And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -- Anais Nin
Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy that uses clinical training in psychology and biology, along with socio-cultural and ethical skills to deal with the problems of sexual function in a non-judgmental and open-minded forum of discussion. It acknowledges that sexuality is of legitimate concern to clients and is a very important aspect of one's life experience and identity. It assumes that human sexuality exists in a full spectrum of behaviors and that shame or stigma surrounding one's sexuality is learned rather than inherent to human nature.
Julie was trained in sexuality at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience's Sexual Health Program and the UCLA AIDS Institute. She has published clinical research the area of sexuality, HIV and emotional expression. Julie is experienced in working with a wide range of sexual issues including (but not limited to):
- How to improve your sex life.
- How to cope with and manage sexual anxiety and difficulties.
- How to recover your sex life after sexual trauma.
- How to re-ignite romance and sexuality in relationships.
- How to incorporate present-centered awareness and mindfulness in sexual experience.
- Expanding sexual awareness, facilitating personal growth and expanding sexual satisfaction (whether in a relationship or not).
- Gender & sexual identity, including: LGBT and living with HIV
- Increasing sexual self-esteem and empowerment.
- Coping with body image issues that interfere with sexual satisfaction.
- Exploring stigma, socio-cultural and ethnic variations in sexual expression.
- Infertility, including: jump starting sexuality and exploring sexual/relational issues that may be a non-physiological factor contributing to infertility.
- Sex after childbirth.
- Sex after menopause and couples in the golden years.
- Living with health or mental health issues that interfere with sexuality, such as depression, anxiety, chronic illness, pain disorders and medications.
- Life with celibacy and virginity, including: creative sexual expression, boundary setting in pre-marital relationships and
romantic intimacy without sexuality.
- Recovery from female "sexual dysfunction" including: female sexual arousal disorder, female orgasmic disorder (anorgasmia), sexual pain disorders (dyspareunia), sexual aversion / sexual avoidance ("sexual anorexia") and sexual addiction. Due to the underlying physiological nature of some of these disorders, Julie has some clients work in conjunction with their physician/gynecologist.
- Recovery from male "sexual dysfunction" including: erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, male orgasmic disorder (anorgasmia or delayed orgasm), sexual aversion / sexual avoidance ("sexual anorexia") and sex addiction. Due to the underlying physiological nature of some of these disorders, Julie has some clients work in conjunction with their physician/urologist.
- Recovery from (or life after) being a sex worker.
- Recovery from sexual addiction (with an emphasis on using the SAA / SLAA 12-step model).
- Recovery from codependency, with an emphasis on growth in areas of individual *differentiation and self-validated sexual intimacy rather than other-validated sexual intimacy. *Differentiation is the ability to hold onto self while maintaining connected relationships with others.
- Recovery from emotional "enslavement," romantic intrigue, sexual obsessions and fantasy.
- Recovery (or growth) from extra-marital affairs and infidelity.
- Serodiscordant (mixed HIV, Hepatitis and STD status) couples and reinventing their sexuality.
- Recovery from (or safely living with) paraphilia* and sexual fetishes. *Julie does not treat some paraphilias, however please feel free to inquire and she will provide an appropriate referral if necessary.
Sometimes people wonder if "sex therapy" includes sexual demonstrations, sexual contact or sexual surrogacy. Although these practices exist in other fields, Julie provides clinical psychotherapy (which is a form of talk therapy). To be clear, sexual contact, sexual innuendos or sexual boundary violations between a psychotherapist and a client are against the law. Not only does it violate law, importantly it violates the valued safety between client and therapist needed to achieve the personal growth that clients are seeking. Julie upholds the highest ethical standards in these areas and is aware of the delicate nature of talking about sex. For more information about these laws please read this and feel free to discuss your concerns about handling sensitive subject matter with Julie.