How to Get the Most Out of Your Therapy Part 1: Is Therapy Only for the Sick?

Tips to Improve Your Therapy Experience Part One. Click Through to find out more and check out Part 2

Your Health is More Important than Stigma…

There is still a lot of social stigma around mental health and related therapies: a lot of people receive the message that “you’re crazy or sick” if you need therapy or mental health care. However, while psychotherapy, talk-therapy, and psychopharmacology are interrelated treatments for mental illness, therapy is also a process of progressive emotional growth and lifestyle change, regardless of its relationship to mental illness. I think of the range of therapies as analogous to the range of treatments for physical ailments. Severe injuries may require invasive surgeries, medication regimens, and a long recovery time, while chronic ailments can be addressed with physical therapy, exercise regimens, and lifestyle changes, which can benefit almost anyone. Yes, some mental illnesses are like severe injuries and require multiple, coordinated forms of intervention – but just as with physical injuries, most of our ‘mental ailments’ are lower level and can be addressed in ways that not only alleviate suffering but actually improve life satisfaction.

 

Defining Therapy as Well-Care…not Sick-Care

For those who don’t see therapy stigmatized, or have experienced therapy in the past and have moved beyond the stigma, therapy can function as a form of psychological exercise, a regular experience clients use to “better themselves” or their relationships. In my practice, I discuss this as a distinction between “well-care” vs “sick-care” and define well-care as “preventative medicine” instead of sick-care, which is similar to emergency or urgent medicine. In physical medicine, after an emergency, many people try to improve their health and lifestyle through physical therapy, exercising, whatever they have to do to address underlying problems that they didn’t know were leading to a crisis. I see the exact same thing with my regular clients. I meet them first in a crisis situation, and once we address that, we work to improve day-to-day habits and functioning not only to avoid emergencies but to address life goals and that always mysterious idea of ‘happiness’.

 

Tips to Improve Your Therapy Experience Part One. Click Through to find out more and check out Part 2

Yes, Even Our Brains and Hearts Need a Checkup

Therapy is a place to gain insight into yourself – your emotions, your thoughts, and their relationship to your behaviors. Many times, a person first seeks therapy after a crisis occurs; for example, the discovery of an affair, the possibility of divorce, a family member’s death, or depression or anxiety impacting daily life. Just as you go to your primary care doctor for annual checkups to ensure that you aren’t missing subtle cues about significant illnesses, you can also use therapy to ensure that emotionally you and/or your relationship are on the right track and that you’re addressing any potential concerns before they become crises.

The important point is that therapy is like physical medicine in two important ways: there are as many varieties of treatment as there are people and conditions, and for this reason, there should be no social stigma in making use of it. Once we move past the stigma, we can find out how therapy can most benefit our specific situation and help improve our lives.

Check back next week for Part Two: Committing to Therapy, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts about therapy as a part of healthcare? How do you view therapy and mental health?

When Your Spouse Doesn’t Like Your BFFs, It’s the Marriage That Suffers…

Remember those days when you first met your spouse and everything felt like springtime? Those initial months were full of all the best firsts—first dates, first smooches, first adventures, and of course, the first time you introduced him or her to the other “loves of your life”—your besties. In an ideal world, your pals like your partner just as much as you do, and vice versa. But when they don’t? It can wreak havoc not on the friendships, but rather, on your marriage, according to a new study.

For the study, researchers followed 355 heterosexual couples to determine the impact of friendships on marriage after 16 years. None of the couples was interracial, to rule out race as a potential source of tension). What the researchers found was fascinating: In white couples where the husbands liked their wife’s friends, 70 percent of couples were still together by the end of the study. However, in white couples where the husbands didn’t like their partner’s pals, only 50 percent remained together. For black couples, liking the friends didn’t seem to impact the relationship.

What do psychologists think of this theory?

Click here to continue reading

Originally posted on RD.com and written by Lindsay Tigar

Oral Sex Positions: 11 Steamy Positions That Make Oral Even More Exciting

You don’t need us to tell you that oral sex is super-fun, satisfying and well, sexy as hell. But what might surprise you is how unfulfilling a sex life without oral activities could really be. Overall, for your mental, physical and sexual health, making sure to set aside foreplay time to pleasure each other orally will maintain your connection and prosperity, individually and as a couple. No matter your limitations, most couples can find a way to make oral sex a leading component of their sexual routine and repertoire.

“Oral sex can improve a person’s or couple’s sex life. For women, oral sex before intercourse allows the vaginal muscles to become looser and can increase natural lubrication. This is great for women experiencing vaginal tightness to prevent discomfort or injury during intercourse. Men experiencing erectile dysfunction can benefit from oral sex as well,” sex and relationship therapist, Courtney Geter, LMFT, CST explains.

“Behinds the pleasure, oral sex can help increase blood flow to the penis helping a man obtain a stronger erection. Oral sex could also help with delayed ejaculation by retraining the brain to enjoy sexual stimulation from a variety of methods. If a man is able to obtain an erection after ejaculation, it may also help extend the intercourse as well…”

 

Click here to continue reading and find out a new oral sex position for tonight!

 

Originally posted on AskMen.com and written by Lindsay Tigar

What Does “Fighting” Really Mean?

