We Need To Talk: What Is Micro Cheating?

We Need To Talk: What Is Micro Cheating?

 

Micro cheating is an online term that is flooding blogs and videos because these seemingly small actions impact the stability of the foundation of trust in a dating relationship. 

Of course, it is context dependent, like most things! 

Let us know what you think about micro cheating!

 

@lifecoachingandtherapy

♬ original sound – Life Coaching and Therapy

 

Couples Communication Strategies

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

 

Couples Therapy Questions!

Couples Therapy Questions!

 

Couples therapy questions to consider when you are in a relationship.

Many times couples ask us about when is the time to consider being in couples therapy.

Considering couples therapy can be a positive step in addressing challenges within a relationship and fostering growth and better communication.

 

@lifecoachingandtherapy

♬ original sound – Life Coaching and Therapy

 

Couples Communication Strategies

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

 

pick-me girl

What Does It Mean To Be A Pick-Me Girl?

Relationship Experts Explain How To Know If You Are A Pick-Me Girl?

You might not have a ton of girlfriends, for starters.

Amanda Pasciucco, PhD, LMFT, CST and Owner of Life Coaching and Therapy was interviewed for this article by Addison Aloian, published on April 28, 2024 in

You know her, you (probably don’t) love her: She’s the pick-me girl. She’s not like other girls. In fact, she isn’t really friends with girls, and she definitely isn’t a “girl’s girl.” Instead, she likes to sit and talk negatively about other women while watching football over a pint of beer with the guys—and she makes it her entire personality.

The pick-me girl goes “out of her way to stand out from other women in a way that is often for the male gaze, acceptance, approval, attention,” says Amanda Pasciucco, PhD, LMFT, a sex therapist based in West Hartford, Connecticut. It’s not exactly a ~good thing~ to be this type of girl, since they often cater their personalities to men.

Wondering what, exactly, a pick-me girl is and—gulp—if you are one? (Don’t worry, I won’t tell.) Ahead, experts explain the pick-me girl and pick-me boy labels, share common signs of pick-me girl behavior, and potential solutions to work on that part of yourself that’s screaming “pick me!!”

What is a Pick-Me Girl?

The pick-me girl tries to establish themselves outside of the typical normal behaviors for women and girls, says Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, PhD, a professor of relational and sexual communication at California State University, Fullerton. “A lot of it is rooted in insecurity, low self-esteem, and competition,” she adds.

The goal of the pick-me girl is to be the one who gets picked by the gender of their choice, according to Betsy Chung, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist and relationship expert based in Newport Beach, California. She might say something like, “I’m not like other girls,” or pretend to be chill around guys when—surprise—she’s not chill. She also may pretend to be into hobbies that the guys around her like, such as sports, or act like she’s “not into drama,” Pasciucco says.

But just because a woman is into sports or has other hobbies that aren’t traditionally feminine doesn’t mean she’s automatically a pick-me girl. She’s only a pick-me girl if she isn’t *actually* into said hobbies, and is just pretending to be so that she can cater to the interests of guys.

The origin of the term is actually from a season two episode of Grey’s Anatomy, where Meredith told Derek to “Pick me, choose me, love me,” but it’s recently gone viral on TikTok. (There are over 480,000 posts tagged #Pickme on the app.)

What is a Pick-Me Boy?

The pick-me boy is similar, except that they’re not seeking male validation—instead, they’re trying to impress women. He might say something cringey, like working the fact that he’s “a feminist” into a conversation, Suwinyattichaiporn says. This boy might also degrade other men, or try to appeal to women by claiming to be attentive or caring about growth or going to therapy, Pasciucco adds. A more obvious example would be going out with his guy friends and trying to outdrink everyone to impress women at the bar, Chung adds. Essentially, a pick-me boy is something of a chameleon. He can either be super macho or very sensitive, depending on the type of girl(s) he’s around.

What’s important here is that just because a guy is a feminist or cares about going to therapy doesn’t automatically make him a pick-me boy. What does, though, is if he doesn’t *actually* care about those topics—and instead is just advertising it to get approval from women. It “enforces gender stereotypes” by appearing to subvert them for personal gain, Pasciucco says.

Signs of a Pick-Me Girl

There are a few tell-tale signs that might point to someone being a pick-me girl. Experts say to watch out for these:

  • She doesn’t have close girlfriends, and she doesn’t consider herself a “girl’s girl,” Suwinyattichaiporn says.
  • She constantly needs validation and affirmations (“you’re so pretty, you’re smart”) from the men in her life, either her guy friends or romantic partner(s).
  • She talks negatively about other girls in front of guys, especially a guy’s ex-girlfriend or potential romantic partner, and she’s not aware of the impact her words have on them.
  • She’s really competitive. Maybe she doesn’t want another girl on her flag football team because she assumes the other girl is not athletic or doesn’t know how to play.
  • She tries to let everyone know that she’s “different” from other girls, maybe through her hobbies or interests. For instance, maybe she likes to say she’s “not about drama unlike other girls,” or she’s always talking about sports to her guy friends, Chung says.

Why is Being a Pick-Me Girl Problematic?

The whole concept of the pick-me girl is based on seeking male validation. It stems from internalized misogyny, gender stereotypes, and sexism. “That perpetuates the stigma that masculinity is better,” Pasciucco says, because the way women think they have to stand out to men is by appealing to their interests. It rejects a type of femininity, Chung adds.

Being a pick-me can also be a symptom of “having low self-esteem [and] feeling very insecure about your identity,” Suwinyattichaiporn says. Sometimes, they have broken families or don’t get enough attention from their dads, so they seek it externally to feel better about themselves.

“We live in a society where women and girls were taught since a young age to be a certain way—to be nice girls,” Suwinyattichaiporn says, adding that it feeds into the idea of packaging yourself a certain way to get a boyfriend, and that’s how you’re considered “successful.” “[The concept of the pick-me girl] is rooted in misogyny and female competition. Pick me girls may talk negatively about feminine women in order to distinguish themselves to be ‘different.”

And above all, it’s presenting yourself in a false way for attention, Chung says: “At the end of the day, what you’re doing is you’re showing a less authentic version of yourself.” That can lead to inauthentic friendships and relationships, especially once you get close enough with someone to share your insecurities with them. And, of course, it’s just not nice to put other women down, regardless of who you’re with, Chung adds.

Why is the Term Pick-Me Problematic?

The term itself is problematic, too, though. First of all, it’s a way to label and objectify someone based on one component of their identity. “We all have so much underneath,” Pasciucco says. “[Using this label is] minimizing, and it doesn’t see women as complex human beings.”

It can also be harmful for women who “don’t necessarily understand their personality development yet or why they are seeking external validation,” Suwinyattichaiporn says. Plus, it’s a negative descriptor that might be stamped onto someone just because of their genuine interests.

“While hanging out with all guys or wanting to be with men isn’t necessarily a bad thing, what’s harmful is someone condemning another person for their preferences,” Pasciucco says. It insinuates that girls have to conform with what’s considered traditionally feminine in order to be normal or considered a girl’s girl, Suwinyattichaiporn adds.

For instance, if a girl has a lot of guy friends (and not a lot of girlfriends) in school because she loves playing on the different sports teams, it would be problematic to call her a pick-me girl instead of realizing her interests simply differ from someone with more traditional “girly” interests, Suwinyattichaiporn adds.

What if I’m a Pick-Me Girl?

If you’re reading this and some of the signs sound a *bit* familiar, it’s okay. You may have not realized that you exhibit these types of traits until they were laid out in front of you. JSYK, there are some pick-me elements that might be inherent to one’s personality, but others can develop over time, Suwinyattichaiporn says.

For instance, say you’re a true pick-me girl, a.k.a., you like sports because your guy friends like them. When this identity starts to include gossiping about girls in front of the guys to make yourself look better, “that’s where it becomes a problem beyond your personality” interests, Pasciucco says.

So, if you think you might be a pick-me girl—and again, it’s okay if you are!—there are a few things you can do to implement more healthy habits.

Journal

First, look into how to increase your self-esteem and self-worth so you can start not viewing other women as competition, Suwinyattichaiporn says. Try journaling with the following prompts she recommends: What kind of relationships with women have I had in my life before? What are some of the trigger points I experience when I talk to other women? What do I want to manifest in the future of what female relationships look like for me?

