trauma therapy

Trauma - Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Trauma - Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

 

Trauma - Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or TF CBT is an evidenced based model that uses CBT techniques to help aid in trauma treatment. This is done through the “PRACTICE” model.

Psychoeducation/Parenting Skills - focuses on learning about trauma and supporting caregivers and primary supports in supporting the trauma survivor

Relaxation - building relaxation skills to relax the body. The belief is that if you engage in focusing on the body that it helps support ability to manage trauma

Affect Modulation - learning about emotions to help connect your physiological reactions with your emotions

Cognitive Coping - recognizing thought patterns and different thoughts or beliefs the survivor has about themselves. Connecting these thoughts to the physiological and emotional responses 

Trauma Narrative -where the survivor writes or creates an account of their story with the therapist in session. 

In vivo gradual exposure - in each session the therapist works with the client and their supportive other in gradually bringing the trauma into the room from the beginning and reading the trauma narrative to the client and the supportive other separately to prepare for the client reading or sharing it in session. 

Conjoint Sessions with Client and Supportive others - Sessions can be individual for the client or the supportive other(s), and there are some sessions that are conjoint (relational). The most notable of these is where the client/survivor shares their trauma narrative with the caregiver/support

Enhancing Safety - this is not about victim blaming! This is about supporting people who have experienced trauma in learning what are healthy ways to set boundaries, recognize red flags, and work on self-advocacy.

This model was developed predominantly to work with children, but has been used with all age ranges. Although it is most effective with children.

trauma therapy

 

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy

Eye Movement Den-sensitization Reprocessing Therapy or EMDR is another evidenced based model that has been shown to have incredible results in treating trauma and a variety of other mental health diagnoses.

EMDR utilizes eye movement or bilateral stimulation (BLS) to reprocess memories or images that represent the trauma or an event in a clients life. The BLS accesses neural pathways in the brain to help aid the client in reprocessing the memory and the negative belief that was created about themself in that event or memory. In using the BLS it allows the client to access multiple parts of their brain to reprocess the memory in a safe secure environment.

In the event of a trauma or difficult experience, the brain responds in crisis and is not usually able to access the part of the brain that allows for reason and understanding, the brain is most times responding out of fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. These are automatic responses that we have no control over. Our brain goes into autopilot. EMDR accesses these memories and allows for us to reprocess these memories while also engaging our frontal lobe creating a different experience and allowing new pathways to be created. For more information regarding EMDR read Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro, PhD.

 

Inner Aspects

A sex-positive, trauma-informed care model that we use at Life Coaching and Therapy is called “The Inner Aspects” or the “Parts Theory” Model, informed by, and not limited to the following models:

Francesca Gentille’s Inner Aspects Model, Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication Theory, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Bowbly’s Attachment Theory, Tony Robbin’s 6 Human Needs Theory, Hendrix’s Imago Model, Jung’s Archetypes, Schwartz’s Inner Family Systems, and Shapiro’s Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

For short, The Inner Aspects or Parts Theory is a life hack to better communication in sex and intimate relationships.

The concept is that who we are internally is complex.

We may have only one body – AND we have multiple “identities” within us. Identifying our parts helps us slow ourselves and our thoughts down, to understand the types of strategies we have been using to end up with our current presenting problems. Emotions arise because our needs aren’t being met. Arguments and conflict arise because humans argue over strategies on how to get their needs met. (Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication).

We each have various parts of us that hold onto different stories and beliefs about life.

 

Qualities of Parts of Us:

  • Sweet and Innocent
  • Saboteur and toxic
  • Animalistic or barbaric
  • Sensual and sexual
  • Divine or inspired
  • Selfish, childish, rebellious, or manipulative
  • Competitive and athletic

The inner parts work that you are responsible for is to find an inner nurturer that represents your younger selves.

The external work is to find the parts of you that can be the most open to strategizing the best ways to meet both your needs and the needs of those individuals and communities that you state that you value. Through gaining this insight towards your inner aspects, you allow space for healing and growth.

Identifying and learning which parts of you have been impacted by trauma allows for you to reintegrate these parts of you fully and meet their needs to work towards healing these wounded parts. This integration allows you to reduce the experience of being “hijacked” by these parts (or losing control of your responses through being reactive). As Francesca Gentille would say you want “from reactivity to creativity” which is to say “responding” from a more centered integrated space.

Inner Aspects uses insight and empowerment to help individuals and relationships heal from the impact of trauma.

Trauma in Children

 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) was created by Marsha Linehan initially to treat Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT became one of the most popular models in treating BPD and was evidenced based. Linehan utilized both “western” and “eastern” medical models to create DBT which differed from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

The foundation of DBT is mindfulness and dialectics. Dialectics are the focus of being able to see the “both/and” rather than the polarizing beliefs of the “either/or.” Dialectics challenges our brains to see the “inbetween” or grey rather than being stuck “black or white thinking.” Whereas mindfulness focuses on being fully present in the moment, being non-judgmental, and focusing on one thing at a time. The combination of these two foundational factors allowed for clinicians to utilize this effectively with clients with Borderline Personality Disorder, but quickly began to show efficacy in a range of other mental health disorders.