When you hear “we had a fight,” what comes to mind? How about an image of two red-faced people with fists clenched and angry expressions? Does “fighting” bring to mind the image of physical violence? What about an image of two toddlers trying to play with the same toy and then crying over it? Yes, these are examples of fighting…Would you ever think an image of people in disagreement over a decision and trying to prove their own points, or two people getting angry over how the dishwasher is loaded or the toothpaste tube is squeezed? Are the former examples fighting or arguments?

Many times I have had clients report their “worst fight ever,” and then proceed to describe an example of an argument. I sit there listening trying to notice unhealthy behaviors or interactions (i.e. hitting, name calling, manipulation, etc) that warrant on going for therapy to improve communication and managing feelings. When the story is over and these red flags are never mentioned, I ask the client, “How is this the worst fight ever?” More times than not, the response is…

Click here to read more…

 

 

Originally posted on Marriage.com

Hashtag Living with a Sex Therapist: Sex Toy in the Dining Room

People are always curious about my job. I believe this is because of the stigma associated with sex, and I become a safe place to talk about sex. However, for me and the BFF who has lived with me for over a decade (we really need a reality show), this is all normal, everyday living! We forget that many others out there are not used to the open conversation about any and every sex topic.

I decided to document and share these experiences with the world wide web. These blogs come from experience and are true life. These blogs are written to bring humor into your day and maybe you’ll gain a little knowledge as well. I hope you enjoy them as much as I/we enjoy living them.

For those who don’t know the BFF, I’ll through my spill that I do with everyone:

  1. Yes, the BFF is a man.
  2. No, the BFF and I are not in a relationship.
  3. Yes, the BFF and I live together…for almost a decade…yes, we have separate rooms (My cat is still contemplating a take over of his room into her personal kitty parlor)
  4. No, the BFF and I do not have sex.
  5. Yes, it’s amazing we have not killed each other.

I recall a time when we lived in Philly, and the BFF had company over. I marched out of my room where I was working on a one of many papers for grad school. I promptly ask some question/opinion about a sex related topic such as fetishes or HIV. BFF and I engage in a enthralling conversation while his poor company is sitting there like, “Are these people really talking about this like I talk about my trips to Wal-Mart?”  Yes, yes, we do. Then said company jumped into the conversation too.

Recently, I was finishing a blog review for a sex toy. BFF was sitting in his normal spot in our dining room. In the same room, I was standing while typing away. Who knows where the cat was though probably creating her plan for BFF room take over. Anyway, I realized I needed said toy to ensure accuracy of my review. I marched to my room, located toy, and marched back to my computer.  Now ready to type, I turn said toy on, and I’m taking it through it’s 10 speed motions. Said toy is vibrating away while moving back and forth. BFF looks up from his work, continues to look without expression, and then says, “This is what my life has come to” as he watches me examine a sex toy in our dining room as if there is nothing unusual about this practice.  I respond, “Yes, this is what it has come to. See? It could be a lot worse!”

“Hashtag Living with a Sex Therapist” to be continued…

Getting to Know Alan in Bed: A Tantus Review

If you listen to the Let’s Talk Sex Podcast then you know my respect for Tantus, one of the adult toy companies I support. I support this company for a number of reasons including the company began from the inspiration of a woman and it offers high quality and body safe toys. Although I support companies where men have created wonderful toys for women, a man just doesn’t know what it’s like to have an object all up in your female space. A lot of times, there is focus on a man’s pleasure and enjoyment inside the woman. Well, it seems to me that Tantus turned that around and focused on how a woman can receive pleasure and enjoyment with a variety of penile options for play.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Tantus offers a toy for everyone’s desire, needs, wants, and experimentation. If you like it tantus-alan-colorsslim, they have it. If you like it long, they have it. If you like it thick, they got that too. If you like uncut, yep, that one too. Tantus also offers a variety of colors. From purple, pink, and blue and even REALISTIC in three different skin tones. Speaking of those skin tones, these toys (as well as few non realistic options) even FEEL like the real thing minus actual blood flow and body heat (though I wouldn’t be surprised if a adding a warming component was in the works!).

Your Next Boy Toy

I had the opportunity to test out the original realistic toy, Alan (Did I forget to mention they even have realistic names too?). Alan is part of the O2 Density line or the line created to provide the most realistic feel of an adult toy. This line is made of the high quality, body safe silicone as the rest of the product line. I describe Alan as a 4 in 1 toy. Alan can be used as a regular dildo or he becomes a vibrator with the easy insertion of a bullet. Did I mention the bullet is included witalan-vibeh purchase?? Alan is also harness compatible for partner play. Don’t have a partner and want to enjoy solo play without doing all the work? Alan is suction cup compatible, which is also included with purchase! Did I mention Alan is also waterproof so that suction cup goes a long way? Yes, you get your bang for your buck with Alan!

In terms of size, I describe Alan as slightly above average for the American male. The average size penis of the American male is around 6 inches. Alan comes in at 6.5 inches long with a 1.54 diameter. I’d say Alan is not too slim though not too thick and offers a nice, secure fit. Ladies, if you are currently experiencing vaginal tightness or any vaginismus, I recommend a smaller diameter toy until you can work up to Alan’s pleasure.

 

Interested in checking Alan out? You can find him on the Shop page of my website or click here. All purchases through the shop page support the production of the Let’s Talk Sex Podcast where you can here me talk about more product reviews.