You can also try confidence journaling, which consists of writing down three reasons why you’re great, Suwinyattichaiporn says. It can be simple, like “I’m a great friend,” “I’m a great listener,” “I donated money today that made me feel helpful,” or “I cooked amazing pasta last night.” Once you do it frequently enough, you’ll realize all the amazing things about yourself. Confidence journaling “allows you to become more self-assured,” which will help you “seek external validation less,” she says.

Meditate

You can also try meditating on some powerful affirmations. For instance, if you struggle with body image issues and find yourself comparing your body to other women, instead, think positive thoughts about your body as you meditate. Maybe you start with the affirmation, “I love my body,” Suwinyattichaiporn suggests.

Make Some Girlfriends

This one might seem obvious, but becoming friends with other women is nurturing and very helpful in personal growth,” Suwinyattichaiporn says. To do that, you can join a walking, running, or hiking group around you, or even try group fitness classes and ask a girl in your class if she wants to get coffee afterward, she says.

Speaking of friends, if you have a gal pal who exhibits this pattern of behaviors, have a low-key open dialogue about it to help her overcome her insecurities, Suwinyattichaiporn says. Being that supportive female friend (she may not know she needs) can show her it’s possible to have a whole crew cheering her on.

Pick Up A New Hobby

“When people do things that they are passionate about, they’re less likely to be looking at other people and comparing themselves to others,” Suwinyattichaiporn says. Her advice is to try a bunch of different things, and see what sticks. You can start with different categories of your life, so if you’re into exercising, try joining a pickleball group. Or, if you’re into arts and music, consider taking a class. Without trying, you won’t know what makes you happy and what’s a good way to spend your time.

Shift Your Internal Dialogue

If you’re ruminating on comparing yourself to another woman, stop the internal conversation, Pasciucco says. Instead of criticizing her personal interests, for example, shift your mindset to think instead: “I appreciate that she has freedom to choose things that aren’t what I like,” she says. “Work on becoming conscious—stopping, taking a breath, and observing if you’re being critical.” Intentionally rejecting those knee-jerk negative reactions is the start of “trying to find a way to uplift other women,” Pasciucco adds. Plus, the more you practice this mindset shift, the more natural these positive thoughts will become.

Work With A Therapist

If you’re not already in therapy, find a therapist who will focus on helping you “recognize and build on your strengths, but also learn how to accept weaknesses,” Chung says. “The goal is really to be able to trust that you have value simply by being yourself.”

Be More Intentional About Your Relationships

The first step: Taking stock of your current connections. Ask yourself, “When do I feel uncomfortable in a relationship—and why?” and “How do I present myself in a relationship—am I showing up authentically?” If you find you’re chasing attention and approval from others, that may be something to talk to a therapist and/or do some deeper reflection about.

“If it feels like you’re doing too much and you’re doing things that go outside of your personal values, that might also be a sign that you’re trying to chase approval, rather than showing up authentically,” Chung says.

If a relationship feels one-sided—even if it’s in your favor—it might never develop into a super deep or intimate connection because “you’re basically just in a relationship with yourself,” she explains. Pick-me peeps tend to operate based on what the other person wants, and they end up melding into that, rather than being themselves. Ultimately, you won’t feel fulfilled by being another person’s dream personified because it’s not what you actually want.

Remember, it’s not about guys picking you—it’s about you picking yourself.

About the Author:

Addison Aloian (she/her) is the assistant love & life editor at Women’s Health. Outside of topics related to lifestyle, relationships, and dating, she also loves covering fitness and style. In her free time, she enjoys lifting weights at the gym, reading mystery and romance novels, watching (and critiquing!) the latest movies that have garnered Oscars buzz, and wandering around the West Village in New York City. In addition to Women’s Health, her work has also appeared in AllureStyleCasterL’Officiel USAV MagazineVMAN, and more. Read full bio

Micro Cheating – How to Deal with Your Partner’s Flirty Habits

If you’re a little uncomfy with your partner’s flirty texting habits, read this article about micro cheating.

Amanda Pasciucco, PhD, LMFT, CST and Life Coaching and Therapy Owner was interviewed for Women’s Health article, “What is Micro-Cheating, And How Should I Handle It In A Relationship?” Written By Jordana Comiter, Published

Picture this: Your friend has been in a happy, healthy, monogamous relationship—that is, until the internet convinced her otherwise. She confides in you that behaviors she thought were normal (e.g., following their exes on Instagram and liking their friends’ “thirst traps”), are actually a huge red flag, according to TikTok. Now, she’s concerned that her partner’s cheating—sorry, micro-cheating.

There are dozens of videos by podcast hosts, dating coaches, and other digital creators introducing the internet to infidelity’s newest subgenre, leading people to second-guess their partner’s behaviors. One user wondered, “Is my boyfriend finding other women attractive micro-cheating?” And another asked, “What about lunch with work wives?”

These examples might sound a little extreme, but micro-cheating—or small behaviors that aren’t quite cheating, but still a betrayal of your partner’s trust—can be just as painful to the non-cheating partner as physical infidelity.

But, the good news: There are ways to address these feelings (and your S.O.’s behavior!) so you and your partner can be on the same page about what a committed relationship looks like.

What is considered micro-cheating?

Micro-cheating is typically characterized by small actions that don’t cross over to infidelity, but often give the impression of infidelity to the non-cheating partner, says Amanda Pasciucco, PhD, LMFT, a sex therapist based in West Hartford, Connecticut. It “refers to breaches of trust within a romantic partnership that do not escalate into physical infidelity.”

Behaviors that can fall under the micro-cheating umbrella don’t always mean your partner wants to cheat; in fact, they may not even realize they’re betraying you. Oftentimes, micro-cheating takes the form of small, unintentionally hurtful actions, but even seemingly minor transgressions can be extremely painful to the faithful partner.

If you’re the one micro-cheating, you might not be going out of your way to have an affair or hurt your partner—but you are connecting with someone in a way that feels inappropriate, wherein “if your partner found out, they would be uncomfortable,” says Morgan Anderson, PsyD, a clinical psychologist, relationship coach, and author of Love Magnet. Choosing to act this way can sometimes be a symptom of feeling anger, hurt, or disconnect toward a partner, she adds.

Since micro-cheating is about small behaviors and habits, everyone has a different definition of what constitutes it, says Jaime Bronstein, LCSW, a licensed relationship therapist and author of MAN*ifesting: A Step-By-Step Guide to Attracting the Love That’s Meant for You. “What is okay in certain relationships might not be in others, because it depends on the two people involved,” she explains.

Still, here are a few examples of common behaviors that someone might view as micro-cheating, according to the experts:

  • Dating profiles: having an online dating profile (even if not actively using it) to see what else is out there.
  • Physical contact: any kind of physical interaction that feels intimate, like holding hands with or massaging a friend.
  • Social media interactions: chatting with an ex online, following people on Instagram for the sole purpose of physical attraction and engaging in their content, or directly messaging someone in a flirtatious way.
  • Flirting: flirtatious behavior, whether it’s in-person (e.g., overly complimenting a mutual friend) or digitally (e.g., sexting).

What’s the difference between micro-cheating and emotional cheating?

Emotional cheating, according to Pasciucco, is a little more intimate than micro-cheating, and it typically grows and escalates over time. “If there is building communication—whether through frequency, pet names, sharing, vulnerability, listening, problem-solving, et cetera—that would be considered emotional infidelity,” she says.

However, since micro-cheating is so subjective to a person’s views and comfort level, one person’s definition of micro-cheating might overlap with another person’s definition of emotional cheating. In fact, according to Bronstein, micro-cheating is a form of emotional cheating. “If any type of physical cheating is cheating, then anything in the in-between [like emotional cheating] is micro-cheating,” she says.

So…is micro-cheating harmful?

Not only can micro-cheating hurt the faithful partner, but it can permanently wound the relationship, according to the experts.

For starters, the person being micro-cheated on often feels disrespected, or like they are not enough for their partner, says Pasciucco. As for the relationship, this behavior can lead to similar trust issues that might result from physical cheating, she adds.

That said, relationships aren’t one-size-fits-all—and people’s definitions of commitment, fidelity, and cheating might differ. The level of harm caused by micro-cheating will vary among individuals and couples because it comes down to the rules determined by your partnership, your comfort level, and the intention behind the action.