In addition to mindfulness and dialectics, there were other sections of DBT that clients use to learn how to lead a more balanced life. The sections of DBT are: Dialectics, Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Cognitive Modification. Each of these sections build on dialectics and mindfulness to help clients deal with crisis, manage emotions, engage in healthy relationships (with themselves and others), and adjust thinking patterns. DBT uses acronyms to help remember various skills so skills can be applied and easily recalled.

From my education and experience as a therapist, I see a strong correlation between Borderline Personality Disorder and trauma. Given that Linehan and others have done ample research to support the use of DBT with BPD, I do not think it is a far assumption to see how DBT can also support people who have been traumatized.

Mindfulness and Distress tolerance focus on building self-awareness and grounding techniques which are vital to trauma treatment. Furthermore, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness support people who have experienced trauma in managing their emotions, learning skills to recognize their emotional experiences, and learning how to engage in healthy relationships through boundaries, building self-esteem, and other social techniques.

A signature of trauma is the cognitions created, so the use of cognitive modification within DBT is very important in addressing challenging thought patterns. Challenging these thought patterns are healing for clients and allows for them to engage in life and relationships more fully and genuinely.

Review Therapists Website, Social Media posts, and ads to learn about their policies, beliefs. A therapist who is trauma informed will show that somewhere. And being able to see their social media pages, blog posts, etc. will show you what that therapist or practice values. If you see information regarding trauma, that is a good sign. However, just because they are posting does not mean that they are competent, that is why you have to see multiple points.

If you already have a therapist, you can still review what is stated above and also have conversations with the therapist about their experience with trauma work. Recognizing the red flags for you and what may be barriers or strengths in working with this particular therapist around trauma.

Trauma work requires a safe place for clients to disclose some very challenging experiences. I would recommend finding a trauma therapist who is able to provide that safe space, one that is non-judgmental, supportive, and can sit with you and attune while you are working through these tough experiences.

People who have experienced trauma, do not feel safe in many places so finding a therapist who is attuned to you and you feel that you are able to connect with is important. Safety is not an easy thing to come by if you have a trauma history, so connection, attunement, vibe, and trust are steps to getting towards safety. If you feel safe from the get, that is amazing! However, it is normal to feel levels of anxiety in beginning therapy.

Finding the right fit is tough, but hopefully some of these tips have helped you find some general things that can help you. Remember trauma is challenging and requires a space that is able to cultivate healing and growth, through safety and connection. Part of the therapist's role is to help you grow in feeling safe in the therapeutic relationship to heal the impact of trauma. A safe place that is empowering, engaging, challenging, connecting, supporting, and healing.

At LCAT we are happy to help and many of us specialize in working in trauma. If you have any questions please contact us!

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.

 


mobile porn

Mobile Porn Goes Mainstream – Why So Many People Consume It?

Mobile Porn Goes Mainstream – Why So Many People Consume It?

 

It’s funny how mobile porn has been treated over the past several decades.

For so long, it was relegated to the shadows. Religious groups came out in strong opposition to the adult film and print industry. They influenced lawmakers into restricting access to pornography even to consenting adults.

These days, though, the cat’s out of the bag. The amount of porn is so big and access to it so easy, that there’s no more pretending. Practically everyone, at some point in their lives, will view porn.

Online porn was the real gamechanger. It was harder to hide nude magazines or VHS tapes with adult movies on them under the bed. Finding your friend’s dad’s porn stash and sneaking a peek in the basement was almost a rite of passage a generation ago.

People were mostly concerned about dealing with the embarrassment of being caught. Enter today, the age of incognito browsers and VPNs. Search history that can be deleted and gone barely a trace. Nowadays, most of the porn viewed by billions of people around the world is done on mobile devices locked by passcodes that are used by only one person.

 

The Porn Industry Has Always Been a Tech Innovator

The adult entertainment industry has always been an early mover when it comes to technology. They moved online before many other mainstream media counterparts, pushing online traffic numbers in the internet’s early days.

Pornography publishers were quick to invest in high-speed modems so online users could have quicker access to their websites. They helped pioneer online streaming and helped normalize online payment systems when people were still suspicious about giving credit card information online.

Porn’s push into mobile began years ago, before retail and other consumer brands were even thinking about a mobile strategy. That early innovation has resulted in massive mobile porn consumption numbers today.

If you want to know what the future holds, take a look at what the adult entertainment industry is up to. Now, when you look online at pornography, you see things like virtual reality, personal engagement with adult entertainers, and greater privacy protections trending. They’re still pushing the envelope.

