Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sex and Ice Cream

Sometimes it is easier to explore sexual health issues through a use of a metaphor. A metaphor I like regarding sexual expression is ice cream.

Who doesn’t like ice cream, one of god’s primary gifts to humanity! Imagine, if you will, sitting down with a serving of vanilla ice cream. Think of the creamy feeling, and the taste of vanilla as you eat the first spoonful. Even the frozen Vanilla Yogurts are good. The soft-serve ice creams are great when you want something in a hurry. Some of the premium brands have done a great job making vanilla ice cream almost a spiritual experience! The extra cream makes the texture extra smooth. Using real vanilla, perhaps with pieces of vanilla beans creates an amazing experience.

Because vanilla ice cream is so good, and so many people like it, I have decided to impose a new rule. Vanilla ice cream in all its variation is the ONLY form of ice cream that is good/holy/sacred. Only vanilla ice cream can be created, served, and sold. I have declared this, so it is so.

Absurd, isn’t it!

But that is what we’ve done with sexual expression. Individuals in power eloquently describe why a particular form of sexual expression is good/holy/sacred. Then they impose on everyone else this value.

Absurd, isn’t it!

Sexual health requires you to make a choice about what is good/holy/sacred in your life. Yes, you might like “vanilla” but “vanilla” is far from the only flavor of sexual expression. What do you like? Choose.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bi Cities

My interview on Bi Cities about sexuality, chemical dependency, and sexual health.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Disclosure in the therapy process

How to talk about therapy without talking about therapy.

In other discussions, I emphasized the importance of full disclosure. I recognize the importance, however, of full disclosure occurring in a meaningful way usually near the end of the therapy process. It is also important for some type of ongoing disclosure to occur along the way that fosters healing and trust in the relationship. Below are a few ideas on how to talk about the therapy process without getting bogged down in the details of the history. Eventually the history will be shared.

1) Both individuals in the relationship have to agree to this process. I typically meet with the client and partner near the beginning of therapy to talk the process through, and clarify the guidelines.

2) Clients are encouraged to talk about their internal process, without necessarily disclosing the content. This is where the client can share feeling statements from therapy. As an example, “I realized I fell sad which is a trigger in my acting out cycle…”

3) Clients are encouraged to talk about the “lessons learned” from therapy. For example, “Today’s topic was on intimacy, and I realize I need to develop my skills in emotional intimacy.”

4) Clients are encouraged to develop assertive communication skills to express needs, desires and requests. All behavior is goal focused, including sexual compulsivity. Identifying healthy ways to get needs meet reduces the future risk of acting out.

My experience is when the client learns how to engage in these smaller disclosures, the relationship experiences healing. Occasional intermediate sessions with the partner can foster this process. It is this healing that allows the full disclosure to occur. Yes, couples therapy will still be necessary but much of that work is helped by the ongoing disclosure.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The New Book is available on Amazaon

The book I published in August is now available on

Back from the Abyss/Taping for BiCities

August was a bit of a vacation, while Sept was a lot of traveling for work. I'm now a bit more settled to start blogging. The most recent activity was taping a show for BiCities talking about Chem Dep, Sexual Compulsivity, and Internet Sexual Compulsivity. To be aired in Minneapolis on Channel 6 on Nov 9 and 23 at 7:30. Check the link for other times and cities