Non-monogamous vs. monogamous

An important note: If you’re in an open or polyamorous relationship, it’s still possible to emotionally (or sexually) cheat. Ideally, people who are in open partnerships or polyamorous relationships have established policies. For them, a dating profile might be part of their agreement—but they might be hurt by the amount of additional dates their partner is going on, or by the level of attention given to a third party.

But even in monogamous relationships, everyone has a different threshold for what they consider offensive, Pasciucco explains. Some might be insulted by their partner watching porn, while others might not care because “porn isn’t a person.” Or perhaps, you don’t mind your partner following their exes on social media, but it makes them insecure if you follow yours.

Meanwhile, for others, it comes down to the micro-cheater’s objective. For example, there’s a difference between somebody simply forgetting their wedding ring at home or purposely going empty-handed with the intention to signal single status, Pasciucco says. To determine the objective of the action, Anderson suggests looking for a few signs: Are they being secretive? Do they seem distant? Are they overreacting to your questioning?

At what point am I overreacting?

If your partner’s behavior is bothering you, you’re allowed to communicate that even if your partner views their actions as normal, Pasciucco says. Hopefully, you can get on the same page. But maybe they aren’t interested in changing their habits, and that’s okay. Just like it’s okay if you decide you don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who can’t meet you where you’re at.

While you’re certainly allowed to have boundaries and expectations in a relationship, you might be hurting yourself if you sound the alarm every time your partner hits “like” on an Instagram photo. In some cases, those trust issues can become a “self-fulfilling prophecy,” Bronstein adds. If someone shows a lot of insecurity and distrust, that partner might end up actually cheating since you think they are cheating anyway, she explains.

For those that have encountered betrayal or infidelity in the past, you might be particularly scared of cheating—which is understandable. Many people go into a new relationship and second-guess their partner’s actions. They think they’ll behave the same way an ex did, says Bronstein. “Because you’re on edge, you look at that new person as guilty until proven innocent, rather than innocent until proven guilty.”

All three experts recommend working through your trauma and fears through therapy and/or productive conversations with your partner. Because if you show up to a future relationship with unresolved issues, it can be hard to differentiate between your insecurities and your intuition, Bronstein explains. For example, say a past partner micro-cheated through texting interactions, you might overanalyze or overreact to a future partner’s phone use, adds Anderson.

What should I do if my partner is micro-cheating on me?

When you believe your partner is micro-cheating on you, all three experts advise having an open, honest, and direct conversation with them. And they have a few tips for doing so:

1. Set rules/boundaries ahead of time.

This one’s more of a preventative measure, but since every relationship is different, it’s important to establish ground rules. If you’re entering a polyamorous and/or open relationship, have an explicit conversation about what your boundaries are. And if you’re in a monogamous relationship, discuss what monogamy and exclusivity mean to both of you.

“If you want to have a long-lasting, healthy relationship, having a conversation about the bounds of fidelity in their relationship is a really important place to start to get closer,” Pasciucco says. “And if you’ve never explicitly said things are problematic to you, you’re just assuming your partner has been in your brain your whole life.” Spoiler alert: They’re not, so if you haven’t had that conversation, it’s time to pencil it in.

Bronstein even recommends documenting the agreed-upon boundaries to refer back to. Whether that means a few bullet points in your notes app or a signed, hand-written note, creating some kind of “relationship bible” or “contract” is key to clear communication.

2. Approach your conversation calmly.

Rather than show up with anger, be vulnerable and “lead with curiosity,” says Anderson. If your partner has a habit of flirting online with their exes, ask them where this behavior is coming from. You might say, “I’ve noticed that you still DM your exes and respond to their Instagram Stories. Is something off in our relationship, or is there another reason you’re doing this? I want to work on this with you.”

3. Use “I” statements.

Using “I” statements can also be beneficial, Bronstein adds. Share how something makes you feel, and then give your partner the space to share their perspective, she explains. So, instead of saying, “You’re cheating on me by being handsy with friends,” try something like, “I felt uncomfortable and confused when I saw photos of you cuddling with a friend the other night.”

Here’s why it works: If you start by critiquing their behavior, “the other person might get defensive, but by sharing just how you’re feeling, the other person can decide to react however they want,” she says. And hopefully, this leads them to feel empathetic and validate your feelings, rather than get defensive over feeling accused.

4. Revisit your “rules” whenever you need to.

Your comfort level might change over time—and that’s totally okay. For example, maybe you thought you were okay with your S.O. maintaining a friendly relationship with an old hookup, but as your relationship grows more serious, it starts to make you uncomfortable. If you do choose to write up a “contract,” set up regular intervals to revisit and discuss your rules, suggests Bronstein.

Ultimately, while everyone can hope for a positive reaction to a clear conversation about micro-cheating, that might not always be the case. If you’ve addressed how your partner’s behavior has made you feel and your partner doesn’t stop, “you have to be honest with yourself about what your needs are in a relationship,” Anderson says. Because if that person cannot create a healthy, secure relationship with you—or you have different ideas of what constitutes commitment—it might be time to move on.

 

JORDANA COMITER

Jordana Comiter (she/her) is a freelance writer from South Florida and a graduate of Tulane University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves covering all things lifestyle, including dating, entertainment + pop culture, health + wellness, travel, and more. When she’s not writing, she enjoys group fitness classes, wholesome romance novels, and live music.

Relationship Therapist Near Me: How to Get Help Right Away

Relationship Therapist Near Me: How to Get Help Right Away

 

If you were looking for a ‘Relationship therapist near me’ on Google, you’re determined to start going to therapy sessions. Regardless of your reason for seeking therapy, finding a good mental health expert focused on relationships and marriages is now easier. You can easily find a therapist in your area, read other clients’ reviews, or even learn more about the therapist on their website.

Consider online sessions if you’re in a rush and want to talk to someone as soon as possible. This will give you more options to choose from, and you’ll likely find a therapist to talk to, even on the same day. To help you choose the right relationship therapist, we’ve decided to take a closer look into how to tell a great therapist from an average one and what else you should pay attention to when making the choice. 

 

What Is Relationship Therapy? 

Relationship therapy, sometimes referred to as couples therapy or counseling, is a kind of psychotherapy that aims to assist clients in strengthening their love relationships. By working with a therapist, couples can address problems in their relationships, practice communication, enhance their relationships, and settle disputes.

Relationship therapy may be beneficial at any point in a relationship, even though it’s frequently utilized to address issues. Counseling that enhances communication and connection can still benefit those in pleasant, healthy relationships.

 

What Does a Relationship Therapist Do? 

It’s crucial to recognize the distinctions between what a relationship therapist does and what a regular therapist offering individual therapy does. Relationship issues might occasionally resolve themselves if one partner seeks private therapy to address their issues. However, a relationship therapist aims to improve the quality of the relationship by talking to both partners. 

Often, one or both partners lack certain skills to build a quality relationship. Learning how to communicate, listen, compromise, and trust are not skills we all possess at the same level. Without them, the relationship might become complicated and often toxic. To avoid getting to that point, partners tend to seek a relationship therapist, whether online or in person, to work on those areas and strengthen their bond. 

If you’re not sure how a relationship therapist can help you, these are some of the things you can expect:

  • Ask you and your partner questions to get to know you better
  • Determine a relationship goal with you and your partner
  • Tap into the certain issues that are causing you to discuss, fight, or isolate from each other
  • Suggest exercises on the spot or at home to better understand each other
  • Teach you techniques to use when focused on a similar challenge or situation
  • Dig deeper into your past romantic and family-related experiences to understand why you react or feel a certain way

 

Benefits of Relationship Therapy

Relationship therapy is really effective, especially if couples seek help before issues are too severe or complex to handle on their own. Couples that seek relationship therapy before allowing conflicts to develop should anticipate some of the following advantages:

  • They will have better and healthier communication practices
  • Couples will be more equipped to decide important matters together
  • Spouses or partners will be able to handle problems more easily
  • Learning healthy conflict-resolution techniques (e.g., improving listening skills and spotting misconceptions)
  • Help couples understand their true intentions and needs

 

What to Expect from Your First Session

If you’re thinking about getting counseling, you undoubtedly want to know how relationship therapy works. Therapy sessions will probably not be extremely confrontational in the beginning. This is due to the fact that relationship therapy starts with your therapist asking you and your partner questions to learn about your background and the causes of your marital or relationship issues.

