Love, Sex, & Conflict
Whether you came here for problems with love or sexuality, both are going to include the entire spectrum of emotions, especially in intimate and/or sexual partnerships. Frolic can turn into fighting once the oxytocin wears off, and there is where intimacy is or is not built. Ideally, it was built beforehand, but, alas, it frequently is not.
I believe in the Sacred and the Divine when it comes to sex. Is it this way for every body, and does every body want to relate to the Divine? It can be, and no. In my practice, I will get a sense of what you want to work on and then we will work hands-on through experiential somatic play and exercises. This can be done individually, or as a couple. The goal is frequently about becoming more embodied and in balance within each individual, and not the image of what the individual should be.
My modalities are therapeutic dialogue, pranayama, yoga, and CBT, as well as Reiki and other energy work modalities.
To find out if you are a good candidate for Our Work, please peruse this entire website and then schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.
My work is simple: Intimacy. How to have it, how to get it, how to cultivate it, how to rekindle it, and how to allow it to breathe and shift.
WHO ARE YOU?
A human seeking help with connection. A man. A woman. A non-binary person. Heterosexual. Lesbian. Gay. Trans. Queer. Asexual. Someone in conflict, either internally or with another. A parent. A couple. A single. A throuple. Poly.
Someone striving to understand Self, in order to understand Other.
My specialty is helping clients uncover the language of love, connection, and conflict. I work with family systems to uncover hidden behaviors that hinder joy and satisfying relationships.
We are raised in a culture that does not have a language for conflict except to be "right," and a culture that drips with images of sex, but still adheres strongly to a Madonna-Whore dichotomy. How on earth do we learn, then, how to have productive dialogue, first within the nuclear family, and then out in the world or with a close connection? How do we learn how to communicate needs or wants or have healthy close relationships that may or may not include sex? How do you understand your need for kinky sex?
In my 25+ years working in developmental psychology, I have witnessed firsthand the trials of the family system, and each adult's contribution to the success or detriment of those systems. There is one main contributor to low subjective well-being: an insecure attachment style and the behavioral adaptations that go along with it. Within dating life, married life, or parenting life, these patterns have a trickle-down effect, and then we pass these traits and traumas to our children.
75% of my clients are men. Single. Married. Monogamous. Ethically non-monogamous. Unethically non-monogamous. Begrudgingly asexual. Trying to understand themselves. Trying to understand their behaviors or motivations. Trying to be good fathers. Trying to be balanced in work and personal life. Learning about themselves and how their identity was shaped. Learning a new way of Being.
10% of my practice is with couples who want to have better connection, better communication, want to discern the fate of their relationship/marriage, want to uncouple in a healthy way and mediate a parenting plan or property division, or are overcoming unethical non-monogamy or other negative behavior patterns.
Parent-Teen Mediated Conversations are 10% of my practice. These include intact families and teens with parents who have been divorced for a long time. I help families reframe their limiting beliefs, shifts on the developmental life span (for all parties), and deepen intimacy by understanding one another's underlying needs and wants for Self and Other.
Most of the women in my practice are sexually active. Some have low libido. Some don't find their partners attractive anymore. Some are just angry. ALL. THE. TIME. And they don't know why or how they got there. Perimenopausal women seek me out to discuss their changing anatomy and physiological symptoms that their doctors have told them are "just part of the aging process." Attractive single women wonder why they are not getting the love they want. We work on actionable items. Sometimes we simply allow presence in the feeling, something I refer to as "a freeing in BEing."
My basis for working with anyone is an awareness that something in themselves needs to be uncovered and examined in order for their own growth work to expand.
Whether you are coupled, married, or single, getting to know yourself better advances the possibility of more joy, more contentment, and more overall well-being. Every adult was once a child, and not every child got a great upbringing. Some carry low-grade feelings of doubt, anger, shame, or tension throughout adulthood and don't know why. Some want to get married to validate that someone wants them, only to begin a track of degradation and devaluation of that partner immediately following the coupling. Others hope that being "good," "hot," or "GGG" will get the validation they seek from a lover or partner, and have no idea who they are on their own. Others enter into unethical non-monogamy, only later finding out that this is what their father and grandfathers did. Some want to end a legacy of shame. Women wanting Men to change find that they have compromised themselves and that the change begins with them. Some want to have better conversations with their spouse, children, or themselves. Teens seeking more autonomy or a voice with divorced or authoritarian parents seek me out. Parents who think their teen is disrespectful and unruly seek me out. These are individuals in intimate relationship seeking a new language for their changing intimate relationship because growth occurs throughout the lifespan. These are my clients.
I charge $225 per hour, with a discount for weekly clients who pay monthly for a minimum of three months. I do not bill insurance, and I offer a sliding fee scale on a very limited basis (mainly teens and recent graduates). All sex coaching work is clothed, and none of it provides a physical, in-office "happy ending" except that in which you discover that you can begin to integrate the compartmentalized pieces of yourself that have been cast adrift for these last however-many decades. Client confidentiality is of utmost importance and is upheld in all situations with the exception of disclosure of criminal acts or harmful acts to a vulnerable adult or minor. Family mediation notes are collected and shredded at the end of each session. Client notes are not kept, except intake forms,.
Yes! Doula, and... Relational Alchemist. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Lover. Mother. Person.
What is a Doula?