 

Porn Companies Were Early to Embrace Mobile as a Platform

If you’ve ever looked at porn on a phone or a tablet, it was probably a pretty good experience. There weren’t many bugs or hiccups during loading, and its photos, sites, and videos moved from portrait to landscape seamlessly.

It’s not the same for other industries. So many popular brands had a hard time moving to mobile. Email clients, popular websites, calendars, and other applications are playing catch up.

That’s because porn was so early in its shift to mobile platforms. They saw the day when phones and tablets would be everywhere and made sure to invest in the technology to make the mobile experience as good or even better.

 

Why Mobile is Such a Natural Fit for Porn

Think about it. How many spouses or teenagers have sat at the family computer at night, trying to get a peek at some pornography with one eye over their shoulder about someone walking around the corner?

It’s a classic scenario that’s played out in homes across the world. With mobile, porn users eliminate a lot of the risk of being “caught”. They’re viewing porn on a personal device that can be flipped over in a second or lock the screen instantly with the click of a button.

You also can use discreet browsers that don’t track history or searches, so if you’ve got a snoopy spouse or partner, you don’t have to worry about them looking through your phone when you’re not looking. Whether or not looking at porn without the support and understanding of your spouse is a subject for another discussion.

Mobile devices also make it easier to watch porn and, you know, do what you want to do while you watch porn. You can watch it on the bed, in the bathroom, or on the couch when no one’s around. You can one-hand it while your other hand is, ahem, busy.

 

Mobile Has Removed the Stigma Around Porn Use

Strangely, porn use on mobile platforms has done a lot to take away the stigma around porn use. It’s sort of pulled back the curtain and laid bare just how prevalent pornography use is in the U.S. and other countries.

Now, everyone has a device. When those mobile devices connect to porn sites and adult entertainment servers, they leave a mobile footprint. Porn companies can track and see where viewership is coming from, how long they’re staying at their sites, and what they’re looking at.

That not only helps the porn companies refine the movies and clips they produce (if they know what people are looking at, they make more of those videos), but it also helps them understand their audiences.

When porn companies publish statistics and other data on porn use, it’s evident that almost everyone is watching. Porn companies publish who is paying the most for subscriptions and which state consumes the most porn every year.

That’s made porn less of a secret activity and brought it out into the open. Once the tide goes out and everyone realizes that everyone else is watching as much porn as we are, it makes us less bashful about personal habits. People are thus more inclines to look at porn more often on their devices and be honest and what we’re looking at.

 

What’s Next?

It’s hard to tell what’s next. A lot of time, money and effort is being put into VR. Many porn sites are promoting their chat rooms where users can interact directly with individual porn actors and pay for certain types of shows. Sex toys have more technology than ever.

The newest toys can connect to mobile devices via Bluetooth, so it’s not impossible to envision interactive porn that connects to a toy like a vibrator. That will make porn and phone/video chat sex with your partner while you’re away on business a lot more interesting, no?

Whatever happens, you can expect the adult industry to be there at the cutting edge wherever technology goes. 

 

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.


Trauma in Children

Secrets to Noticing Trauma in Children

Secrets to Noticing Trauma in Children

 

Trauma in children can be difficult to understand and recognize. 

Children do not have the language to identify what is wrong or if they are experiencing trauma. 

As parents, caregivers, professionals, and adults, it is important to be mindful of various signs that COULD mean a child is experienced trauma.

One of the first ways to notice trauma in children is to look for somatic symptoms. 

Often times, children express issues in their mental health through various physiological symptoms such as headaches, stomach pains, constipation, and even issues with skin.. 

To be clear, if your child has a stomach ache, it does not mean they have experienced trauma. 

If your child is experiencing stomach aches regularly, notice these consistent issues in your child and speak with a medical doctor and mental health therapist to assess for signs of psychological distress.

Trauma in ChildrenOther physical signs of abuse may be more obvious such as bruising, cuts, bleeding, avoidance of physical touch, or avoidance of being touched in certain areas, avoidance of eye contact, or bleeding from genitals (not related to menstruation). 

Children may also demonstrate various behaviors that can indicate some level of emotional distress due to trauma or adverse childhood experiences. Skin picking, hair pulling, over eating, restricting food, sexualize behaviors (not age appropriate... please consult with someone as to what is and is not age appropriate), self injury, avoidance of people or places suddenly and consistently, intense bursts of emotion, frequent nightmares, jumpiness, fear for personal safety, truancy, mutism, and frequent levels of negative self talk.

Trauma in childhood is also seen in their attachment to their caregivers. The behaviors and symptoms described above can be physiological or behavioral manifestations. Other attachment wounds can look like fear and/or confusion around various attachment figures in their life. Significant changes in their attachment to others can also be an indicator. 