Every partner will get an opportunity to speak and present their perspective. The relationship therapist could even ask for separate sessions from each spouse after the first one so that they can discuss things that they might not feel comfortable discussing with their partner.

 

How to Find a Relationship Therapist

A variety of professionals, such as licensed clinical social workers, licensed counselors, registered marital and family therapists, and clinical psychologists, can provide relationship therapy. Though their term refers to “marriage,” keep in mind that relationship therapy is beneficial to single people as well. However, if you really want someone who is experienced in relationship topics, you will want to seek a relationship therapist. 

Asking friends and family for recommendations can be a more successful method of starting your search for a therapist, even if most people’s first instinct when seeking one is to head online. There are dozens of licensed therapists in your area, so choosing one should not be difficult. If you want to broaden your choice and seek a certain profile of therapist regardless of their working area, consider online sessions, which are equally efficient and could help you with anything you need.

 

Online Relationship Counseling

If you and your partner find that traditional in-person therapy isn’t working or isn’t possible, online therapy may be a great alternative. There are several reasons to consider trying online counseling. For instance, your spouse and you don’t share a residence. This may be relevant to those in long-distance relationships or separated individuals contemplating a permanent break. 

Or, you have to travel quite a bit for work. Thanks to online choices, people may benefit from therapy regardless of their location or how hectic their calendar is. Sometimes, traditional treatment does not feel comfortable for you or your partner. For some people, receiving therapy in person might be difficult, awkward, or even anxiety-inducing. Relationship counseling may be easier to obtain with web-based tools.

 

Work Together Towards Your Relationship Goal

You could discover that counseling is beneficial if your relationship is having problems. A therapist may help you and your spouse identify the underlying causes of your issues, develop fresh lines of communication, and fortify your bond.

You and your partner may resolve any issues you may be facing and strengthen your relationship by agreeing to seek therapy together. Talk to each other and choose the therapist together. Don’t forget that relationships require work, and sometimes, getting help from a relationship expert is just what you need to feel closer to each other and become more intimate than ever before. 

 

Couples Communication Strategies

 

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

 

How to Convince Your Partner to Go to Therapy With You

How to Convince Your Partner to Go to Therapy With You

 

If you’re in a relationship or a marriage, you have already experienced the good and the bad and might have considered ways of convincing your spouse/partner to go to therapy with you. No relationship is perfect, and it requires a lot of communication to understand each other’s needs and wants, so talking to someone who might guide you both to become the couple you want to be could be the solution you need.

If your partner or spouse doesn’t feel as strongly about the benefits of therapy as you do, give them some time. In the meantime, do your best to share everything they will get from sessions and work with you on strengthening your union.

 

The Power of Couples Therapy

Marital therapy, couples counseling, and couples therapy are other names for couples therapy. It’s a form of family therapy that can help examine why two individuals disagree. This kind of relationship therapy also emphasizes communication skill improvement for a romantic relationship to recover and flourish. Marital counseling or couples therapy may have numerous advantages when two people are committed to it. It may play a crucial role in establishing a partnership based on trust, respect, and concern for one another.

The advantages of relationship therapy can vary depending on the pair seeking assistance. The greater the level of commitment both you and your partner are prepared to make to your relationship, the more likely it is to succeed.

Having someone you both trust is essential when looking for a competent couples therapist. After hearing what you both say, your therapist may provide frank, fair, and impartial comments. Hearing what someone else says about our relationship gives us a fresh perspective. That impartial third person can hear all sides and provide you with insightful comments and suggestions on different areas of your relationship or marriage. 

How to Convince Your Partner/Spouse to Go to Therapy with You

If you’re certain that you want to try therapy, yet your partner doesn’t agree, be patient. There are certain things you can do to help your partner understand how therapy can make your relationship and your individual lives better. 

 

  • Ask Them Why

Before judging or encouraging your partner to try couples therapy with you, ask them for their reasons. Why don’t they like therapy? Are they afraid of something? What do they think might happen? Understanding why your partner doesn’t consider couples therapy a good idea might help you understand each other better. Once you know their reasons, it will be much easier to know your options.

 

  • Share Your Reasons

Oftentimes, your partner might assume that by going to therapy, you’re expressing your unhappiness about the relationship. Explain to them the real reasons why you think therapy would benefit your relationship. For instance, you might want to feel closer to them, work on setting boundaries that would work for both of you, or look to solve a recurring argument in a relationship.

 

  • Connect with a Couple That Goes to Therapy

Do you have a friend who went to or is going to couples therapy with their partner? If they are willing to share that experience, this might show your partner that it’s not at all as they imagined it. Also, if they hear from someone else about the numerous benefits of couples therapy, it might be more effective. 

 

  • Talk about Boundaries

When trying a new thing, especially as a couple, it’s important to establish boundaries. Your partner might feel insecure about certain topics or areas of their life, so respecting their needs is essential before going into therapy. Allow them to gain trust in your therapist first. They might need more time than you to open up about certain things, yet once they feel secure enough, they will feel more open to the idea of sharing more vulnerable experiences or thoughts.

 

  • Test the Idea

Explain to your partner or spouse that you can try different therapists before you commit to the one you both like. Not only that, you can get them to be more interested in couples therapy if you tell them that this doesn’t have to be a commitment at all. Suggest trying one session and seeing how they feel about it. With a good therapist, they will probably want to give it another shot before you start going to therapy regularly. 

 

  • Find the Common Objective

Besides sharing your reasons why you want to try couples or marriage therapy, also try to focus on the common goal. For instance, if you’re engaged, you can tell your partner that you want to be even more intimate with them as you’re approaching marriage. Or, you might want to start working on some issues before you go on a longer vacation together. Framing the idea of therapy as a tool to enjoy something that matters to you both might improve the chances of your partner actually going to therapy with you. 

 

  • Know When to Quit

If your partner is certain that they don’t want to go to therapy even after trying all these suggestions from our list, respect it. Maybe it’s not the right time for them to do therapy. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t open up this subject with them in a few months. Be mindful of how your partner feels, and instead of forcing a solution, try to be more supportive. 

 

Conclusion

There is no doubt that any relationship can benefit from therapy, even the one that ended. However, we are not all aware of the benefits that couples or marriage therapy can bring to our relationship. If your partner or spouse doesn’t want to go to therapy, talk to them about it. Ask them about their reasons and think about ways you can make them feel more comfortable with that suggestion. Also, if you’re not in therapy and are only considering couples therapy, think about finding a therapist for yourself and working on improving your mental and emotional health. In the end, there are so many things we can give to ourselves without expecting to receive them from someone else!

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

Power Struggles in Relationships

Power Struggles in Relationships

 

Power struggles in relationships refer to a competition between partners to gain more control and influence, and how partners deal with it might break or strengthen their relationship. Regardless of how much you love each other, you will almost certainly disagree. That said, it’s essential to keep in mind that disagreements are not the same as power struggles. 

Insisting that only your opinion and needs matter in the relationship can tremendously impact how power conflicts are formed. Whether you are not respecting your partner’s boundaries or ignoring their take on a certain issue, it is something that should be revised if you want to be in a loving, fulfilling relationship.

 

What are Power Struggles? 

Fighting for power and influence may become obvious early in a relationship, yet sometimes it only becomes a problem once significant issues are discussed and not resolved. In addition to divergent viewpoints and opinions, emotional difficulties experienced by one or both spouses can also lead to power conflicts.

For example, insecure attachment patterns might cause someone to cede control over significant decisions due to a fear of being rejected or abandoned. An individual with personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder may feel compelled to control and dominate their relationship.

If unresolved power conflicts are the result of a mental health issue, only a mental health specialist may be able to determine this with accuracy. One spouse making all the decisions in the relationship while the other often feels ignored and unheard, angry, and unhappy would be a classic example of a power struggle in relationships.

 

Signs of Power Struggles 

Power battles can negatively impact relationships, harmony, and general well-being. Identifying the warning signals of a power struggle is critical to resolving the situation and creating a more positive dynamic. 

