Gender Non-Conforming

Gender Non-Conforming or Gender Creative

Gender Non-Conforming or Gender Creative

 

Gender Non-Conforming or Gender Creative individuals are people whose gender expression does not follow the stereotypical “rules” surrounding what is expected in male or female within our society. 

You may wonder what is gender non-conforming or what does it mean when people are gender creative? 

In our society, we commonly categorize individuals as male or female. 

Therefore, those people who identify themselves as either side of the binary are expected to conform to a particular style and behavior. 

Someone who identifies as female is expected to wear “feminine” clothing such as dresses, leggings, skirts, specific shirts, etc. Females are also assumed to wear makeup, have longer hair, and no facial hair. 

Those who identify themselves as male are expected to wear “masculine” clothing such as sports attire, pants, more solid colors, and usually not bright clothing. These are some of the “rules” that are gender conformity. 

When an individual does not ascribe to these set of rules or engages in shifting gender expressive play (through clothing, makeup, etc), this is breaking gender conformity or the binary. 

Gender non-conforming individuals are those we are focusing on here.

There are a variety of ways people can choose to break gender conformity through the varying ways gender is expressed. 

Some common options are: 

  • Mannerisms
  • Dress and attire
  • Makeup
  • Hair style
  • Accessories 

Individuals who are gender non-conforming or gender creative may have a different style completely or may fluctuate between what the culture considers masculine and feminine. 

Some people who identify as non-conforming may present more neutral or androgenous, while others may shift their gender expression based on activity, crowd, emotion, or internal desire. 

People who are gender non-conforming or gender creative may identify with their assigned gender or may identify with other identities. 

These identities can include, yet are not limited to:

  • Non-binary
  • Gender queer
  • Gender fluid
  • Gender bending
  • Gender non-conforming
  • Or something else. 

The important thing is learning to understand each person’s identity and not making assumptions about those you meet. 

If you are wanting to learn more about someone’s identity, be sure you are doing it for them and their comfort, rather than for your own needs. This is often a good place to start by knowing your intentions. 

You can also seek therapy or reputable sources who can help support you in learning and understanding. 

It is your own responsibility to learn more rather than anyone in the community teaching you. Seek a professional if you need, that specializes in this area of focus. 

YouTube page where she provides free information at 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.

Masturbation Addiction

Do I Have A Masturbation Addiction?

Do I Have A Masturbation Addiction?

 

Most of us enjoy a little – or a lot of – solo pleasure time and then we may wonder if too much of a good thing is considered a masturbation addiction?

If you’re worried you might have a masturbation addiction, you should probably take a step back and consider a few things first.

Here are some tips to determine if you have a problem – spoiler alert, you likely don’t! The reason I know this is because I have studied sexuality for over a decade at this point. 

 

Masturbation Addiction vs. Compulsive Behavior

First thing’s first: masturbation addiction and sex addiction are not considered to be true addictions by all AASECT Certified Sex Therapists, most yet not all clinical sexologists, and other psychological professional associations.

Frequently, people don’t even feel like they have a problem until they see a magazine article or news story about the “pandemic of sex addiction” or shamed by their partner who read a blog on “masturbation addiction” during covid19.

Remember, statistics are a measurement used to study and quantify human sexuality- falling outside of the “average” doesn’t mean you are gross or sick or wrong!

  • When we see statistics – about ANYTHING – begin to question! 
  • Reflect on who chose to do the study… and then get the actual study and read the “results” section of the study. 
  • I have a Hartford public library card that gives me access to many articles from my home computer.

For those of you who won’t want to further investigate, I will share my thoughts with you on masturbation addiction.

Here are some important considerations when comparing true addiction and compulsive (out of control) behavior:

Masturbation Addiction

Keep in mind, your masturbation habits are almost certainly not an addiction, and are even unlikely to be a compulsion unless you truly feel out of control.

 

Don’t Let Social Stigmas Kill The Mood

Masturbation is healthy and normal human behavior and even has some health benefits. Some people masturbate multiple times a day, some virtually never!

Even in modern societies there is a lot of stigma around anything outside of heteronormative, procreative sexuality, and masturbation is no exception.

Old wives tales about going blind from masturbation or religiously motivated warnings about “spilling/wasting your seed” perpetuate negative feelings around this very common and very human behavior, especially in regard to female and queer sexuality.

Your first question if you are worried about masturbation addiction should be: 

Am I truly experiencing negative consequences from my masturbation, or am I just ashamed because of social conditioning?

As with any behavior, it is only harmful if:

  • It interferes with your goals, career, or day to day obligations. Are you regularly skipping work to wank? Are you frequently flaking on friends to flick the bean? Did you drain your savings to diddle with new dildos?
  • It is negatively affecting sexual relationships. You have nothing left to give your partner, or you often forgo sex with your monogamous partner to masturbate instead. This may be a sign to consider telehealth therapy for you and your partner
  • It is causing you physical harm. Are you getting frequent infections or injuries from masturbation that interfere with day to day life? Do you keep masturbating despite painful consequences that don’t bring you any pleasure? 
  • You are preoccupied with masturbation to the point of distraction. Are you unable to focus at work or school without frequent masturbation breaks to cope?
  • You break the law. Are you so compelled to masturbate that you willingly break public decency laws or expose yourself in public?

