in, it’s a nuanced process of removing layers. It may require working through years of resentment about imbalances in a relationship. We may have to dig a bit into what’s driving sexual inhibitions. It’s not usually easy, but therapy work for couples struggling can be extremely healing and beneficial to relationships.

We all carry baggage related to our family and place of origin. Our childhood experiences have an outsized impact on who we become. Bullying, shame, trauma and other things that happened to us when we were kids still influence who we are today. Systems and the way we process things runs deep.

Couples therapy is often emotionally intense. There’s this huge outpouring feeling, whether it be anger, love, regret, or hope. You might have some homework or things to work on with your partner or spouse until the next time you meet with your therapist.

You leave with high expectations and then life gets in the way. It might be a week, two, or even longer until you see your therapist again. Unless you’re taking copious notes, it’s hard to remember all the things that worked as well as the issues you want to bring up in the next session. It’s one of the main limitations of in-person therapy.

 

Is Online Couples Counseling for You? Get a Therapist on Retainer!

Online couples counseling, which I like to call “therapy on retainer” is an option many therapists at Life Coaching and Therapy offer today.

Essentially, online couples counseling gives you more regular access to your therapist, though your interactions will be shorter and done over text or phone.

It’s not a replacement for ongoing face-to-face counseling. It most likely is not covered by insurance.

However, just like using “FaceTime” and other video technology helped make therapy better, therapy on retainer uses texting, email, and phone to supplement ongoing counseling.

Here are some of the main benefits of therapy on retainer and why you should consider it:

 

Ongoing Contact

 

The bottom line is you get more access to your therapist. It’s not deep access, but for people who need more follow-up, it’s a great benefit. For example, if you and your spouse get into an argument or are “stuck”, you can reach out to your therapist for help.

Likewise, you can celebrate successes as they happen instead of waiting a week or longer to go over it with your therapist. This can help reinforce positive behavior and communication that will help make it a habit faster.

In emergencies or times of crisis, it’s also a huge comfort to know you can talk to your therapist and get counseling without having to schedule an appointment or leave work.

 

It Works for Couples

Getting into your therapist by yourself can be difficult. Juggling work, school, kids, dinner, and whatever else is on your plate is hard! With your spouse or partner, it’s even more challenging.

Using online couples counseling or therapy on retainer makes it easier for you and your partner to engage with your therapist regularly. You can conference call or group text, so everyone’s opinion is shared and heard. There’s no repeating or going over what you said in your last session if your partner couldn’t make it.

With texting and other forms of communication, both partners can chime in on what works and what needs to be addressed when you’re all physically together again. It helps remove nuance that so often gets in the way.

online couples therapy 

Regular Follow Up Creates Daily Habits

The more follow up you build into your life, the better. As therapists, we do our bests to create personalized plans to help you become what you want or deal with the things that are holding you back.

When follow up happens on a weekly or biweekly basis in counseling sessions, that’s great! When it can be done daily, that’s even better.

We are all creatures of habit. The things we do well and don’t do so well, over time, become habits. With therapy on retainer, there can be small interactions throughout the week that keep you on your game. You can course-correct as you come across issues as they arise.

 

Try a Mix and Stick with What Works

Trying therapy on retainer is an excellent add-on to traditional counseling. If you’ve never done it before, talk to your therapist about whether they offer it as an option. It could be the more regular connection you need to see real improvement in intimacy, communication, or whatever else you’re working on.

A good therapist will use the more regular dialogue to help you form behaviors that help you accomplish your goals. They’ll also be there in times of need. Reaction to a text or call my not be immediate if they’re meeting with someone else but knowing you don’t have to wait a week or more to speak to your therapist is a great comfort.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer.

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.