 

Frequent Conflicts

Power struggles can take the form of ongoing arguments and confrontations. These disputes usually center on dominance assertion, control, or decision-making. Couples may argue too much and too often, each trying to get their wants and preferences to win.

 

Control

One partner continuously tries to dominate and control the other in a power struggle. They could try to control their partner’s choices, behaviors, or decisions by employing a variety of strategies, including coercion, manipulation, or even threats. 

 

Unwillingness to Compromise

In a relationship, the power struggle stage is characterized by a reluctance or inability to compromise. Both parties could maintain inflexible stances and be hesitant to compromise or find common ground. Because neither partner is prepared to give in, decision-making processes become difficult and may result in ongoing arguments in partnerships with power struggles.

 

Manipulation

One typical strategy used in power disputes is manipulation. It may entail guilt-tripping, manipulating emotions, or other subtly effective strategies to obtain the upper hand in the relationship. Manipulative actions destroy confidence and create a poisonous atmosphere where authority is used as a weapon.

 

Lack of Intimacy

One spouse may use closeness, love, or emotional support to control the other during power battles. They could cut off communication to manipulate or punish the other person. Withholding intimacy or love can erode the relationship’s general closeness and trust while also causing emotional estrangement.

 

Criticism

You and your spouse are prone to getting defensive toward one another as a result of power disputes. It’s challenging to maintain your composure when you’re questioning your ability to function as a cohesive unit. Being locked off might make people more critical of one another’s intentions, words, and deeds.

When criticism is delivered without a real apology or an effort to mend the connection, it damages your friendship permanently. To get over this phase of a power struggle, you and your spouse need to identify what is causing you to defend yourself. Relationships thrive when vulnerability, empathy, and mutual acceptance are encouraged where criticism used to be.

 

Resolving Power Struggles in Relationships

Conflict resolution techniques are crucial for having meaningful conversations about difficult issues and reaching a mutually beneficial solution. In a partnership, preventing and resolving power conflicts requires active listening, aggressive communication, and daily love choices.

Other things to start implementing in your relationships to resolve power struggles are:

  • Express your emotions; before doing so, take a deep breath to understand what you feel. 
  • Focus on similarities between you and your partner instead of differences, as they are the foundation of each relationship. 
  • Learn to identify your partner’s needs and prepare to compromise.
  • Be clear about your needs and expectations. 
  • Talk to your partner about your different perspectives to help understand each other better. 
  • Value your partner’s perspective, and don’t compare it to your own. We are all different, and what works or matters to you might not be the right option for your partner. 

 

It is also highly recommended that you seek help from a mental health counselor, whether individually or as a couple. They can investigate potential reasons for your difficulties and suggest useful coping techniques.

It’s normal to feel anxious about relationship changes as well. The tug-of-war that emerges during the power struggle stage might harm your relationship. Instead, gaining strength as a couple during this period requires learning new techniques and abilities. It is possible to reach new depths of comprehension, better appreciate diversity, and develop your capacity for disagreeing.

 

Conclusion

Power struggles in relationships can be detrimental to both parties’ general satisfaction and well-being. Addressing the underlying issues and achieving a more balanced dynamic require identifying the warning signs of a power struggle. 

When there is an obvious imbalance of power or when there is a fundamental difference of opinion, partners may fight for control of the relationship, leading to power conflicts.

Not everything negative comes from power struggles. By reaching an agreement, identifying common ground, and using positive conflict resolution, you can improve your relationship and understand your spouse.

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

Journey to Lasting Love: With a Relationship Coach

Journey to Lasting Love: With a Relationship Coach

 

In this space, we will explore the ways in which a relationship coach can assist you in discovering long-lasting love and fostering healthy connections with others. If you are seeking fruitful partnerships and personal development, then you have arrived at the correct destination. Allow me to delve into the captivating realm of a relationship coach and shed light on its transformative nature.

 

Finding Out What a Relationship Coach Is 

A relationship coach is a knowledgeable guide who can assist you on your romantic journey, aiding you in understanding the intricacies of emotions, communication, and personal interactions. If you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with a licensed psychotherapist outside of your insurance coverage, you can truly delve into somatic practices that can help you achieve the life you desire.

They offer valuable insights and support as you navigate the complexities of your relationships. By providing guidance and expertise, a relationship coach can help you better understand emotions, improve communication, and navigate personal dynamics.

As you venture into the realm of partnerships, whether you’re beginning a relationship or committed in marriage, a relationship coach becomes your compass, aiding you in finding your true north amidst the sea of emotions.

 

Creating Your Plan for Success

You are going on a road trip and you have a map with you. In the same way, a relationship coach provides you with the tools and strategies needed to navigate your relationship. During this transformative journey, you will discover opportunities for personal growth, overcome challenges, and create meaningful connections. Your coach’s guidance is invaluable, as it helps you construct a satisfying and enduring love story.

Your road trip begins with a map by your side, just as a relationship coach equips you with the necessary tools and strategies to navigate your relationship effectively. Embarking on this transformative journey, you will have the opportunity to identify areas for personal growth, overcome obstacles that come your way, and establish meaningful connections with your partner. The advice and guidance provided by your coach will serve as your greatest asset, enabling you to build a fulfilling and enduring love story together.

 

Teaching The Key to Connection

Sometimes, it can be a bit puzzling to truly experience the sensation of being truly understood, appreciated, and deeply connected with others. In situations like these, turning to a relationship coach with extensive experience of over 15 years can be incredibly valuable. Their expertise lies in deciphering the intricate language of love, enabling you to communicate in a way that resonates and brings about positive change. By actively listening and showing empathy towards one another, you can effectively convey your thoughts, desires, and concerns while gaining a profound understanding of your partner’s perspective.

Strengthening the bond and fostering a sense of togetherness in any relationship requires effective and harmonious communication. It serves as a bridge, spanning the differences that may crop up and fostering a renewed sense of hope and inspiration. The truth is, every relationship faces challenging periods that put your connection and resilience to the test. During these trying times, a skilled relationship coach becomes your unwavering companion, aiding you in navigating obstacles gracefully. Through their guidance, you and your partner can emerge even stronger and more united, tackling conflicts, building trust, and overcoming external pressures that may arise.

 

Incorporating a Relationship Coach into Your Story

So, how can you incorporate a relationship coach into your journey? Start by identifying relationship weaknesses. Relationship coaches personalized their advice to help you start a new relationship, revive an old one, or find love again after emotional cheating.

Discovering yourself is part of finding lasting love. With your coach, you will discover your strengths, overcome limiting beliefs, and discover yourself. Your well-being and relationship skills improve with this holistic approach.

A relationship coach empowers you to find your own solutions, not to impose them. With their help, you will build trust, understanding, and growth.

As you work with a relationship coach, imagine the possibilities. Together, you’ll embark on an enriching expedition that transcends the ordinary and brings out the extraordinary in your relationship. Share your experience to demonstrate the positive impact of working with a trained relationship coach. Here’s to writing a timeless love story with a relationship coach by your side.

 

Ask about our coaching packages today for education, accountability, support, and guidance. 

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

Two hands holding one another - one with tattoos.

What Is Consent in a Relationship?

What Is Consent in a Relationship?

 

If you’re looking for a clear answer to what is consent, the first thing you will need to know is that it’s about mutually respecting yourself and the other person you are getting consent from. 

When someone gives you their consent, it means they are permitting you or agreeing to express something with you! 

  1. Consent cannot be assumed just because someone is silent, hasn’t said the word ‘no,’ or because the sexual partners have a relationship or sexual past together.
  2. Consent may be revoked at any time. 
  3. Force, threat, or intimidation are not acceptable methods for obtaining consent. 
  4. A person who is in any way incapacitated cannot give consent.

Before diving into this topic, there are a few things to remember when having sexual relations with someone.  

 

What is Consent?

Sexual consent means agreeing to participate in a specific sexual activity. Before being sexual with another person, you will need to know if they truly want to be sexual with you as well. On the other side, make sure you’ve communicated what you want with your partner before initiating intercourse or any other sexual activity.

Both consenting and asking for one serve to encourage people to set their own boundaries and respect the boundaries of others. Also, it serves to check if everything is clear and, if not, to communicate it properly before sex. Both partners must give sexual consent each time before engaging in sexual activity for the sex to be considered consensual. 