When you see this list of consequences, it can be easy to understand why some people consider themselves masturbation addicts. What lies behind these behaviors are usually traumas, psychological conditions, and coping mechanisms to deal with stress, anxiety or depression, not a physical dependency on masturbation itself. These are all issues that can be worked through with a sex therapist or psychologist if you truly find your masturbation habits to be self-destructive. 

 

The Health Benefits of Masturbation

If you’re still feeling some shame about masturbation, these benefits may help you see masturbation in a better light!

  • It’s the safest sex around! You can’t get yourself pregnant, and you can’t give yourself a sexually transmitted infection. Just make sure you use clean hands and clean toys!
  • Exploration: masturbation is an excellent way to figure out your likes and dislikes, making partnered sex even more enjoyable. It is also a safe and empowering way to begin reclaiming your sexuality and establishing boundaries after experiencing sexual trauma.
  • Improved Mind/Body Connection: masturbation can help you connect to your body if you are feeling body dysphoria or disconnection.
  • Orgasms: we love orgasms! If you can orgasm, it releases endorphins, which are a natural feel-good chemical.
  • Nature’s painkiller: if you have menstrual cramps or a headache, that same endorphin release can ease muscle tension and increase your pain tolerance!
  • Masturbation as meditation:  the focus it takes to orgasm pushes other petty distractions from your mind, like meditation! This provides great stress relief.
  • Zzz: incorporating masturbation into your nighttime routine can help you sleep better. It can be hard work getting off!
  • Strengthen your pelvic floor: if incontinence is an issue for you or you want to strengthen your pelvic floor after trauma or giving birth, masturbation can be a great tool. In fact, physiotherapists who specialize in pelvic floor rehabilitation often prescribe toys and masturbation as a form of physio exercises. Cool!

 

Masturbation Addiction in Summary

Masturbation addiction is truly in the eye of the beholder, and more likely than not you are letting social stigmas interfere with a perfectly normal sexual habit.

It is normal to masturbate, and people have different libidos and sexual needs- just because you masturbate more than “average” or your partner or friends doesn’t make it an immoral or problematic activity!

Any behavior that is interfering with your life is worth examining with the guidance of a therapist, so if your masturbation habits are truly disrupting your life rather than enhancing it you should book an appointment. Hopefully this has helped open your eyes to the many benefits of enjoying masturbation, and the unlikeliness of having a masturbation addiction!

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

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. 

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

Call us at 203-733-9600 and press 0 to leave a message, or make an appointment.

Telehealth Therapy

Is Telehealth Therapy Right For You?

Is Telehealth Therapy Right For You?

 

What Is Telehealth Therapy?

Telehealth therapy is kind of an umbrella term that encompasses any remote therapy that uses telecommunications. 

In other words, telehealth therapy means you and your therapist are having sessions via confidential Skype, Zoom, telephone, FaceTime, app services or even via text.

Telehealth therapy has originally been used to provide behavioral therapy for people who live in more remote areas without access to a therapist locally.

Obviously during the COVID19 pandemic telehealth has become a lifeline for many people dealing with mental health issues. Since mental health issues are only bound to increase given the amount of fear, uncertainty and hardships that have accompanied this difficult time, telehealth therapy will only become more prevalent and essential moving forward.

 

How Do I Access Telehealth Therapy?

If you are already working with a therapist, call their office and see what telehealth options they have implemented for their patients. Hopefully, they have already reached out to you about this!

Telehealth Therapy

Depending on your own telecommunication set up, different options may be right for you.

  • Text therapy on your cell phone
  • Online chat
  • Therapy via phone call (landline or cellular)
  • Video conference apps like Zoom, Skype, FaceTime. The privacy and security of these apps vary, so choose one that you are comfortable with. These can be used on your laptop, smartphone or home computer.

There has also been a boom in telehealth therapy services via apps, such as BetterHelp and Talkspace, which will match you with a licensed professional therapist. This is an option if you don’t know where to start or are on a tight budget and need counseling, though the therapists are unable to make any official diagnoses, fulfill court orders or prescribe medications.

 

Is Telehealth Therapy Covered By Insurance?

This will of course depend on your individual insurance provider, so it is worth checking out. Many insurance companies have waived their co-pay or changed their remote telehealth therapy policies temporarily to accommodate COVID19 restrictions.

If you are covered under Medicare, many of the restrictions on your use of telehealth therapy services have been suspended for the duration of the public health emergency.

The use of phones and apps has previously been restricted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), so now you can not only have sessions over the phone or internet with your therapist, you can actually select a therapist from any distance, including out of state. Therapy has never been more accessible than now, so hopefully this will continue beyond the pandemic!

 

Who Can Benefit From Telehealth Therapy?

Before the pandemic, telehealth therapy was primarily intended for use in rural areas with little access to mental healthcare professionals. Now, telehealth therapy can help anyone with a phone or internet connection.