Trauma in Children

To be clear, any of these symptoms can be typical in children. Its when you notice clusters of them or frequency of these symptoms that should be cause for concern. Patterns of these behaviors usually indicate some level of emotional distress, if not trauma. Also, the context of what is age and stage appropriate is vital. So if a teenager is avoiding their parent, there is high likelihood that may be a normative behavior for developmental level. It’s important as your child(ren) grow that you learn what is and is not appropriate behavior. At the end of the day, YOU know your child best.

Another important aspect to remember in working with children is that if a child does report abuse or trauma, the likelihood they are lying is fairly low. Of course there are situations where that is the case, but the statistics do show that when kids share that something has happened to them, it usually has. So if your kid has trusted you enough to share with them, please take it seriously. Because it is serious!

 

Long Term Effects of Trauma in Children

There are long term impacts of childhood trauma. Untreated or unaddressed childhood trauma can lead to serious mental health issues over time and in adulthood as well as issues in future relationships. These impacts can be with physical health, relationships, sexual intimacy, parenting, etc. 

In many ways childhood trauma or “Adverse Childhood Experiences” have a long term impact in our world. There has been much research done to show how these experiences can shape a persons life and impact their health and whole being. Untreated trauma is an epidemic in my opinion. Engaging with children, caregivers, and families in addressing these issues as early as possible or to preventative work could have major change in our world and future generations.

For more information on childhood trauma, feel free to look into the research done around “Adverse Childhood Experiences” or ACES to learn more about the impacts about childhood trauma and what to look for. If you are unsure of what may or may not be occuring within a child’s life, support the child and/or family in engaging in therapy to learn more. At LCAT we can help!

 

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.


social distancing

3 PRUDENT STEPS TO SOCIAL DISTANCING

3 PRUDENT STEPS TO SOCIAL DISTANCING

[during the COVID-19 Pandemic]

 

We are facing hard times and we have been asked to take refuge within our homes, distancing ourselves socially to prevent more possible contagions in this COVID-19 pandemic.

So, in this video I explain 3 prudent steps for social distancing to cope with this quarantine in the best possible way.

Amanda Pasciucco, an AASECT certified sex therapist and owner of Life Coaching and Therapy, shares her tips to success! Watch now! Amanda has been featured multiple times on CNN, PornHub, Men’s Health, Hartford Courant, Playboy, Maxim, Daily Mail, HeadSpace, and more!

Check MORE videos:

Online Therapy for Couples or Individuals- Life Coaching and Therapy

Text Therapy - A New Therapy Method

Sensate Focus Therapy for Couples

 

GET THE PLEASURE PRACTICE E-GUIDE  & HOW TO SEDUCE YOUR SPOUSE VIDEO!

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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.


Trauma Symptoms

Hazard Warning! Identifying Trauma Symptoms

Hazard Warning! Identifying Trauma Symptoms

 

Those who experience trauma sometimes have trauma symptoms they are unaware of. 

 

Risk Factors for Trauma Symptoms

Some general risk factors that can increase someone's likelihood of experiencing trauma symptoms are: 

  • Marginalization and/or institutional “isms” as that creates circumstances that are more challenging 
  • History of trauma within the family
  • Living in an unsafe environment (emotional and/or physical)
  • Difficult family relationships
  • One or multiple disrupted attachments in childhood
  • Temperament
  • Personality
  • Stress level
  • “ACES” (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

These are just some and there are certainly more to consider. 

When you know that someone is having intellectual and emotional responses to threatening or disturbing events, and struggling with their ability to cope in their current life experience, you may want to consider that they are experiencing trauma symptoms. 

Trauma can show up differently for different people; however, there are SOME things to notice or be mindful of in yourself or in others as trauma symptoms:

  • Feeling irritated, angry, or on edge
  • Being jumpy
  • Being paranoid or hypervigilant
  • Frequent fear of personal safety
  • Feeling depressed, powerless, hopeless, or helpless
  • Having nightmares or changes in sleep patterns
  • Re-experiencing an event or feeling (almost like deja-vu)
  • Dissociating or disconnection from reality or your body (feeling like you are watching yourself)
  • Difficulty trusting
  • Engaging in the same pattern of behaviors over and over again
  • Intrusive thoughts and difficulty letting thoughts go
  • Difficulty in relationships
  • High levels of reactivity
  • Avoidance of anything that reminds the individual about their trauma
  • Being frozen

These are some of the more common trauma symptoms and can be seen to meet clinical diagnostic criteria by a trained (and preferably licensed) mental health professional. 

HOWEVER, it is important to note that one of these does not necessarily mean that you have experienced trauma. 

Having several trauma symptoms on this list indicates that you may have experienced some trauma. As you can imagine, there is an overlap in various mental health conditions.

 

So What the Heck Do I Do About These Trauma Symptoms? 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have any of these risk factors, you may be feeling stressed. 

Identifying symptoms is often the first step to identifying what we need. Way to go!Trauma Symptoms

This sense of awareness allows us to recognize patterns and work towards healing. 

The next thing I would recommend is find a trauma informed therapist and/or someone who specializes in trauma symptoms.