Without sexual consent, any sexual activity, from oral sex or genital touching to vaginal or anal penetration, is considered sexual assault or rape. You have every right to decide what happens to your body. It doesn’t matter if you were up for it ten minutes ago and even said ‘yes’ to your sexual partner; you can change your mind freely. Every person is allowed to say “stop” at any time before and during sexual activity, and their partner must respect it. 

You have to be a person that is comfortable and gracious about receiving a no. That is what consent is. If you guilt someone, or pressure them when they say “no,” that is not consensual. That is covertly manipulating a situation to get your needs met. 

 

Sexual Assault and Rape

Who can consent to sexual activity is regulated by law. Someone who is drunk, high, or passed out cannot consent sexually. Minors are protected from sexual activity with adults. Meaning, sex with a minor resulted in jail time and sex offender registration.  

Despite their legal definitions, rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse all begin with lack of consent. All of these involve unconsented sexual contact. This means that sexual contact without consent is rape, assault, or abuse. 

Anyone can be a victim of rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse, regardless of their age, gender, or sexual orientation. That said, certain groups of people are more likely than others to experience sexual assault. We particularly want to recognize that women of color, LGBTIA+ individuals, and those with developmental disabilities are more likely to experience sexual assault. 

There are numerous ways in which sexual violence can occur. Rape or sexual assault can occur without a weapon, and the victim does not have to fight back, scream, or say ‘no’. Our most common image is of sexual assaults in dark alleyways with strangers, even though that is rare. Family, relatives, and romantic partners often are the perpetrator.  

If you or anyone you know has experienced any type of sexual violence, keep in mind that you’re not alone and that help is available to all victims of sexual violence.

 

How to Ask For Consent

Most of the time, you’ll hear people talking about giving consent before a certain sexual activity. However, asking for consent is equally important in communication between two individuals who will become sexual partners. Both partners need to give their consent to have sex. 

Openly discussing consent with your partner is best. Request it in multiple formats. Instead of saying the same thing over and over, ask your partner if they are ready to engage in sexual activity, and then confirm with them if they are comfortable with how things went later. 

Asking for consent does not have to slow down or diminish sexual desire. While communicating and being intimate with your partner, you can request consent. Although consent is required before any sexual activity, make an effort to communicate with the person you are getting to know more about.  If you are about to have sex with your long-term partner, you probably already know whether or not they want to have sex at that particular time. However, asking for consent implies consent from both partners in a relationship. 

 

How to Give Consent

Like asking for consent, you should give your consent to your partner. That will inform them that you agree to continue being sexually intimate with them and give them the ‘green light’ to proceed. You are not, nevertheless, required to wait for your partner to inquire whether you are enjoying the foreplay. In other words, a person can give consent without waiting for their partner to ask for it. 

Informing your partner that you consent to having sex with them helps you both be transparent about your sexual desires and allows you to connect sexually. However, don’t confuse giving consent with receiving it. You will still need to hear your partner say they are okay with moving things forward sexually to continue with a certain sexual activity. Once both partners have given their consent, you can proceed with sex and make the most of it together. 

 

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

5 Things To Know About Your First Lesbian Relationship 

5 Things To Know About Your First Lesbian Relationship 

 

Being in your first lesbian relationship can be a beautiful time of growth and self-acceptance. It can also be a vulnerable time and bring up intense feelings. Your first lesbian relationship can be an opportunity for you to learn about yourself, your boundaries, and how you show up in your relationships. 

 

  • Your first lesbian relationship can be a time of self-discovery and acceptance 

Coming out can be beautiful and bring you closer to your authentic self. Many people feel more connected to themselves after understanding their sexuality and identity. Meaning, coming out gives many queer people community and understanding.  

Prior to coming out, many people in the LGBTQIA+ community “mask” or hide their true identity in order to survive. It can be a deeply liberating experience to share your identity with your loved ones and the world. In addition, when experiencing your first lesbian relationship, you finally get to experience attraction and love in the way that you may have yearned for in failed relationships with men. 

 

  • Your first lesbian relationship is a time to openly communicate with your partner and learn about each other’s boundaries. 

Your first lesbian relationship is a perfect time to practice relational skills such as open communication and boundaries. It can be very easy in the “honeymoon phase” of your first lesbian relationship to fall hard and fast. However, we need to be clear about where our boundaries lie around things like PDA, being shown on social media, and consent. 

Because of the unique intensity of a first lesbian relationship, this is especially important. Sit down with your partner, ask what their boundaries are, and have an open dialogue. This can make a world of difference in your relationship. 

 

  • Things can feel intense

Your first lesbian relationship may feel more intense than other relationships you have had in the past. This makes sense, as you may have only dated men whom you do not find attractive. Because of this, you may find yourself falling in love quickly and intensely. This is something to be mindful of before making long-term decisions after only knowing someone in the short term. 

“Uhauling” is a term used frequently in lesbian discourse that refers to the idea that lesbians will fall in love very quickly and move in with one another almost immediately (hence the “uhaul”). This term is often used in a humorous manner, but it is a real phenomenon that happens in lesbian relationships. 

 

  • Gender roles look different (or don’t apply)

If you are in a lesbian relationship for the first time, you may find yourself perplexed about navigating a relationship without gender roles. In queer relationships, gender roles are not as strictly defined. You may find yourself unclear about what tasks your partner expects of you and what you expect of them. This is another opportunity to get to know each other better by figuring out what works for you as a couple. 

Some lesbian couples will take on more traditional roles where one partner is the homemaker and the other partner works. Some couples will split things up more evenly around the home so that they can both prioritize their careers. It all depends on what works for you and your partner. 

 

  • Now is the time to build a support system

Navigating your first lesbian relationship can be emotionally challenging, and it is extremely important that you have people in your life who can help support you through this time. Friends and family who are safe and affirming can be integral steps to healing. It is very important to not solely rely on your partner to support you emotionally so that you don’t become isolated within your relationship. 

Many people in the LGBTQ+ community will find other people in the community to lean on at this time. 

 

One final thought

There is not nearly enough representation in the media for lesbians, and if you are struggling to navigate your first lesbian relationship, you are not alone. Consider seeking out an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist to help you navigate your emotions and connect you with others in your community. 

 

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know Melody Atkinson, LMFT-A by making an appointment. Her pecialization is in trauma-informed practices, alternative methods to explore ADHD, LGBTQIA+ relationships, and identity.

Start your journey here with Melody.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

 

How to give a sensual massage

How to Give a Sensual Massage

How to Give a Sensual Massage That’s Actually Hot and Nice

We hope you enjoy this article on sensual massage. LCAT owner, Dr. Amanda Pasciucco was interviewed by Self.com writer Ro White. This article was published in Self.com on September 15, 2023.

 

Here’s exactly what to do—and not do—to pull off a sexy, relaxing back rub.

If you’re seeking new ways to feel close to your partner, you might be wondering how to give them a good sensual massage to help you connect. (And a downright sexy massage offers even more opportunities for intimacy.) Horny touching, including massage, causes our brains to release oxytocin, a.k.a. the “love hormone”, so an erotic massage is the perfect recipe for bonding, relaxation, and arousal—possibly even a better sex life.

Read on as experts share how to give a sexy back massage to turn on both you and your partner—and maybe set the mood for more.


Talk to your partner about what their dream massage would look like.

There’s no one way to give an erotic massage, so before you pump up the Marvin Gaye and break out the “good” massage oil, ask your partner what they’d like to get out of this experience—and share your own desires too.

“The ‘why’ of the massage should dictate the ‘how,’” Barbara Carrellas, an AASECT-certified sex educator who teaches erotic massage, tells SELF. So: Are you and your partner seeking connection, or maybe novelty? Are you wanting to take some pressure off of your sexual performance? Are you having trouble getting out of your own head and looking for new forms of foreplay? Do you just think their back is hot and want to love up on it a little? Find out!

Once you’re clear on the “why” behind your sexy massage, decide together how you’d like it to feel. “Erotic massages can be therapeutic, relaxing, stimulating, healing, sensual, sexual, kinky, or whatever other intention you set,” Carrellas says.

Check in about where and how your partner wants to be touched and if there are any no-go zones, AASECT-certified sex therapist Amanda Pasciucco, LMFT, CST, tells SELF.