Telehealth therapy may be right for you if:

  • You already have an established therapist and want to continue your treatment plan/routine
  • You are experiencing increased anxiety, depression or any relapses of other mental health conditions brought about by the pandemic
  • You are grieving the loss of a loved one, job or major plans such as a cancelled wedding.
  • You are experiencing relationship issues due to stress, job loss, or simply being stuck at home together all day
  • You are having trouble establishing a healthy routine
  • You are struggling with many aspects of working at home, whether this be productivity, loneliness, stress or feeling like it is difficult to turn off “work mode” when the workday is over
  • You have fear and anxiety around getting sick or are unable to leave your home to go for a walk or safely run errands
  • The political climate is giving you fear, anxiety, depression or exhaustion, especially as a person who is racialized
  • You have stress, anxiety and/or depression due to health concerns related to a disability or chronic illness that is affected by COVID19 restrictions/lack of accessibility
  • Your children being home all the time is overwhelming. Your children can also access telehealth therapy if they are struggling to adjust to new routines, can’t sleep, feel scared, miss their friends or are struggling with homeschooling. Therapy can truly be for the entire family.

This is not an exhaustive list, so please know that if you are feeling unable to cope in any way about anything, there is a therapist out there who can help you and they are more accessible than ever.

Telehealth Therapy

What Are The Disadvantages of Telehealth Therapy?

At its core, telehealth therapy depends on certain privileges: a phone, an internet connection, and the means to pay for services whether out of pocket or through insurance.

Accessibility to mental health care is an ongoing issue, and while the pandemic has made it more accessible and affordable, there is still a long way to go for everyone to get the support they need.

Telehealth therapy can be adapted for deaf and blind, but often requires some extra settings (and potential extra costs) to make it accessible.

Telehealth therapy can be less than ideal if patients require a more tactile experience, which can be the case for various reasons.

 

Are There Alternatives To Telehealth Therapy During COVID19?

As some restrictions are lifted, you may find that certain therapists are allowed to open their offices back up. This is dependent on state and local laws, as well as their own level of comfort.

It is important to realize that every person, including your therapist, will have different levels of anxiety and caution when re-opening, and it may not align with your own needs. If you feel really safe and want life to be as normal as possible, you may find it frustrating if your therapist has chosen to keep their office closed and only provide telehealth therapy.

This is their prerogative, and if you truly need in person sessions you should discuss getting a referral to another therapist that is open to in-person appointments, or discuss what your therapist’s reopening plans are for the near future. Telehealth therapy can be as effective as “regular” behavioral therapy, so keep an open mind if possible!

On the other hand, if your therapist has decided they no longer are providing telehealth therapy, it is worth discussing what measures they have in place to ensure your safety and theirs. Maintaining a six foot distance, mutual masking, having hand sanitizer available and frequent cleaning are all preventative measures that can be taken to ensure your safety. If they are unable to accommodate your needs, see if they can recommend a colleague who is still conducting telehealth therapy.

As the pandemic wears on, it is important to practice self care, and that includes therapy! 

It is hard to say how long restrictions will be in place or how long telehealth therapy will be unrestricted, though hopefully the accessibility and convenience of telehealth therapy will prove to be worth keeping beyond this crisis. 

At LCAT our certified therapists are all available to help you and your loved ones, so we encourage you to give our telehealth therapy options a try, whether you prefer video, phone or even text. 

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.

How To Know If You Have Erection Issues

How To Know If You Have Erection Issues

How To Know If You Have Erection Issues

 

Sex Therapist ANSWERS How to know if you have erection issues! And issues about ejaculation and ejaculate. This will answer your questions.

So, you are here because you want to know how to know if you have erection issues.

You may be asking yourself “How to know if you have erection issues” just like many of our viewers have done! Because  How to know if you have erection issues is so specific, I am going to give you the real talk… 6 TIPS … like a cheat sheet to the answer!

In this video I will answer “How to know if you have erection issues” and if you think your marriage is not surviving and you need more intimacy, I am giving you my “Pleasure Practice E Guide”

How to know if you have erection issues… answered by a certified sex therapist!

Concerned about your ejaculation?

So are MANY of my clients!

Amanda Pasciucco, an AASECT certified sex therapist, shares her tips to success! Watch now!

 

Watch now:

 

Follow us on social:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thesexhealer

Instagram: http://instagram.com/thesexhealer

 

“Solutions for Erection and Ejaculation Issues”

Webinar on Sunday, August 23rd at 7 PM EST

Sign up for the Webinar

_____________________________________________________________________

  • Is your anxiety getting in the way of your sex?
  • Are you performing at optimum levels?
  • Are you struggling with getting physically aroused with your long-term partner?
  • If porn seems to be the only thing that turns you on, it is time to update your performance and pleasure techniques so your mind can control your body.

 

Through systemic, Tantra sex therapy techniques, you will learn new ways to connect with your partner.

 

This Webinar will help you:

  • Provide psychoeducation to assess if you or your partner has erectile dysfunction.
  • Understand the systemic shame in the inability to obtain and maintain erections.
  • Obtain specific suggestions to solve the emotional distress or embarrassment of ejaculating before desired.

Bonus for signing up, you will receive:

  • 1 FREE email question to Amanda
  • Recording of live program
  • Document on Parts Theory – Amanda’s life hack for fantasy in long-term romantic relationships

 

Sign up for the Webinar

Hurry, reserve your spot today!

Webinar is 60 minutes with Q&A

Cost: $49

Must be 18 or older

A webinar recording will be provided

 

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.