Trauma-informed care means a therapist who looks through a trauma perspective and can contextualize your experience and think systemically.  

After getting your consent, trauma-informed providers are often able to recognize which factors can be impacting triggers in mental health. 

Other than identifying symptoms, taking accountability for how your trauma(s) has impacted your life, or your relationships, can be another part of helping empowering yourself.

Engaging in trauma work with a therapist. 

There are a variety of ways to do trauma work, but it can be very useful to do therapy specifically geared towards trauma such as Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Inner Aspects Model, mindfulness practice, and other models.

Trauma work is exactly that. It is WORK. So be ready to dive into doing some real emotional, cognitive, and somatic work. My colleague, Amanda, always says “trauma is in the body. Healing has to take place in the body.” Basically, you have to do somatic work for trauma work to be effective long term. 

Trauma Symptoms

Outside of some therapy models, some somatic work to consider is yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care, reiki, and osteopathic care.There are many more options to be considered!

If you are in a relationship and your trauma is showing up there. It is vital that trauma is addressed together. Trauma is relational, therefore it can be vital to your individual health as well as your relational health. Healing happens in the body and in our attachment to others.

Consider joining our staff at Life Coaching and Therapy, LLC (LCAT), we specialize in the body, trauma, and relationships!

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.


Trauma Meaning

What is Trauma? Introducing the Trauma Meaning

What is Trauma? Introducing the Trauma Meaning.

There is so much debate as to what to include and exclude in the trauma meaning. 

Trauma. Ugh.

Throughout history, the trauma meaning specifically centered around serving those in the armed services, firefighters, war veterans, police officers, and first responders experiencing symptoms after exposure to one event.

The natural progression for trauma connected to symptoms after one event began to expand and connect to those individuals who have experienced physical abuse, domestic violence, and / or sexual violence. 

Those individuals who are exposed to a threatening or disturbing event or series of events that have lasting distressing mental or emotional responses, causing the individual to feel overwhelmed in their ability to cope and integrate into their current life experience is what we define as the most broad “trauma meaning.” 

trauma meaning

This quickly didn’t serve individuals experiencing trauma though, because more seemed to be happening. Why was it that two people who experienced the same event could each process this event differently - where one may have experienced it as a trauma, the other may not.

After 10 years of being a trauma therapist, I realize the massive amounts of individuals experiencing varying levels of trauma that this PTSD trauma meaning has left out.  

Trauma as only from the perspective of the individual is not an trauma-focused approach to therapy. 

We must consider the effects that come from our societal beliefs, systemic impacts, and cultural constructs, so you can begin to notice what I see becoming a public health issue. 

 

The Progression of Our Understanding of Trauma

Initially, the definition focused on the individual and how the individual experienced the traumatic event. Similarly, the trauma meaning had to do with a specific event or events (like those listed above).

Massive research has been under way for the last fifty or so years, identifying that symptoms related to trauma is more about the way our brain responds to various events or experiences over time.

These experiences shape individuals and families and can reverberate through the family system into other relationships throughout the course of people’s lives, even if they were not direct experiencers of the trauma. 

Trauma effects are intergenerational. 

These dynamics can unconsciously continue from generation to generation, until one or more people decide to make the change. 

We now are able to see that trauma is relational, it does not exist in a vacuum affecting only one person. The trauma meaning has to include the ripple effect across that individual’s world. 

In my practice, I see that the massive impact of trauma on individuals, families, friendships, and their romantic relationships. 

Confronting these realities and having insight to them allows for opportunities for growth and healing. 

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.


Behind the Sex Therapy Scenes! I Caught My Wife Masturbating!

Behind the Sex Therapy Scenes! I Caught My Wife Masturbating! 

 

“Help! I caught my wife masturbating!”

Even though we are living in the most open society ever when it comes to sexuality, we still live with so many taboos. 

Our fetishes have to live in this weird world of moving boundaries, where one minute you’re being sexually expressive, and the next minute you’re labeled as a freak. Even freaks can be good, up to a point, right? When and where we draw these implicit lines are complex and sometimes silly.

Have you ever been caught masturbating? There you were, feeling some kinda way all by yourself. Maybe you caught a hot scene in a movie, or an old crush flashed through your brain. The next thing you know you’re in your room doing your thing and Wham!, the door swings open.

I Caught My Wife Masturbating!

You shuffle your pants around or dive onto your side to face away, but your reaction probably made whatever you were doing way more obvious. It’s happened to so many of us, mostly in childhood, that we still to this day carry complex feelings of shame, embarrassment, and even guilt around jerking off.

 

What Is It About Self-Touch that makes it feel like “Too Much?”

Most have tried it, and of those who have tried, the majority continue to DO it, so what’s the big deal about self-touch feeling like too much?  

Why specifically is there so much embarrassment when it comes to catching your wife masturbating? 

