From the Couch to the Bedroom: How to Talk to Your Clients About Sex

Being a therapist is a heart calling for many of us.

Many seek to serve and help clients heal, grow, and expand in powerful and graceful ways.

One things we know is true.

As clinicians we can help our clients more powerfully when we ourselves are willing to grow, heal, and expand.

A common place where many clinicians struggle is the space of sex and sexuality.

And it’s not your fault.

Why?

Because many of us received minimal to no education on how to go from from the couch to the bedroom and help our clients talk, process and heal sexually related problems.

And, most of our learning was based on reproductive anatomy.

Not on sexual and pleasure physiology, not beyond performance and function, and much less on holisitc sexuality.

Which means most of us were not encouraged to explore who we are as sexual beings, what are our sexual values, and what is our innate sexual expression.

The most common question I get from other therapists and clinicians is…

HOW DO I TALK TO MY CLIENTS ABOUT SEX?

If you are a therapist or clinician interested in learning how to go from the couch to the bedroom and helping your clients more powerfully with sex and sexuality issues, this workshop is for you.

In this workshop you will

  • Learn how to ask your clients about their sex life in simple and easy ways.
  • Learn about your own sexual values and beliefs and how they relate to your work.
  • Learn about holistic sexuality.
  • Learn what is sex therapy and about sex therapy as a niche.

Workshop is open to

Please inquire if your licesen/credential is not on this list

  • LMFT, LCSW, LPC
  • LMFT & LCSW Associates/Interns or graduates awaiting intern number

Enlivening Pleasure Now: Using Mindfulness, Embodiment, and Movement For Your Sex Therapy Practice

Presenting at AASECT Conference 2018

Change happens by giving clients a new experience of themselves in the moment. Often, sex therapists hesitate to bring experiential work into the room.
This workshop discusses theories of body-focused psychotherapy and the application to sex therapy.
Movement, the use of deliberate physical movement to facilitate the emotional, social, cognitive, physical, and spiritual integration of the individual by assisting them in re-inhabiting themselves, bringing them back into contact with their instinctual wisdom, sense of self, and embodied sense of knowing while releasing habitual muscular holding patterns that reinforce shutting down. This is done by guiding clients through the use of breath, mindfulness and sensor-awareness techniques, and deliberate physical movement and in doing so, increasing awareness and creation of pleasure in the body.
At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to: discuss the reasons and benefits for including the body, body awareness, and movement in sex therapy, couple’s therapy, and group interventions; integrate at least one body-focused technique and how it might expand their effectiveness in working with clients with diverse culture and languages to assist in increasing body-awareness and pleasure.

Sacred Sexuality + More Heart Space in Your Sex Life

While modern religions have defined sacred and spiritual as being separate from the body, from nature, and certainly from sex, the ancient the roots of our language and history imply something quite different. 

Our collective history suggests that at one time there was a sacred nature to sex. 

Given the shifts in our current culture and news headlines, now is the time to reacquaint ourselves with this ancient wisdom.

Sacred is defined as that which is made or declared holy, revered, blessed, holy.   

Sacred is also understood differently by varying cultures. 

One example of this is how in many indigenous cultures, the concept of sacred is one of relationship—based on reciprocity and connection—rather than dogma or popular opinion. 

In these native cultures, humans, animals, plants, including Mother Earth herself, are considered sacred because everything and everyone are seen as an essential part of the Whole of creation.  Therefore, every living creature is recognized as inherently sacred because  each is part of the interconnected web of ecology and energy that births, sustains and carries life.

Sacred Sexuality is an essential part of many spiritual traditions and cultures.

Sacred sexuality implies an awareness that sex is the inception of life, of all that is, a powerful connection to Divine energy. 

It is no coincidence then that the word sacrum is also the anatomical term for the triangular bone at the base of the spine—the very place that Tantric traditions say is the seat of the sleeping kundalini or Shakti energy. 