Transgenerational Trauma

Transgenerational Trauma

Transgenerational Trauma

 

TRIGGER WARNING: Transgenerational Trauma and Can Trauma get Passed Down in the DNA? 

There is a new body of research which is talking about how trauma can be passed down generationally (including through biology). 

I first learned about this over the last several years in specializing trauma and noticing that my clients often had parents or caregivers with significant trauma histories. 

I began to do my own informal research through completing genograms (a family tree that indicates relationships, health, etc), having conversations with colleagues, and eventually being led to the research that showed this very phenomenon. 

So… does trauma get passed down in the DNA? 

 

What does Transgenerational Trauma Mean? 

Transgenerational trauma is trauma that is inherited from generation to generation. 

There is no doubt in my mind as a relational and systems therapist that trauma can be inherited. 

From what I know about families and relationships, it is clear that nurture certainly plays a role in how we see ourselves and experience the world and people around us. 

If we were raised in abusive or toxic circumstances, it is clear that as children we would pick up on some of those patterns of behavior and then use those patterns of behavior or “habits” in future relationships in that way as well. 

For example: a child who was raised in a household where their parents engaged in excessive drinking, drug use, and violence would likely be traumatized by that. 

As they grew up, they may learn to engage in some of those same behaviors or strategies to manage emotions or conflict. Say this individual then begins has children and as a parent engages in strategies that engage in emotional numbing and explosions of conflict. 

These behaviors may not be the same exact things as drugs and violence, yet now they are parenting utilizing the same addictive strategies (gambling, eating disorders, drug use, sex, fights, shaming, blaming, etc.), and you can see how the pattern continues as unconsciously as the environment continues to utilize various strategies to maintain until it is brought to consciousness and the system works to change. 

In the example of transgenerational trauma above, you may see how the environment creates trauma and continues from one generation to the next, as those who experienced high levels of trauma parented and continued to parent within the context and knowledge of what they knew. 

As children, we learn from our environment and how that translates into the future can depend on a variety of factors outside our control as well as some that are within our control. 

This made sense to me. I get this and believe that what we learn from our relationships throughout our lives impacts us on a conscious and unconscious basis. 

We can consider finding ways to become more conscious and aware of these impacts so we can shift the pattern.

 

Inherited Transgenerational Trauma and Biology

There seems to be some research indicating that this may not just be true just through nurture, yet through nature as well. 

What I found was that it was not just something that was being researched relationally within the family, yet also being studied genetically and biologically. This was OVERWHELMING to consider. 

People who experience trauma are possibly passing down these patterns via their relationships and dynamics with others AND through their biological genes as well!

Much of what I read focused specifically on survivors of genocide (such as the Holocaust). 

Some research focused specifically on tests run on animals. It seems that the evidence has begun to show how adverse experiences of children at early ages (and throughout life) can change someone’s brain and perhaps even the way trauma is passed down genetically across generations. 

To me, this is a fascinating area and concept to consider especially as a way to place more value on preventative measures to help with trauma generally speaking (especially in childhood). 

As this body of research continues to grow my hope is that there will be more resources placed to help treat trauma (and it’s many forms) and ways to prevent it. 

In some states (like California), they look at the “Adverse Childhood Experiences” (ACEs) as a public health issue (which it is!) and focus on ways to work with children and families to help prevent and intervene as soon as possible to reduce the long term impacts.

We are here to help at LCAT, we have various therapists who have training and understanding in all the A/a’s. Please join us on your healing journey!

YouTube page where Amanda Pasciucco, Founder of LCAT provides free information at 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.

Boundaries

The Boundary Trap – What are Boundaries? 

The Boundary Trap – What are Boundaries? 

 

Boundaries have become the new buzzword – so what the heck are they?

They are ways to create limits or express needs. 

They can be physical, emotional, spiritual, verbal, sexual, etc. 

Boundaries are the ways in which we say what is or is not okay for us. This could be in the way we want to be communicated with, the way we are loved, the way we are touched, the way people show up for us, and the way people speak to us.

Our culture sucks with boundaries… which is probably why boundaries have become such a buzz word in our society now. Our culture has focused on what I call: aggressive, active, or passive boundaries. 

In the United States, we live in a dominating society where aggression and dominance are reinforced… down to the ways we even communicare. 

 

Aggressive, Passive, or Active?

Most of my clients come to me either utilizing aggressive or passive boundaries. 

Aggressive boundaries can use physical or (most often) verbal strategies. 

Aggressive boundaries is engaging in what I consider to be dominating, abrasive, coercive, demanding, controlling, shaming, blaming, or critical tactics. In my experience, these strategies result in compliance, rebellion, or conflict. None of which work towards connection and understanding. These boundaries are typically “at someone” and can be reactive boundaries. This is usually as a result of not having boundaries respected unless they were loud and big.

An example of an aggressive boundary would be: “You can never do anything right. Don’t help me anymore because you are an idiot. I know what is best and you either need to get on board or else.”

Passive boundaries are people who either do not set boundaries at all or are VERY unclear. People who struggle to set boundaries at all usually fall in this category. 

People who set passive boundaries often feel resentful because those around them do not understand the boundaries resulting in these individuals overgiving. These individuals may be conflict avoidant, may have not learned how to have a voice, or learned their needs were not important. 