Thanks to so many scenes in comedies and enough high-profile celebrity masturbation scandals, men catch a break on yanking it more than women do.

For reasons that stem back centuries, the idea of your wife or female partner self-pleasuring can come as a shock. 

Women's pleasure has come a long way since the idea that their main purpose is to OFFER sexual pleasure and carry children, yet there’s still a lot of stigma tied up in the way we please ourselves.

If you’re here reading this and you haven’t caught your wife masturbating YET, first realize that she probably enjoys masturbation (maybe even as much as you do if you engage in self-touch).

How often she does it, where, and to what is her business. If she feels like telling you, that’s her prerogative and it would be a great way to introduce more trust in your relationship if you approach the conversation with curiosity instead of criticism or embarrassment. 

 

Catching Your Wife in the Act

If you’re together long enough, odds are you’re going to catch your wife engaging in a bit of one on one time at some point. You might walk in on her taking a bath or come home from work early one day to find her in her pleasure. 

Some people I speak with come to sex therapy with a lot of shame and embarrassment that catching their spouse masturbating is some sort of betrayal. 

I often like to bring up the point that consent and communication prior to being “caught” is ideal. 

For those of you who believe that all sexual encounters should involve the two of you, I would have you wonder if you hold yourself to that same standard and WHERE did this standard originate? 

Catching your wife masturbating does not have to be the end of your sexual life. It can be the beginning of opening a door to deeper discussions about sensual and sexual pleasure. 

 

How to Stop the Embarrassment After Catching Someone Masturbating

 

Here’s some food for thought on how you can handle the situation.

Prep Yourself – Repeat after me, “There’s nothing wrong with masturbation.” There you go. That’s the mindset you need. It will serve you well in dealing with your own sexuality, your wife’s sexual expression, and if you ever decide to have kids.

When you understand that there’s nothing to be ashamed of related to self-pleasure, then you’ll handle the situation much better.

Mind Your Manners - If you do catch your wife masturbating, treat the situation appropriately. Hopefully, your wife isn’t embarrassed about having sex with you, yet if your friend or family member walked in, the two of you might feel slightly embarrassed.

That’s because engaging in sexual acts - even masturbation - involves opening oneself up to vulnerability. You have to let your guard down to relax enough to accomplish the mission before you, so naturally, getting caught masturbating will be a little startling.

I Caught My Wife Masturbating!

The best thing you do if you come across your wife, or anyone else for that matter, masturbating, is to be accountable and then find somewhere else to go, as soon as possible. I suggest going to take a shower and meditating to center yourself. 

Don’t sit yourself down next to her to talk about it. Give her some space, as you intruded on an activity between her and her body.

Follow up later on with another apology and leave it at that. You might also try to make light of the situation. If masturbation isn’t something the two of you have discussed, she might feel a bit awkward.

Drop a light-hearted line about how you are glad she is experiencing pleasure and move on. It’ll break the ice in a way that lets you both know it’s not a big deal.

Follow Her Cues – Any discussion about masturbation and self-pleasure going forward can be on her terms. Let her bring it up. 

Don’t think for a second that it’s on you to discuss or that there’s some issue to resolve. Keep your emotional responses to yourself, because I suggest that they are about you, and wait for her to talk about it – if she wants. 

Be Encouraging – Masturbation can be a healthy behavior. It’s a wonderful way for people to be mindful about their own bodies, relieve stress, and find out accurately some of the ways that they like to be touched.

If anything, you can be GLAD you caught your wife masturbating!

I Caught My Wife Masturbating

Therapists deal with couples all the time that are sexually frustrated. 

For any number of reasons, wives struggle to feel comfortable with their bodies and being touched with a partner; because they have their ways they like to be touched and pleased as well. 

Many women have guilt about taking 20-30 minutes to achieve an orgasm, and more wives than I care to mention associate feeling aroused with something to be shameful about. 

Sometimes, it also takes one partner a longer time to get into the mood because they are more focused on the emotional labor of the home or the relationship.

 

Open the Doors to More Sexual Exploration

 

Now, if the stars align, your wife may want to talk about masturbation. You have two choices. First, you can feel insecure that your wife is self-pleasuring and take that as some personal affront on your sexuality and the bond the two of you have. That route is ridiculous and will get you nowhere.

Second, you can use the conversation – remember, started by your wife – to open your relationship up to greater sexual experiences.

If you choose correctly, not only will your wife feel better about herself sexually, but she’ll also be more inclined to include you and open up to you when it comes to sex.

Plenty of couples masturbate together, watch each other masturbate, or feed their partner’s masturbation with scintillating texts, pictures, and videos. Your wife may start to feel more comfortable masturbating during sex.

If you find yourself on the road traveling, your wife might be more inclined to engage in some phone sex. Anything you can do to make your wife more comfortable touching herself and feeling sexy is the right decision. 

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.


Is My Relationship Over

Is My Relationship Over?