When aroused through practice (e.g. yoga, dancing, hip circles, hip thrusts), the kundalini rises up the spine to awaken the spiritual centers in the brain—the place where many of our habitual mindless chatter also resides.  And when empty, the place where we connect to Source.  

And, here is where it is important to remember that without the sexual act, most of us would not be here. 

Sacred Sexuality therefore acknowledges that our life force and our sexual energy originate from the same source.  Once does not exist without the other, at least not for very long. 

Sex is sacred because of its role in bonding, connection, and staying present.

Mutually satisfying sexual exchanges naturally intensify bonding between people.  Of course, sex can take place without bonding.

But, if we are not careful and habitually have sex without bonding, without connection, this can eventually lead to heart closure or not seeing our partner as an equal in the relationship with equally important needs and desires.

Sex opens the heart only if we bring the energy up and we access our heart space.

The Tantric attitudes of slowing down, awakening all of the senses, tuning into subtle energy, letting go of judgment and blame, expressing gratitude for the gift of life, and savoring the present moment are wonderfully supportive tools for intimate relating.

When we take the time to remind ourselves of what we are really trying to create with our lovers, we become more conscious of the need to connect and create greater intimacy of the heart space. 

We attune and notice the nuances of our partner and co-create with them a safe space to talk about what we want and, as equally important, what we do not want. 

Sex then becomes more than the chase of the orgasm or performance. 

Sex becomes the vehicle with which all partners use their channels for pleasure to connect with themselves and their partner. 

This is how sex becomes sacred again because it expands our state of consciousness—we are fully present to the here and now in our own body and in that of our partner. 

Sex is sacred because of its role in accessing peak experiences of love, oneness, and healing.

Humans have an innate need for peak experiences of bliss, merging, and ecstasy. 

We also  have a deep longing for union with the Divine.

When we access expanded states of consciousness through sex, we validate our intuitive sense that sex can be worship and that worship can be erotic.

There’s a reason why in many moments of pleasure and orgasm,  the words that are moaned most often is “oh my God!”

Sensuality is the embodied alignment of body-heart-mind-spirit.

Sacred Sensuality integrates our personality, our soul, and our human nature.  How we relate to our world, ourselves, and others is done through the innate sensual body.

The paths of Erotic Spirituality teaches us to embrace and honor the body as a temple of Spirit, rather than trying to deny our natural sexual impulses. 

And when we begin to recognize our own body as a temple for the Divine, we also begin to see our partners through the same loving lens.

Because when we open our hearts to our own divine, sacred nature, we can then do the same for others.

How to Create More Heart Space in Your Sex Life
  1. Leave all judgments at the door… actually leave them at the curb.  There’s no room for any of it in the heart space.  When we focus on lack or what we are not getting, we are literally closing the heart space which makes it difficult to create and maintain connection.
  2. B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Sounds silly, but, yes, breathe!  It’s not about deep breaths to your pelvic floor (although that may help too, more on this in another blog).  Breathing is essential for us to relax, for the body to remain open and present. The more we hold the breath, the more the body tightens, the more the brain focuses on silly chatter leaving the heart to eventually close.  Breathe.  Focus on filling your belly and emptying.  See how it relaxes you and welcomes more softness to the front side of the torso. 
  3. Our NO is more important than our YES. The greatest lesson in any Tantra practice is knowing your “NO’s” because when you know them and express them, your “YES” is more heartfelt and genuine.  When we agree to something out of default, our body gets tense, and  so does our heart.  And, on the flip side….
  4. Listen… especially to your partner’s “NO’s.” Do not question, invalidate, minimize, or contradict any NO’s.  When you do, you are not present, you are not in your heart, and above all, you are no longer safe to your partner which always results in heart closure.
  5. Slow down.  Look at each other.  There’s a reason why most Tantric practices begin with Eye Gazing (aka Soul Gazing).  It gives us a chance to really see our lovers, feel their energy, and notice what feels good or not.

And, remember… this is a practice. not an event.

Most of did not get a chance to learn about sexuality in a sacred, holistic way.  So practice, be curious… and lead with the heart.

Love,

Jacqueline