Boundaries

An example of passive boundaries would be: 

  • feeling uncomfortable with something someone is doing and saying nothing
  • not responding
  • lying about your feelings such as saying “its okay”
  • over-committing and saying “yes” when you mean “no.”
  • Saying “whatever you want to do” 
  • Using vague language like “I mean maybe it’s a sorta thing that I….”

Passive Aggressive is the combo platter of boundaries. It is vague statements or boundaries that usually are accompanied by sarcasm, anger, or contempt. 

People who set passive aggressive boundaries are often unclear, rude, indirect in trying to get what they want or need. People who are passive aggressive often do not know how to get their needs met, may be conflict avoidant, or struggle to be vulnerable. 

An example of this would be: “I guess I didn’t need that anyways” with a sarcastic tone or non-descript tone.

Active Boundaries are clear, compassionate, and communicative. Active boundaries are when we are able to share what we need without engaging in violent communication techniques. 

These boundaries show how we need or what we want from others without engaging in destructive communication patterns that create disconnection and conflict. 

An example of this would be: “I feel really frustrated and hurt when you speak to me that way. I would ask in the future that we work together on communicating differently so that we both feel more safe.” or “I am noticing that I am uncomfortable when you touch me like that, is it possible for you to ask in the future? If you cannot do that, I am going to have to find another way to feel like I can be more comfortable around you.” or “In the future, when you go to get something to eat can you please also reach out if I need anything to? I felt really hurt when I did not have dinner too. In the future that would be so cool because I would feel really loved and seen.” 

 

Boundaries, PEOPLE!

So often we struggle to do this. It is so important that we find ways to communicate our needs through boundary setting. At LCAT, we use Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication as a guide to help our clients and ourselves navigate these difficult conversations. 

Boundaries are not something many of us are comfortable with in our culture and it is so important that we remember boundaries are FOR US not AT others. 

When we are able to focus on boundaries being for us and not AT others, we are more able to set them in an active way rather than a passive and/or aggressive way. 

Let us help you get there!

We are here to help at LCAT, we have various therapists who have training and understanding in all the A/a’s. Please join us on your healing journey!

YouTube page where she provides free information at 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.

parenting in a pandemic

Parenting in a Pandemic

Parenting in a Pandemic

 

Parenting in a pandemic; 2020 has proven to be one of the most unique years in modern history! 

Most notably due to of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus, parenting in the pandemic has become a primary focus! 

A notable challenge has been parenting in a pandemic, especially during the quick changes.

Parenting during a pandemic has proven to be much more difficult than I think many parents predicted. 

I have spent many sessions working with parents discussing: the lack of accessibility or time they have to balance the needs of their kids, work (paid or unpaid), finances due to job changes or loss, online schooling, and everyone home with limited opportunities outside the home. 

 

Stressors of Parenting in COVID-19

What became clear to me throughout this is that each unique age and stage of the child determined challenges for children. 

For me, I am a single mother of a 1 year old so my daughter loves being with me and those that love her. She enjoys exploring wherever she is or whatever is in front of her… for instance, she loves shoes. 

So entertaining her was less of an issue for me as it may be for many parents with older children. 

For me, I have found socialization and consistent attention to be the most difficult when one is juggling all these roles at once. 

For other parents, taking on the schooling process has shown to be a major and stressful undertaking. 

Other parents cite “keeping kids busy” as a primary stressor or concern. 

Whether it is social-emotional development, ability to engage in varying activities, mental health, stress level, motivation, or something else, parents are sharing new and creative ways to meet their kids needs.

Many parents shared these woes, whether their children were young like mine or school aged. 

A predominant developmental task for childhood is socializing, exploring, and learning (language, emotions, people, etc.). 

COVID19 has certainly inhibited the ability to socialize and confronted them with learning and exploring in ways that parents typically do not do. 

Many parents, including myself, have had to find creative ways to build social and emotional development in children with the limited resources we have. 

Parents have shared finding new hands-on activities, exciting ways to utilize technology, going back to old school techniques of the great outdoors, and finding connections with their kids they have not otherwise found. 

Parenting in a Pandemic

 

Can We Do it All?

The short answer is HECK NO! I will also provide a longer answer if that is useful. 

As parents we have these moments of pure genius where we see something differently and creatively find ways to engage our children, yet that does not negate all the hardship and stress that goes into being a parent right now. 

So many parents express levels of shame or guilt of not “being enough” for their children. 

Parents express feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and working around the clock between their children, taking care of their home, and finding jobs/engaging in paid labor positions.

My clients often (myself included) often worry what the long term impact of this will be to our children. 

Feeling like you have to be everything for your child; whether that is teacher, friend, activities director, social planner/coordinator, healthcare provider, personal chef, tutor, childcare provider, parent, snuggle buddy, scientist, explorer, maid, nanny, custodian, therapist, housekeeper, grocer, etc. while also trying to meet the needs of yourself, other children, partners, and family. 

Not to mention if you were able to maintain employment during this… add job responsibilities. 

Parents feel guilty for needing to resort to increased screen time for their kids or struggling to remain consistent with boundaries. 

Here’s the thing… THAT IS OKAY! WE ARE LIVING IN A PANDEMIC.

So I will say to you what I say to many of my clients:

Take a deep breath in….and out… and slow the EFF down. 