Is My Relationship Over?

As a sex therapist, I am often told stories and then asked “is my relationship over?”

This is a tough one. Knowing if, and when, your relationship is over is never easy. 

How could something that started so lovingly and bright decay into something where you are questioning is my relationship over?

Dealing with a struggling relationship is complex. Some moments you’re wishing you never met, and the next you remember good times in years past and wondering if it is salvageable.

Every relationship has some kind of volatility. Some ups and downs are great. 

They test our resolve and commitment to each other. 

Arguments and miscommunications are learning opportunities where you can examine your behavior and your partners, and work on self-improvement. 

Ideally, you’re with someone who pushes you to become better than you were before you met and opens you up to new experiences.

Is My Relationship Over

What happens when things aren’t so great? When the lows become more frequent, it can be harder to remember the highs.

 

The Slow Descent into Disconnection

Even in the more dire relationships, there are early warning signs that things aren’t right. It’s easy to look at something like infidelity and assign blame because it’s a climactic event. 

It’s disruptive and so in your face.

Many times, though, those issues are said to be an outward expression of inner sadness, anger, and disappointment that has festered for years. 

This doesn’t excuse any lying, coercive, or destructive behavior like unfaithfulness; it illustrates how many people are often unconscious to the turmoil that is within their relationships. 

What ends up happening, in my opinion, is that emotions seem to build even more, despite people saying or thinking they can handle the status quo of their romantic relationships.

 

When A Breakup is the Best Option

The bottom line is that some relationships won’t last. Just look at how many of us get divorced every year. No matter how much everyone says this is forever, some things fall apart. 

As relationships crumble, there are clear warning signs that you can either accept or choose to ignore.

Typically, when resentment and criticism become a staple of your communication, that’s a major red flag. 

You may also be giving each other the silent treatment more. If you spend hours in silence and are avoiding the conversations about the state of the marriage, your sexual relationship, your needs, and your feelings, you will lose out on years of intimate time together.

Is My Relationship Over

An obvious warning sign to answer “is my relationship over” is when both of you refuse to accept responsibility for something you may have done (or said) wrong because you’ve built up so much resentment that you refuse to accept blame. 

Either that or, sometimes you are so angry at your partner that you don’t care if you were wrong. 

When this happens, we are often at our most core inner triggers and family of origin attachment styles. 

 

The Importance of Self-Love

When you’re in a rough patch with your partner, depending on your personality, you may be tempted to accept an outsized portion of the blame. 

What happens, though, is that you endanger your sense of self-worth. Sacrifice in relationships is important, only to the degree that it does not interfere with your ability to meet your own needs. 

Do not put yourself in a situation where you may be doing long-term damage to your confidence and self-esteem. You may end up with a warped view of what love is.

In the face of willfulness, domestic violence, and more contempt, resentment, or criticism than you feel comfortable with for your own sense of self-worth, the best choice can be to walk away. 

However cliché this sounds, letting someone go can be a true expression of love. 

After all, what’s worse, letting them and yourself free, or taking both of you down in flames, along with your family and friends, to the bitter end?

The thought of separation from a long-term partner or someone you loved so deeply once is often terrifying. 

It’s hard to see now that ending a relationship can lead to happiness in the future.

 

When It’s Worth the Fight

I’ll say this, as a systemic therapist and working in the field of trauma, I do not believe any romantic relationship is irreparable if everyone is willing to work on it. 

Everything can be fixed as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. 

Know this, though, that fighting to save a relationship that many people from the outside looking in would say is over may be like clawing your way out of quicksand. 

When things become so dire that you think breaking up is around the corner, walking yourself away from that edge can be very difficult.

It’s all about whether you’re willing to change, and that goes for your partner too. 

How can you bring yourself to express love to your partner when it’s been months or years since they gave you any sort of affirmation? 

How can you apologize for something that hurt your partner when you feel like you’ve done nothing wrong and are just trying to get your own needs met? 

Is My Relationship Over

Resolving differences in a relationship that’s on life support is multiples harder than what any securely-attached and more integrated couple has to deal with. 

There are layers of built-up resentment, insecurities, and hurt feelings to navigate. The key is whether each of you is willing and capable of taking small, meaningful steps toward reconciliation.

If there is a sincere effort, little by little, acts of goodwill, physical affection, acts of service, and other expressions of love will start creeping back in.

Repetitive positive changes of behavior build trust. However, if it took you years to get to this place, you have to know it will take time to get out!

The real concern is whether enough goodwill can be built up in time before the next storm hits and you face conflict, which inevitably will happen again.

If you and your partner have both experienced trauma and you are asking “is my relationship over,” the stakes appear much higher. 

There is rarely a bank of understanding where each of you has been making deposits for years. 

One mistake triggers whatever trauma the both of you have been through, and then resentment and criticism threaten to rise again like flames out of a volcano (it’s that Pele energy).

