New Bedford, MA
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Love, Intimacy, Passion and Sex Love relationships are incredibly important, not only because they help us to feel secure and good about ourselves, but they also function for us a way to grow, ...
About MeDuring the past 16 years, my experiences as a psychotherapist has provided me the opportunity to work with and help many kinds of people. I have chosen to specialize in helping couples and individuals with love and sex because those are areas of my passion. I believe that the world can be a better place if our ability to love is strengthened. Through our love relationships, our ability to love is challenged. As a result, there is no part of our lives which provide us the opportunity for growth as our primary love relationships.
The Reason I Became A Helping ProfessionalI could have chosen many avenues, due to my many interests, but to earn a living, I felt that helping others to love in a satisfying and fulfilling way was my best choice to make a positive difference in the world, both for my own happiness and quality of life, but also for the purpose of giving back to others.
Most couples fondly recall those early days in their relationship, when the love they shared was exciting, fresh and intensely passionate. Jamie and Glenn (not their real names) showed up at my office with obvious concern and disappointment revealed on their faces. Initially, they spoke about their worry that the recent relationship troubles they'd been experiencing would spell the end of their marriage, ultimately harming their two young children. Of course they hadn't gotten married with the intent that they would end up divorced. So many of their friends and family members had ended their marriages, only intensifying Jamie's and Glenn's fears that their marriage was doomed to the inevitable, failed ending in divorce.
During the first visit, while listening to their individual perspectives on the marital troubles, I was able to put these problems within the perspective of the common troubles that so many couples experience, but also within the context of what real, deliberate and growth-oriented change could produce...real and satisfying solutions. By making Jamie and Glenn realize that it is only through personal change and growth, regarding a deeper need to love themselves and each other, can the possibility of a satisfying marriage be realized. The two initially shy to talk about the sexual difficulties which were part of the cause for their emotional disconnect, but also their increasingly frequent conflicts...which never seemed to be resolved.
Through weekly visits lasting for about three months, the partners learned to have "constructive" conflicts which end in a mutually satisfying resolution by avoiding hurtful language and character attacks. The two learned about how to unify their parenting styles so parenting became a team effort rather than a competitive source of conflict. The pride at harmoniously parenting their two young and beautiful children became a source of great pride. Together, we explored the expectations of each partner and identified both partner differences, but also obstacles to love, that had been fostered within each partner's family while growing up. And finally the partners addressed their sex life, which for both had been the source of embarrassment and shame...so much so that initially, both Jamie and Glenn had great difficulty talking about sexuality. Both admitted towards the end of therapy that once beyond the hurdle of their embarrassment, talking about sex in a safe and non-judgmental environment became not only easy, but a pleasure because each realized that sex is an important and beautiful part of being human. I had given the couple much sexual information, so that their expectations of a healthy sex life were appropriately realistic. Jamie overcame much fear that she had previously associated with the vulnerability of being sexual, which had prevented her from being a passionate sexual partner. Glenn came to learn about how to combine sex with an intimate emotional connection...something that was a vital ingredient for Jamie. As a result, the partners were able to overcome what had been a large stumbling block to intimacy but also to recapture their lost passion.
After about three months, the negative trend of deteriorating love between Jamie and Glenn had been reversed. Towards the end of their treatment, they both marveled at how intense their strong, positive feelings of love for each other had grown when it had become so bad for the past six years. Each said, "I wish we had come into your office years ago." Both agreed that they had been frightened to do so, thus had avoiding "making the call for help" for years. Jamie and Glenn are typical of so many troubled couples. Often times the positive changes they can make are just a matter of "flicking the switch of love back on." Many problems that block the flow of love are quickly fixed when partners are willing to make changes through growth.