Breathe in self compassion and understanding because… just in case you did not hear me in the back… WE ARE LIVING IN A FREAKING PANDEMIC!

So many parents express feeling more exhausted than they have ever felt due to being within their homes, surrounded by the same people. 

The function of school was a lot to take on, and the needs of children are still present. 

Radical permission to know that you cannot be 100% of everything for anyone, yet there are tips I have learned parenting in a pandemic to share! 

 

Tips and Tricks to Parenting in A Pandemic

What we work on so often in therapy is utilizing your resources, collaborating when you can, and engaging in some level of self care. 

  • Finding ways to connect with other parents (online forums, zoom, phone or text, following social media, social distancing while wearing masks)
  • Exercise or movement while distancing yourself from others
  • Finding safe ways for your children to connect with other children (online, hygiene conscientiousness, social distancing, and mask wearing, etc.)
  • Basic self-care (eating, drinking water, batheing, sleeping or getting out of bed)
  • Asking for help for those that you feel safe inviting back to your life (physically, emotionally, or socially)
  • Go to therapy (see what I did there? 🙂 )
  • Engage in community based activities online (religion, 12 step, protests, etc)
  • Finding new hobbies 
  • Prioritizing without overgiving or overfunctioning (I.E SET BOUNDARIES)
  • Finding time to check in with yourself, with your child, and with any partners or loved ones

These are SOME options for you, and I invite you to find creative strategies for you to find what works for you. 

The most important thing to do is find connection for yourself and with your loved ones (children and partners included) as well as being able to set boundaries for yourself, your family, and your children. 

These are some intense times… it’s important to find ways that work for you and your kids. 

Remember to have self-compassion and give yourself and your family a little bit more grace that you may normally parenting in a pandemic.

YouTube page where she provides free information at 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.

addictive personality

What is an Addictive Personality?

What is an Addictive Personality?

 

You may ask yourself, what is an addictive personality?

Addiction has multiple parts to it and many people state they have “addictive personalities.”

What the heck does that mean?

Do you know someone who becomes consumed with different things or people?

Do you or others you know seem to become obsessive in relationships?

Do you know someone who is compelled and seems out of control in various aspects of their life?

Do you wonder why you are out of control or do you struggle to be able to manage relationships without becoming obsessive?

Do you often find yourself going from one substance or “high” of New Relationship Energy (NRE) to another?


Big “A” vs Little “a”

These may be indicators of an “addictive personality.”

In my clinical practice, I use the “A”ddiction and “a”ddiction.

To me, “A” is the one most referred to in our society and within clinical settings and surrounds drugs, alcohol, compulsive gambling, and some schools of thought would include sex and/or food.

In that regard, I do not treat as many people with or specialize in the “A”.

To be clear, neither is more valid or important – both are equally important to focus on and treat. 

I would say I work with a lot of folks who engage in obsessive or addictive patterns that would fall under the little “a.” 

In my experience, addiction often focuses on someone’s need to numb or escape some type of emotion or experience.

This could be from trauma, anxiety, depression, dysfunctional relationships or family systems, etc.

People with “addictive personalities” often use addiction as a strategy to feel differently than they do in order to “function.” 

Whether people are experiencing “A” or “a”, both result in what I would consider a chemical reinforcement in our brain and often a physical or emotional reinforcement in our minds and bodies.

This chemical high is a major reinforcement of the strategy or the “thing” (person, drink, drug, etc) that becomes the compulsion. Does this sound like anyone you may know? 

Have you ever been this person?

In working with addiction, it would seem that most addiction comes from some level of trauma someone experienced within their life and their addiction is a way or strategy to manage this.

We so often focus on the behavior in treatment, and to be clear that can be VERY necessary, HOWEVER, I would argue that until we are able to treat what is below that behavior [and have someone understand the why and the what the pattern of behavior (or strategy)] will just continue.

Common Underlying Issues Related to “Addictive Personality”

  • Codependency
  • Trauma (physical, emotional, sexual, etc.)
  • Family members (biological) who have history of substance use (research shows genetic component)
  • Family members or community members who have substance use history
  • Common coping is avoidance
  • Narcissism or increased self-focus
  • Systemic Trauma (institutional racism, white supremacy, heteronormativity)
  • Frequently invalidated throughout life
  • External locus of control
  • Significant difficulty in self-regulation

The list of “addict personality” traits can go on and on!

Seriously, there are many more, and these are just common ones that I have noticed in our practice. 

We hope this answers your question for “what is an addictive personality?”

If you feel like this post speaks to yourself or someone you know, therapy can be a very effective way in doing this work. Various providers engage in different techniques to help people who struggle with addiction. I truly encourage people to really do the inner work to find more adaptive strategies that do not reinforce these addictive patterns. 

We are here to help at LCAT, we have various therapists who have training and understanding in all the A/a’s. Please join us on your healing journey!

YouTube page where she provides free information at 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.

stop comparing

How to stop comparing yourself to others and other couples

How to stop comparing yourself to others and other couples

 

Is it finally time to stop comparing yourself to others… especially other couples? 

Whether a pair of celebrities or a couple in your circle of friends, there’s usually a couple in your life that you compare yourself to. 

STOP COMPARING! 