 

How Your Therapist Can Help

Working with a licensed therapist won’t solve all of your relationship problems overnight. 

It’s no panacea that will transport you and your partner instantly back to the good old days when things were romantic, deep, and exciting.

A competent therapist can help you come to grips with what you’re feeling, which will guide you towards greater understanding. 

When you understand who you are and what you’re feeling more, it helps generate the determination to make decisions that will benefit you.

If that means getting out of a relationship with no heartbeat, then so be it. Sometimes that has to happen for you to be who you need to be. 

And, if greater understanding can help you hang on, and ultimately improve, a relationship you still want and cherish, then a therapist can help facilitate the healing that needs to take place.

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.


Am I Bisexual

Licensed Therapist Answers “Am I Bisexual?”

Licensed Therapist Answers “Am I Bisexual?”

 

Today, we answer a common client question:“Am I bisexual” 

How do you know if you are bisexual?

Am I Bisexual

We wish there was a clear answer that could be used for everyone, and there is not. We are all unique and special in what we desire.  What I will share is what I have learned from my education, my experience, and my private practice. Please consider these as some general questions to reflect on if you are wondering if you are bisexual.

 

What is Bisexuality?

Stereotypically, the definition of bisexuality is being sexually attracted to “both” genders (ex. Men and women). Some would say it would be attracted to cisgender men and women and someone would include transgender individuals in this as well.

Cisgender is someone whos sex assigned at birth “matches” their gender presentation and/or expression (ex. Someone with a penis identifying as male). 

Transgender is someone whos sex assigned at birth does not “match” their gender expression and/or presentation (ex. Someone born with a vagina who identifies, dresses, and lives as a man.. because he is). 

I think it is important to note that there is conflict within the bisexual community regarding whether or not transgender individuals should be included.

Am I Bisexual

Unsolicited opinion: if you identify as a man or woman regardless of sex assigned at birth or what your genitals are… you are a man or a woman. Full stop. 

Stop transphobia.

 

What's the difference between Bisexuality and Pansexuality?

Bisexuality focuses on the attraction exclusively to men and women, where as pansexuality is attraction to all genders (including non-binary, transgender, genderqueer, gender fluid, gender bending, etc.). 

Note: These are generally agreed upon definitions… it does not mean they are set in stone or that people within these identifies strictly adhere to these definitions.

 

Am I Bisexual?

Generally speaking, here are some indicators that you may be bisexual:

  • you are attracted to men and women - it does not have to be equal attraction!
  • you have had romantic relationships with men and women
  • you fantasize about men and women
  • you like pink, purple, and blue.. KIDDING, yet it is the flag!

Am I Bisexual

Basically the bottom line is that you are attracted to (romantically and/or sexually) to male and female humans. There is variation and does not necessarily mean the attraction is 50/50. It also does not mean that you have had to be in relationships or had sex with either or anyone else to know. You do not need to have had sex with someone to understand who you are and not attracted to. It helps, but is not necessary for your identity!

 

The Best Way is Self Exploration!

Any identity requires levels of self reflection and exploration. The only way to truly figure out your identity is through your knowledge and experience of yourself. If you need help with this please find an identity affirming therapist (like us at Life Coaching and Therapy, LLC) to help you through this process!

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.


NEDA Week

NEDA Week for Those Recovering from Disastrous Eating Disorders

NEDA Week for Those Recovering from Disastrous Eating Disorders

NEDA week is a special time of year where we come together to honor those who are struggling with eating disorders. 

I began heavily working in the eating disorder field in 2013. Soon enough, I would come to learn what it looks like to fight every day, with challenges are struggles. 

Eating disorders are a serious affliction affecting at least 11 million Americans, and probably more.

Eating disorders are when you have an unhealthy relationship with food that becomes priority over your relationship with others. NEDA week is a time where working in a Partial Hospitalization Program, we would “let loose” and fight back with rituals instead of CBT and DBT.

I will never forget smashing scales with a group of those recovering from their illness. I remember hearing clients say that “NEDA Week gives hope!” 

There are different forms of eating disorders that involve fasting, restricting calories, binge eating. Use of laxatives, over-exercising, and / or purging. 

People struggling with eating disorders might have a fear of being overweight, be obsessed with something in particular with their food, or have unrealistic expectations about how their body ought to look. 

Whether you are struggling with restriction of calories, purging or excessive exercise, or binging, it is time to gain control of your life again and celebrate with us during NEDA week. 

We want you to love the person you see in the mirror!

NEDA Week

 

Our Favorite Exercises: 

  • Cover 60% of your mirrors with things that make you smile 
  • Unfollow EVERY single account that has messages that encourage disordered behaviors
  • Pick one part of your body that you don’t mind. Write yourself a love letter as if you were an admirer!
  • Draw a family tree and track all the people in your life that had negative beliefs about food and body image. Learn to challenge those beliefs! NEDA Week

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.