The word 'doula' — pronounced 'doo-la' — is a Greek word meaning 'woman servant or
caregiver'. More recently, it refers to someone who offers emotional and physical support to a woman and her partner before, during and after childbirth. A doula believes in 'mothering the mother'. In this context, I believe in nurturing the client and being in service to the client at all times. It starts with vulnerability as a two-way street, but first modeled by me, in service to you.
In the same way that a birth doula or newborn doula or night doula might support a woman who is giving birth or a family who has just brought a newborn baby home, I support individuals and couples who want more out of their social, emotional, and intimate relationships, sexual and non-sexual, romantic and otherwise, familial and professional, in order To Be in connection, in balance, in stability, in wholeness.
Perform any clinical tasks
Unlike a licensed mental health professional, I am not your vehicle for change--you are. You are accountable to that work. At any time, however, if you feel you need help with deeper psychological issues, I will recommend and encourage you to seek help.
Make decisions for you
The notion of self-determination guides my work with you. It is your work, your life, your relationship, your body. My work is to help you embody who you say you are in the world and to offer immediate feedback to you according to the goals of your work.
Disclose our work with anyone outside of our practice together
You made the decision to work on yourself in this way, as an individual or as a couple. This is your work. It is completely confidential and unique to you.
Project my judgment onto your experience
From my website and my writings, you will have a good idea of who I am and the objectives of my work. I will be attuned to you and will align myself to the relationship of our work together. You will have chosen me because you felt my attitudes about your goals were in alignment to how you want to be. I will not shame or blame you when my personal beliefs are not in alignment with yours because I operate from the perspective that YOU are the expert on you.
Much of our shame in today's society feels like trauma. You don't need more of it here. You will be received, nurtured, cared for, and attuned-to within the boundaries of our work together.
Cross boundaries--yours or my own
A large part of our work together is going to be identifying boundaries and learning how to communicate those with confidence. It involves core identity work. It involves resolving trauma and confusion. It involves forgiveness of yourself and others.
Have sex with you
Because I work in Tantra, some men and couples think I will have sex with them, or give a massage to the point of sexual climax. That is NOT what I do, although I have no philosophical or ethical issue with consenting adults doing whatever they want. My work with you is to create lasting alignments in MIND, BODY, & especially SPIRIT.
People want to be connected--it is genetically and evolutionarily based--and a lot of the time, we don't know how to do it. We especially don't know how to do it when we either came from a family of origin that was hard, or our partner came from one that was hard.
It is hard when:
- People are attracted to one another but don't have much in common, and worse when they don't KNOW they don't have much in common.
- Values are not in alignment.
- Communication styles and coping strategies are dissimilar. It is especially hard after couples have children.
When people learn how to be connected to themselves, they can then translate that into being connected to others. It does not work well when people try to do it the other way around.
One of the most loving things a person can do for themselves is to identify their core values and the boundaries that go with those. After that, the most loving thing a person can do for another person is communicate those boundaries while remaining embodied. This is difficult when family systems modeled a different approach, and those patterns must be dismantled while installing new patterns.
This is the most important work I do with clients. I model self-reflective boundaries. I work in a vulnerable, but empowered, space with my clients. I teach a lot about boundaries, goals, consent, and growth.
Social Science research
I have been doing research in social science for decades, with a particular focus on brain development and chemistry that affect biological systems. As a neuroscience researcher, mediator, and sex educator, I have a knack for guiding difficult conversations in relationship. I have 25 years' experience and education in human development along the life span, as well as an educational background that lends itself to understanding some of the more challenging aspects of family life.
I teach adults "to adult."
Yes, "to adult" as a verb. If you can think it, you can become it.
Integrity: personal accountability and agency from individuals. Making choices from a personally empowered space, and being aligned with personal values and beliefs. If you don't know what you believe in or where your moral compass is, it is difficult to have integrity.
Dignity: each individual deserves to be treated with respect and has worth. When we come from a place that believes our own dignity, it is much easier to treat others in a dignified manner.
Verity: being truthful begins within oneself, and challenging personal belief systems that may be internally "true," but not necessarily true for others. When we know our worth, have agency, are accountable for our thoughts and actions, and treat others in a dignified way, we are empowered to make better decisions for ourselves and for a partner we may claim to love.
I can help you.
Harvard University, M.A. Psychology (in progress)
- with a research focus on attachment in adult intimate relationships,
Chicago School of Professional Psychology (2016-2017)
Graduate School of Behavioral Economics
University of Washington, B.A. Integrated Social Sciences
- with a research focus on trauma and brain development in boys and men, as well as
family & sociological systems
Sexological Somatic Advisor/Somatic Sexual Healer
Somatica Institute, Core, Advanced, and Couples' Training
University of Washington School of Law/Pepperdine University/Dispute Resolution Centers of Western Washington
Advanced Certificated Mediator & ongoing continuing education
Yoga teacher /Embodiment coach/Breathworker/Trauma-informed energy worker
Seattle Yoga Arts
500-hour yoga teacher certification (in progress)
Anusara yoga instructor, 200-hour, 2018
Live Love Flow
Heated Vinyasa Flow yoga instructor, 200-hour, 2014
Usui Reiki Master Teacher
AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, & Therapists)
AFCC (Association of Family & Conciliatory Courts)
APFM (Academy of Professional Family Mediators)
ASIS (Association of Somatic & Integrative Sexologists)
USABP (United States Association for Body Psychotherapy)
WMA (Washington Mediation Association)
WSBA (Washington State Bar Association)