Yes… another couple may be physically beautiful, or somehow manage that magical balance of having creative careers and a satisfying sex life that they can’t help but brag about. 

A dynamite celebrity couple like John Legend and Chrissy Teigen may have you looking at yourself and your partner with disappointment – like what if you had the money, the fame, or chemistry… if only then, your relationship could be just as perfect!

You know though… that is what you want to believe.

Intellectually, you know they have issues too, yet at the back of your mind, you can’t help but hear the seductive whisper from your insecure subconscious: couples goals! 

You want to believe that the grass is greener on the other side… because that feels somehow enticing to compare.

Comparisons are often, if not usually, problematic, and especially when comparing your relationship to one that you only know through social media. 

Social media is where people can post a carefully curated version of themselves – you know “the projected” masked self. 

The version that is “airbrushed” without the flaws, the loneliness, and the lack of communication. 

We see this when people post a heavily-filtered selfie, or perhaps embellish their accomplishments to seem higher status. The same goes for relationships and couples goals that you are judging from afar.

So, seriously… Before you get too preoccupied with couples goals, stop your frantic, unrealistic comparisons and turn them into healthy aspirations for your own relationship.

Harmful Comparison: “They are always all over each other! We never even hold hands.”

Healthy Aspiration: “I would love to connect more by holding hands or physical touch in our daily lives. Is that something you are open to?” 

First of all, why are you envious (wanting what they have) about another couple’s PDA? 

If you find you are admiring couples that are physically affectionate on public platforms, it might be that you need more connection via touch in your relationship, or you’re more shy about PDA and wish you were able to be open about how much you are valued and appreciated in your relationship. 

Or… you may be single and focusing on others rather than working on yourself! 

You don’t need to do exactly what your inspirational couple is doing, or do anything you’re not comfortable with, yet taking the time to learn about yourself and to communicate to your partner about your needs and requests is a great start. 

It could be as simple as taking more photos together!

Harmful Comparison: “They post so many photos as a couple! My partner must be ashamed of me because they never post my picture.”

Healthy Aspiration: “How do I want to be shown I am loved? How does my partner? Is the way I am showing them love landing for them?”

Different strokes for different folks! #couplesgoals! 

When you see a couple posting a lot of photos, it can make you begin to wonder why you aren’t posting about your partner, or why they don’t post about you. 

Did this bother you before, or just after seeing another couple post about each other all the time? 

Is it about the public declaration of love, or do you genuinely prefer a quieter, more private relationship?

stop comparing yourself

Chances are your partner is NOT ashamed, and is just respecting your privacy as a couple or they just aren’t that into social media. 

Chances are you picked up on something that is more about you and your need than it is about them! It is your job to communicate THAT with your partner or to yourself to process in therapy. 

The most important thing is finding out what expression of love makes you feel most valued by your partner and yourself, and if it means more selfies, let them know! 

Be open to the new and creative approaches that come about! 

For example, putting a date night on the schedule, could mean more time spent together on hobbies, or them doing more stuff around the house, or even just telling you they love you!

Harmful Comparison: “Wow, they’re on another vacation together? We can’t even find a weekend getaway.”

Healthy Aspiration: “We need to make more time for adventures together- even if it has to be local!”

A tropical vacation would obviously be awesome, whether you bring your partner or not! Yet, the reality is, sometimes the money just isn’t there… or there is covid19. 

Also, the couple you are comparing yourself to may just have different priorities… so what makes you think using their strategies will actually bring you the same joy or pleasure it brings them? 

Perhaps you are saving for a house, yet they want to rent forever and never have children so they can travel. Or perhaps you have student debt because you have your dream career, yet they just have financial freedom. 

Notice the difference between what feels urgent and what actually is important to you. I have a bunch of clients who realized that they were just living a life that was photo worthy without actually getting pleasure from it. 

If you find yourself longing for more adventures, try and be creative with local options – a picnic, a night in a local hotel (with room service!), a short road trip to a nearby outdoor tourist attraction.  

Everyone can use a staycation – anything that will shake up the routine and get you out of the house… individually or preferably if partnered, together. 

Your envy towards this couple could also be a sign or dissatisfaction in areas of your life other than your relationship. 

Are there ways you can carve out more time for yourself and/or your partner? Are there areas of your life that are causing you more stress than they’re worth? 

It is worth discussing solutions with your therapist if you feel exhausted or like you need to escape in order to spend some quality time with your partner.

Harmful Comparison: “They look so perfect. We’ve really let ourselves go…”

Healthy Aspirations: “I’m happy we are so comfortable with each other and I would request you support me in my individual health goals if you can.”

It can be so hard not to hate on yourself when you see someone who you believe is more attractive, slim, or stylish than you. 

And if you’re a couple that are more the stay-at-home-in-sweatpants type you might feel a little inferior. But why should you?

stop comparing yourself

It can be a wonderful thing to be candid and comfortable with each other! 

Of course, everyone likes to put in some effort now and then, yet you can be sure that the couple you’re envying have days where they don’t want to glam up. 

And if they don’t, who cares? What works for YOU is what matters. 

Now, if you want to get into fitness together or change it up in other areas of life, it helps to be able to support each other. 

After all, you are two independent people with lives, goals, and aspirations. Therefore, helping each other achieve these dreams is about as noble of a goal you can have as a couple!

