" Over the course of three years, I utilized Susan's services in a variety of individual, couples and group therapy. She was instrumental in helping me work through a wide range of issues including sexual abuse, an absent father, and poverty during my childhood; long-term dyspareunia (pain during intercourse) and its effect on my marriage; as well as practical day-to-day troubles and career guidance. Susan acted as the hub of my medical and psychiatric care, recommending me to reputable specialists and, most importantly, helping me deal with the emotional toll of my treatment plan. Thanks to Susan's unwavering commitment to my well-being, today I finally enjoy a 'bigger life' and feel like a whole complete person."
Is Your Relationship With Sex Causing You Shame, Frustration or Pain?
Are you struggling with issues directly or indirectly related to sex? Is it difficult for you to express your true sexual desires? Are you suffering in silence, too embarrassed to share your experience of sex? Maybe you pretend to be asleep so you don’t have to engage in uncomfortable or painful sex with your partner. Alternatively, maybe you’re constantly aroused, unable to work or sleep properly due to circling sexual thoughts or fantasies. It might be that you feel lonely, unloved or that your partner is disinterested in sex with you. Or, perhaps your friends are in “normal” sexual relationships, making it difficult for you to talk openly about issues concerning sexual orientation or out-of-the-box sexual fantasies. Do you find it difficult to relax enough to enjoy sex or struggle physically, perhaps with maintaining an erection or controlling your ejaculation? Maybe you have difficulty reaching orgasm, either alone or with a partner, and fear that you’ll never have a fulfilling sexual relationship. Perhaps you just wish you could communicate freely and openly about sexuality without shame or fear of judgment.
Sex is a fundamental part of life. It can be deeply satisfying and exciting, but also uncomfortable, frightening and traumatic. Each sexual encounter is different and can trigger new or underlying feelings of anxiety, shame, disgust or disappointment. Maybe you’ve been in a relationship for a long time and the initial connection and excitement has faded to the point that one or both of you is unsatisfied. Or perhaps you have never had a fulfilling sexual partnership and wonder if you ever will. You might have a history of abuse or questions about your sexuality and feel you have nobody to talk to. Or you may not even know why you feel so confused about sex and feel guilty for not enjoying what is supposed to be a basic human experience.
Nobody Talks About Unpleasant Experiences With Sex
Statistically, at least 50 to 60 percent of people will struggle with sexual relationships at some point in their lives. However, many people are uncomfortable sharing their experience of sexual dissatisfaction, sexual fantasies or questions about sexual orientation with others. Suffering in silence not only compounds the problem, but also creates the illusion that the majority of people have a consistently healthy and pleasurable relationship with sex, which just isn’t true. Sexual experiences vary widely and are influenced by a lot of factors, including age, body image, family history, sexual history, medical issues and/or medications you are on and current and past relationships. A bad sexual experience can be difficult to explain and can influence subsequent experiences.
Although most people aren’t talking openly about sexuality, countless people experience issues with sex every day, whether they be a lack or loss of sexual desire, sexual dysfunction, feelings of shame or embarrassment about sexual functioning or body image, painful intercourse, sexual addiction or compulsive behavior, difficulty climaxing, questions about sexuality, unusual desires and many other concerns. Regardless of how you are experiencing sexual difficulties, the good news is that help is available. A compassionate, certified sex therapist can help you learn to better understand and talk openly about distressful experiences and foster a healthier relationship with sex.
Sex Therapy Can Provide You With Support, Guidance And Relief
Regardless of the severity of your sexual difficulties, an experienced Psychotherapist can help you better understand, manage and even enjoy your experience with sex. In a confidential, comfortable space you can talk openly and honestly about anything and everything that is causing you uncertainty, discomfort, frustration or pain. You can break out of the cycle of stressful thoughts, shame and persistent fears that is impacting your sex life. And, you can learn to recognize, work through and reframe irrational or unhelpful thoughts so that they no longer control how you feel and relate to sexuality.
The first step to overcoming sexual issues is to face them head on. While talking about your experience of sex can be daunting at first, sex therapy provides you with the space to speak honestly and openly without fear of judgment. The compassionate and safe space of the sessions is your time to unburden your worries so that we can get to the root of your issues. By doing so, you can learn effective tools and skills that can help you move through the unsettling feelings you’re experiencing, better understand your relationship to sex and gain control of your sex life.
A key part of therapy is feeling connected and comfortable with your therapist. In our sessions, we’ll work collaboratively and compassionately as you learn to recognize and reframe ineffective thought cycles and begin to dismantle debilitating patterns of behavior. Once we understand your specific emotional triggers, we can develop effective strategies to break through blocks and help you meet your therapy and sexual goals. With me, you’ll be working with a certified sex therapist who is authentic, accessible and sympathetic to your experience. I have seen therapy transform the lives of all kinds of people, and I believe that, together, we can get to the root of your issues and help you move toward facilitating a healthy and fulfilling relationship with sex.
You still may have questions or concerns about sex therapy…
I don’t want to talk about sex with a stranger.
Speaking about sex is still somewhat taboo in our society. And, speaking about sex with a stranger can be daunting. However, it is my job to put you at ease in the comfortable and confidential setting of my office. Also, speaking to a therapist is not like speaking to a friend or family member. With me, there is no possibility of judgment. Our conversations are strictly confidential and professional. Furthermore, many people find that speaking about their sexual issues is an unburdening experience, similar to lifting a great weight off their shoulders.
I’m afraid my sexual practices are abnormal.
“Normal” is a word we use often, but it’s almost impossible to pin down what “normal” sexual practices are. Certainly, it’s not for me to say what normal is or isn’t. My job, rather, is to listen, judgment free, and help you figure out what it is that you like or don’t like and/or want or don’t want in terms of your sexuality. Often, people find that speaking to a therapist helps them develop clarity around their desires and feelings in a way that makes them easier to understand and work through.
How do I know that sex therapy is going to work?
I have been working as a therapist for over 30 years and am certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. I obtained this very specialized credential to enable me to evaluate sex therapy issues from a psychological, medical and health perspective. There are very few guarantees in life, but I have seen great success with people who commit to therapy. To successfully work through problems takes commitment and patience, and you’ll get out of therapy what you put into it. That said, if you engage in the sex thrapy process openly and honestly, it can be highly effective, rewarding and lead to long-term sexual satisfaction and/or relief.
You Can Have A Healthy, Satisfying Relationship With Sex
Sex issues can be extremely limiting and traumatic to live with. Speaking to a certified sex therapist can help you overcome stressful symptoms, moving you toward living a more balanced life, free from guilt and shame.
Call (202) 463-7188 or email [email protected] today for an appointment at my Washington, DC, Dupont Circle practice. We can a set up an initial meeting where you’ll be able to relax in a comfortable environment, ask questions and learn about the benefits of working with a sex therapist.