You should definitely ask whether your partner wants the massage to include overtly sexual contact. “Each person likes to be touched in a different way,” Pasciucco explains. “Some people love the adrenaline of just going toward the genitals, while many others enjoy long, slow strokes to build up anticipation.”


Make your surroundings feel sexier.

Use dim lighting, a playlist featuring gentle music, and candles to create an ambiance that helps your partner feel relaxed, Pasciucco says. (Just make sure the candles are securely placed far from the massage zone—catching your hair on fire would kill the mood.)

One of the best—but often overlooked—massage tips isn’t about what you set up, but what you get the hell out of sight at home. Pasciucco suggests removing any potential distractions from the room, like pets, phones, piles of laundry, and family photos (you probably won’t want your relatives staring you down while you zealously knead your partner’s butt cheeks).

If this kind of traditional massage setup feels slightly corny to you, Pasciucco suggests leaning into the cringe. “Making your bedroom look like a temple of love might not be your norm, but do it anyway,” she says. Trust that once you’re squeezing your partner’s thighs, you’ll probably both be too turned-on to feel embarrassed—and until you get there, it’s okay to laugh a little too.

If you just can’t get past the corniness of candles and soft music, there are plenty of other ways you can set the mood. “While some people like candles, soft music, and feathers, others like dark dungeons, floggers, and being ordered to get on the massage table,” Carrellas says. There’s no one perfect way to do this: The vibe of your sexy massage should feel personal to you and your partner! Let your imaginations tell you what a “good massage” should look like.


Pick an oil that’s up to the hot task at hand.

Your most important massage tool is lotion or oil, since this will help your hands glide more easily along your partner’s body, Pasciucco notes. Just make sure you review the ingredients first, especially if either of you has skin allergies or fragrance sensitivities.

Since this is a sexy massage, chances are there might be some genital-touching involved either during or after the rubdown. If you’re planning to use this same oil externally on your partner’s junk, you’ll need a fragrance-free oil, as scented products (including essential oils) can irritate the urethra (where pee comes out). Soothing Touch’s nut-free massage oilSliquid’s Escape massage oil, and Now Solutions’ massage oil are all excellent options.

For any vaginal penetration, you’ll want an all-natural oil to avoid irritation or infection. Vagina-safe options include coconut oil, hemp seed oil, grape seed oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil, as the Cleveland Clinic notes. Keep in mind that using oil inside the vagina can increase the risk of developing a yeast infection, according to a UCLA study, so if your partner knows their vagina doesn’t respond well to oil or if they’re not sure, clean your hands after the massage and switch to lube when you’re doing hand stuff.

If you think your massage might lead to sex involving safer sex barriers, like condoms, make sure you use only water-based or silicone lube for any between-the-legs action and thoroughly wash your hands before handling barriers. Since oil degrades latex, getting massage oil on a latex condom or dental dam can prevent your barrier from doing its job.

Finally, make sure any sex toys, or sensations toys like feathers, paddles, and floggers, that you plan to use are easily accessible, too, so you don’t have to fumble around with slick hands.


Sensual massage techniques.

Take it slow.

Have your partner lie flat on a bed face-down or face-up, depending on the areas you’d like to focus on. They can be partially dressed or fully nude—whatever feels most comfortable.

Once your partner is situated, find a position for your own body that you won’t mind holding for a while. You can sit beside your partner, pull up a chair next to the bed, or—if you want to heat things up right away and this works for both of you—straddle your partner while you oil up your hands and prepare to caress their stress away.

Massage techniques can and should vary based on what your partner’s into, but here are some rules of thumb about sensual touch: If you’re planning on giving a full-body massage experience, start by gently kneading your partner’s shoulders, adding more massage oil as needed, and checking in with them about the level of pressure you’re using. “Erotic massage creates lots of space for communication, so there’s always room for your partner to ask for more or less of any touch,” Carrellas explains.

Rub your partner’s back and limbs (or whatever part of the body they like) with circular motions, or with long, smooth strokes along each muscle using your palms and the whole lengths of your fingers and tips of your forefingers. “Touching with your whole hand feels like an embrace,” Carrellas says. “You can use this technique to glide anywhere on your partner’s body without lifting your palm.” Another one of the best sensual massage techniques: Use your thumbs in areas where your partner wants more pinpointed pressure, like on the arches of their feet. If your hands need a rest, throw in some kissing or licking, if that’s your partner’s thing. (If they don’t mind oil in their hair, go ahead and stroke it—just ask first if you don’t know.)

Once your partner is feeling relaxed, ramp up their arousal by stroking and rubbing erogenous zones, like their earlobes, chest, butt, and inner thighs, before venturing between their legs, if that’s something you’re both down for. A sexy massage doesn’t have to end in genital stimulation—“an erotic massage should with pleasure, which doesn’t necessarily mean an orgasm,” Pasciucco says. But if you and your partner want your massage to get a little spicier, go for it! Sensual massage can feel incredible on your partner’s whole body—not just their back.


Read more of Dr. Pasciucco’s media interviews here.

Discover Trusted Intimacy Therapists Near Me 

Discover Trusted Intimacy Therapists Near Me 

 

If you’re having difficulty in your personal life, seeking intimacy therapists near me is a good place to start to improve your overall well-being.

Relationships are hard, so intimacy therapists are popular despite the taboo. 

The special training that real intimacy counseling has will surely make you feel more comfortable than a regular couples therapist. 

It’s important to understand your motivation before you get to the counselor. In other words, the counselor will ask you what is happening with your life. Begin to take inventory. 

 

Start asking yourself questions like:

  • Are you having communication issues with friends?
  • Do you want to feel more connected to others?
  • Is there past trauma that is preventing you from experiencing inner peace?

When you know what you are looking for, you are better equipped to ask the right questions to the intimacy counseling center near you. 

Please note that therapists approach things in different ways. Meaning, some may focus on communication skills, while others may talk about deeper emotional and psychological issues. Some use parts theory and anchor core values, while others teach CBT and DBT skills. 

Whichever method they choose, be sure to ask them about their experience. Similarly, look for professional certifications and school programs. It will be difficult to find anyone who is a licensed therapist with specialized training in sexuality, trauma, intimacy, somatic work, tantra, couples / marriage, or systems therapy who takes insurance. 

All of these different specialties and the confidential nature of intimacy therapists near me make it difficult to disclose information. So, before choosing an intimacy therapist, look into their background and read reviews or testimonials from past clients. 

Because of its specialized nature, intimacy therapy is more expensive than regular therapy. Consider your overall intake of money and the price of transforming your problems into a life of peace and pleasure. 

Once you decide this is what you want, schedule an intake. This is the first session and the consultation to discuss your needs and goals. Evaluate their approach, experience, and communication style to see if you feel comfortable. If not, find someone else. 

We hope these tips have helped you find an intimacy therapist who meets your needs and goals. Remember that working with an intimacy therapist can improve your personal, relationship, pleasure, and connection well-being.

 

Come schedule your text intake today! 

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

 

Sex Counselling Near Me

The Benefits of Sex Counselling Near Me: Improving Intimacy

The Benefits of Sex Counselling Near Me: Improving Intimacy and Strengthening Relationships

 

In any romantic relationship, intimacy is essential, and sex counselling near me can be found anywhere via text. 

Numerous people struggle with sex and intimacy-related problems, and these difficulties can interfere with the enjoyment of dating or even the strongest of relationships. Sex counseling near me can help in this situation by offering a secure and encouraging environment where you can discuss sexual needs and desires.

 

What is sex counselling near me?

Sex counselling near me is a type of therapy that is specifically focused on issues related to sex and intimacy in romantic relationships and with identity. 

It is typically conducted by a licensed therapist who specializes in working with trauma and with individuals in love. It is designed to help individuals explore their sexual needs and desires, as well as any challenges or barriers they may be facing.

In sex therapy, clients are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings about intimate relationships, without fear of judgment. A variety of techniques and approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, and somatic sex therapy, may be used by the therapist to help.

 

What are the Benefits?