Bottom line – TLDR: comparison is harmful and you cannot know what other people are going through in their couples goals! 

It is much more productive to have couples goals for your unique needs as a couple – that reflect the needs of your unique relationship. 

Being in a couple and doing your own thing, being supportive of each other, and growing and developing with new communication strategies and new shared experiences? 

Now, THOSE are some couples goals!

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.

drunk sex

7 Reasons to Be Sick & Tired of Having Drunk Sex!

7 Reasons to Be Sick & Tired of Having Drunk Sex!

 

Fictional Tim has spent the last few weeks trying to meet girls online. After messing around with the usual dating apps, he’s got a couple of matches and finds the courage to ask one of them out. He doesn’t want it to be too formal, so he proposes they meet for drinks.

On their date, things go incredibly! There’s chemistry and Tim is feeling like there’s a chance for some romance. He’s nervous, though, so he drinks a lot to get rid of his anxiety and any inhibitions.           

Things progress, and they end up spending the night together. Tim remembers it was fun and felt good. He wants to meet again. He wants to ask her out again, and he goes with what worked last time. They meet for drinks again and the whole scene plays out again.

 

We’ve All Been There Before

Take out Tim’s name and you can probably substitute all of ours in there. Drinks and dating go together like peas and carrots. It’s been like that forever. And there’s no denying it. Getting tipsy can be the difference between having sex and going home alone if you’re shy or lack confidence.

Plus, drinking is entwined in our social interactions that it’s everywhere. It’s almost strange if you don’t drink.

If you feel like you’re relying on alcohol to get laid, then that’s something you may want to address. Additionally, it’s stopping you from having GREAT sex. Here are 7 reasons you should be sick and tired of having drunk sex.

 

  1. Lack of Real Connection

This is the first reason and probably the most important one. When you’re drunk, you’re essentially putting a cap on how emotionally intense sex can be. That’s fine if you just want to get your rocks off, and hey, sex is still fun no matter what.

If you’re looking for mind-bending, life-changing sex, then alcohol’s not going to get you there. Being drunk numbs your senses. It also robs you of some of the intense emotions that come along with getting to sex in the first place.

Trust me, the juice is worth the squeeze. Let yourself feel those emotions. Sex is so much better with the buildup and when you’re totally present.

 

  1. You Might Settle

Getting drunk and going out is a phase most people go through. It’s normal. Sooner or later, you’re going to want to start setting the bar a bit higher for who gets in your pants.

Using too much alcohol and having drunk sex leave room for you to settle for people you normally wouldn’t hook up with. It’s easier to excuse poor decision making because, after all, you’re drunk!

Staying clearheaded will help you make better decisions about who you want to have sex with. You’re more likely to get involved with people who lift you up and you’re attracted to rather than saying, “whatever” at the end of a drunken night.

 

  1. When Lines Get Crossed

Drunk people can be more aggressive and slower to read social cues. No big deal if you’re out with friends in a completely safe environment. What about having sex with someone you’ve recently started dating?

Sex without substances is already an intricate interplay of verbal, physical, and emotional signals. It’s a fun dance that people play with flirting, light touching, kissing, and eventually sex. Boundaries get murky when you’re drunk.

In the extreme, your safety can be at risk. Under more common circumstances you and your partner could take each other’s comfort for granted, and that’s important when you’re having sex.

 

  1. Performance Issues

Even though you get the benefit of feeling more open and talkative when you’re drunk, it can come back to bite you when it’s time to have sex. Alcohol has frozen many a penis in its tracks when the moment arrives. Getting drunk affects the sexual anatomy.

Whether it’s the inability to hold an erection or failure to orgasm, drunk sex affects sexual performance. The effects can be good and bad, sometimes it’s a roll of the dice. Might as well avoid the drunk sex to give yourself a better shot.

 

  1. What Happened?

Alcohol fogs memories and makes you forget. A lot of people say they can’t remember many of the details of a drunken sexual encounter. If they’re REALLY drunk, they may not remember it happening at all.

Aside from being dangerous, what fun is it? Your sexual scoreboard might be running up, that’s about it. Skipping the booze will make sure you know what’s happening at the moment and can remember the great sex you had last night, last weekend, and last year. Those are the best kind of memories.

 

  1. Regret

“Was the person I slept with last night attractive? Did I use protection? Did I get taken advantage of?”

People who have drunk sex often report higher levels of anxiety and even guilt after the fact. They worry about the aftereffects of sex, even if it’s with someone they know.

It’s also easy to find your standards slipping when you’re drunk. Saying no to sex without protection is harder after several drinks. People have one-night stands they wouldn’t have otherwise had, cross sexual boundaries with friends, and other acts that lead to regret.

People who have sex with a drunk partner also often feel regret over the encounter, even if they were sober. They wonder whether it was totally consensual and how their relationship will be impacted in the future.

 

  1. It’s Not as Good Drunk!

Drinks might help you close the deal. Still, drunk sex is nowhere near as fun and fulfilling as sober sex. When you’re drunk, you lose some of your motor functions. You’re slower and clumsier.

Without alcohol, your senses light up and are tuned in on your partner and the moment. You and your partner can give each other better feedback on where to touch, how fast, how hard, and more. Orgasms are more intense, and the experience is more real.

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.