There are many potential benefits, including:

  • Improved communication: text can help individuals learn how to communicate more effectively about their sexual needs and desires. It can help those who have strong shame. Meaning, this leads to a stronger sense of connection from self to self, which may be blocking pleasure.
  • Increased satisfaction: By exploring sexual desires in a supportive environment, you can learn how to enhance sexual experiences.
  • Addressing sexual dysfunctions: Many individuals struggle with sexual dysfunctions so text helps you address in a non-judgmental yet guided way. 
  • Strengthened relationships: By addressing challenges related to sex and intimacy, you can have more trust and connection in the relationships you create.
  • Improved mental health: Sexual issues can be a significant source of stress and anxiety. So text therapy or sex counselling can help your overall well-being.

 

Is It Right for Me?

Sex counseling near me may help you resolve relationship issues related to sex and intimacy. Some signs that sex counselling near me may be right for you include the following:

  • Difficulty communicating about sex 
  • Lack of sexual satisfaction or fulfillment
  • Sexual dysfunctions or challenges, such as difficulty achieving orgasm with a partner
  • Feeling disconnected or distant from passion and vibrancy 
  • Anxiety or stress related to identity, your trauma, or shame about sex-indifference 

 

Conclusion

Sex counselling near me can be a powerful tool for improving intimacy, thus transforming people’s lives. By talking about sexuality this way, you can improve communication, deal with problems, and feel closer to others. If you’re struggling with issues related to sex and intimacy in your relationship, consider reaching out to a licensed couples sex therapist today.

Also, start your journey at home with a communication therapy video

 

 Get CONNECT now

Couples Communication Strategies

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). And an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

Therapy After Breakup

Therapy After Breakup: How To Know If You Need It 💔

Therapy After Breakup: How To Know If You Need It 💔

 

Relationships are quite complex, and regardless of the time you two spent together, therapy after breakup could be beneficial. You might split after 10 years of marriage or be ghosted after several promising months, and it ends in grief. We build our lives with partners, share dreams with them, and allow them to see us without the facade. Meaning, all of that going away may definitely leave a bad taste in your mouth. 

 

This is why many recently divorced and separated individuals decide to seek help in the form of therapy. Besides learning how to let go of all of these emotions, you also need to relearn how to enjoy single life in things that no longer include a partner. Learning that is often harder than it seems, so talking to a professional often helps put our lives back on track.

 

Breakups are also a common cause of mental health concerns. It is not unusual for people who are going through or have recently gone through a breakup to experience depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, and psychological distress. If you too feel quite affected by your breakup and can’t seem to find joy in anything else in your life, there are signs that might indicate you should consider reaching out to a therapist. 

 

You’re Unable to Function Properly.

After a long-term relationship, you might feel like your life is falling apart. Often, this confusion and sadness will lead to hopelessness, and you’ll find yourself in trouble at work and unable to eat or sleep for several weeks after your breakup. As much as breakups require some healing time, if you cannot get yourself to function properly, you should consider post-breakup therapy. 

 

Also, some people use unhealthy ways to deal with the pain of a breakup, like drinking, doing drugs, or taking prescription pills. Regardless of your justification for doing so, anything that interferes with your quality of life should be a sign to look for mental health support. 

 

You’re Isolating Yourself from Others. 

You used to be a fun, easy-going person who enjoyed spending their free time with friends and family, yet the breakup somehow changed you? After your relationship ends, it is completely expected to feel denial, emptiness, sadness, and anger, and you might even experience these grief stages more than once. However, if a person isolates from close friends and family, this often means they need help letting go of the relationship and feeling positive about socializing, not negative. 

 

Not to mention that by avoiding people who love and value you in difficult times, you are also depriving yourself of love, concern, and support, which are all key to your recovery. Even if you don’t feel like going out with your best friend, you should express your vulnerability. After all, breakups often leave a mess behind, and it might be too exhausting to deal with it on your own. 

 

You Romanticize Your Relationship.  💔

You and your ex broke up weeks or even months ago, and you’re still daydreaming about them?  You might fantasize about what it would be like if they called and said they missed you, listened to their favorite music, visited places where you hoped to see them again, or simply idealized them in conversations with your friends.

 

If this was a bad relationship and you’re trying to get over it, you may also have trouble with intimacy, post-relationship stress disorder, and other problems that make it hard for you to have healthy relationships in the future. Especially if you experienced infidelity in this relationship, it’s important to take a moment and look at your relationship from another angle. 

 

You Start a New Relationship Too Early.

Although you’ve been feeling sad about your breakup just a few days ago, you’ve unexpectedly met someone and want to commit to a new relationship right away. As already said, breakups require you to take some time to analyze your relationship and allow you some time to grieve and, finally, heal. Jumping too soon into a new relationship will eliminate this entire process and probably lead to the same issues in the new relationship.

 

You might find yourself replacing your ex-partner with someone who looks just like them, has a similar personality, or is the complete opposite of them. As long as your ex-partner is a factor when starting a new relationship, you are not ready for it. Instead of escaping from how you feel due to your breakup, you should accept that this process, although painful, brings many benefits to your wellbeing, how you connect with others, and how you emotionally grow. 

 

What to Expect from a Therapy After Breakup

Congratulations if you’ve decided to get help with your mental health to get over your breakup in the best way possible. Accepting this experience is difficult on its own, and you need someone to talk to to alleviate the emotional burden you feel after the breakup. Once you’ve made your decision about talking to a therapist, you will need to find one.

 

Seek therapists who have experience with relationships and breakups. If your colleague mentioned an excellent therapist, reach out to that person and schedule your first session (which is called an “intake”).

 

If you haven’t been in therapy before, you should know that it’s almost the same as talking to friends about your issues, yet therapists will provide better tools and insights that will guide you through the experience you’re going through. They will probably ask you a few questions to get a better understanding of your relationship and how you feel about it. 

 

Also, you will be able to share with them anything that is bothering you without fear of being judged. After all, their only goal is to help you and get you to start enjoying your life again!

 

If you need to text about it, text 203-733-9600 and let us know when you are available to begin text coaching. 

 

Our prices range from $60-$500+/hour depending on which therapist you want to see!  

Want to Schedule a Session?

 

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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

Fun Self Care Activities for Adults: For Those Struggling with Relationships and Intimacy!

Fun Self Care Activities for Adults: For Those Struggling with Relationships and Intimacy! 

 

Especially for people who struggle with identity and intimacy, fun self-care activities for adults are crucial to living a healthy and satisfying life. Taking care of yourself can boost your self-esteem, sense of community, and sense of control over your life, whether you’re in a relationship or single.

Try these enjoyable self-care activities:

 

Nature strolls

Walking in nature is a wonderful way to connect with your surroundings. That is, you can stroll through a park or go for a casual stroll. Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings and the fresh air. You may experience renewed energy as a result. 

 

Meditation and yoga

You can obtain inner peace and mental quiet through yoga and meditation. There are many various styles to pick from, whether you favor a more demanding practice or a softer approach. I advise beginning out slowly. Here, self-care and enjoyment are the focus.

 

Sound therapy

Music therapy is a fun way to explore your own creativity and get in touch with your feelings. This is a fantastic hobby to attempt, whether you are a musician or simply enjoy listening to music. For various moods, you can compose playlists with songs that make you joyful. 

 

The use of art 

A creative technique to express your feelings and get in touch with your inner selves is through art therapy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned artist or a novice. What matters, really? pursuing your creative side. This can be accomplished alone, with a buddy, or with a partner.

This can be accomplished alone, with a buddy, or with a partner.

 

Spa Day

If you have the chance to reserve a spa day, it’s one of the best ways to connect with someone—either yourself or another. This can be done at home or at a nearby spa. This can apply to spa services like massages and facials as well. Don’t forget to allocate time for leisure and avoid rushing between appointments.

 

Self-care can support intimacy! 

By offering opportunities for rest, connection, and self-expression, self-care can support identity and intimacy. You feel more in charge, self-assured, and able to connect with people when you take care of yourself.

Self-care is equally crucial for all individuals. You can carry out each of the activities here with friends or alone by simply purchasing a ticket on Eventbrite. Taking care of oneself is the main objective, regardless of your relationship situation.

 

Conclusion

An essential component of living a healthy and fulfilled life is practicing self care. You can feel more confident if you take care of yourself.

Are you ready to acquire more knowledge and discover a more fulfilling experience?

 

Sensual Meditation: Strategies to Fall in Lust Again

Sensual Meditation: Strategies to Fall in Lust Again

 

About Life Coaching and Therapy

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!

Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, 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