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Welcome to my blog. 



I am an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist that has been in private practice for 8 years treating adults with sexual concerns. I'm here to tell y'all why I think Sex Therapy Intensives are the way of the future of Sex Therapy treatment.



Why do we only do therapy for an hour?

For starters, something you should know is that the structure of having a 50-min or less session per week was designed by insurance companies and not by therapists who have their clients’ best interests at heart. Let me tell you, I don't think insurance companies really understand how healing through therapy works. Sometimes, when I am working with a client, it can take 30-40 minutes to get to the place where the real art of sex therapy happens, then we have to prepare to close our session. Leaving little time to simmer in the growth edge. Imagine having surgery or getting a hair cut and after the time limit was up, no matter the situation, you had to stop, then wait a week for your next scheduled appointment to pick back up.




Additionally, when you are a weekly or bi-weekly client, sometimes illness, holidays and other life events get in the way of maintaining consistent sessions. That means it’s taking us even longer to get to the center of your concerns, let alone work towards positive change.



Why should I go to a Certified Sex Therapist?

Did you know that most therapists are required to take only 3-5 credits in Human Sexuality to obtain their degree? I've actually taught this course and it is not enough training to be competent in treating sexological concerns. To make matters a little more complicated, "sex therapist" is not a regulated term. That means anyone can call themselves a sex therapist, even if they don't have any additional training.




To ensure you are in good hands, it is recommended that you find a Certified Sex Therapist. The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is a certification body, based in the US, that ensures your therapist has 150 hours of sexuality education, sex therapy training, and 50 hours of clinical supervision.


Why Would I do a Sex Therapy Intensive?

When you do a Sex Therapy Intensive, you get more time for uninterrupted deep work that can get you further in your healing process in a shorter amount of time. If you had consistent weekly appointments, it would take 3 months to complete 11 hours of therapy. 6 months if you see your therapist bi-weekly. Instead of weekly or bi-weekly appointment, during an intensive, you target a specific intention within a much shorter amount of time.


They are so expensive. Why would someone pay for that?

You may have heard about the Good Faith Estimate. This provides the consumer with the expected cost of therapy for the year. When considering the cost of a Sex Therapy Intensive, compare the amount of money you would pay for consecutive sex therapy sessions, and the amount you would pay for the sex therapy intensive. Then, add up the amount of therapeutic time that comes with your Sex Therapy Intensive and figure out how long it would realistically take you to complete the same amount of face-to-face hours of therapy if you were coming to sex therapy weekly or bi-weekly.




Sex Therapy intensives are great when you want to work on a specific sexual concern, without the confines of time, and scheduling getting in the away of you feeling better faster.


Using it as Adjunct Therapy

Sex Therapy Intensives work very well as an adjunct therapy. That means, you can continue to see your regular individual or relationship therapist and add a Sex Therapy intensive with a sex therapist to target your sexual concerns with an expert. When I do a therapy intensive, I ask my clients if they would like me to coordinate care with their primary provider. The only thing they would have to do is sign a Release of Information so that their current therapist and myself can collaborate to best serve you. This is the best option when your current therapist is not a sex therapist.




2 people sit in front of a laptop in active discussion with someone on the screen.
You can often find Sex Therapy Intensives online or in-person.

What does this actually look like?

Every Certified Sex Therapist that provides Sex Therapy Intensives does things a little differently. At my practice, I offer a 3 day intensive that includes a pre-intensive interview, three 3 hours sessions, and a post-intensive follow up. Each intensive comes with individualized assessments and a customized workbook. When doing relational Sex Therapy Intensives, I provide my clients with additional relationship building homework that is completed outside of session.




Sex Therapy Intensives are a larger upfront cost than traditional therapy models. However, they offer the potential to target your concerns with less overall cost and in a shorter amount of time.




How do I find Sex Therapy Intensives?

You will need to find a sex therapist that is licensed in your state that provides Sex Therapy Intensives. If you are in Washington state, you are welcome to check out Sex Therapy Intensives with me, Anne Mauro, at my private practice, Mending Connections, PLLC to see if we would be a good fit. You can also look at the AASECT provider directory for a list of Certified Sex Therapists in your state.


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I am a AASECT Certified Sex therapist and Sexuality Educator that has spent the last several years studying and educating others on how the continued impacts of colonization have a profound impact on modern day sexuality. Settler Sexuality are  the sexual norms and customs that the settlers brought with them, to what we now call North America. Through settler colonialism sexualized laws, policies, standards, and norms were forced onto the Native American and African American people. These foundations are the basis of American sexuality. Today, many people are not making the connection between our very complicated American sex history and how it echoes through our present. 

 I'm going to tell you 3 significant places where we can see these lasting trends. 


 




 

Patriarchy

Many Native American and African tribes were matriarchal. The settlers came with an hierarchical binary gender system with men holding the most privilege on this hierarchy and women holding the least. When women were once in a position of power with the ability to share resources horizontally, settlers deemed that men represented leadership, strength, and power and  women were seen as meek, fragile and incompetent. This leads to the individual nuclear household with the man head of household as the norm. To learn more about the history around patriarchy, I recommend reading, Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation by Imani Perry. Lingering throughout history, and in the present day, women are seen as inferior. What this means for modern day sex is that women are not always having sex that they are enthusiastically consenting to. They may feel a duty to show up for sex or to please their partner. Women are socialized to dismiss their own pleasure for the sake of sexual responsibility to others.


 

Gender

Many indigenous cultures around the world have one or many words in their language that describes someone outside of the gender binary. When settlers arrived, gender expansive people in America were forced to assimilate and experienced harm and violence for deviating from the gender they were assigned at birth. To learn more about gender I recommend Gender Trauma and How to Understand Your Gender. We have gendered so many things and created expectations and norms for each gender. Limiting all genders from something. Something as simple as colors, “Boys don’t wear pink” to the marketing around food such as the masculinization of steak and the feminization of salads. This gender binary is insidious throughout American culture and it continues to impact ALL genders. In modern sexuality, one thing sex therapists often see is shame associated with one's gender as it relates to their sexual self.Oftentimes many people are operating on gendered sexual scripts, that at times, can be rigidly adhered to due to these gendered sexual expectations. This limits all genders from unlocking their erotic potential.


 

Relationships & Sex



 

I invite you to consider how settler sexuality has impacted the way we form relationships. Our legacy of settler marriage impacts who we partner with, how many partners we can have, and what we do or don't do sexually with our partners. Many indigenous people throughout the world have practiced some form of polyamory. Through American laws and policy created by heterosexual, couple centric, and monogamous settlers, monogamy became the norm. And again, those that did not adhere were punished and those that did were rewarded. To learn more about that check out this Ted Talk by Reid Gustafson. As you know, our history shows that only certain monogamous relationships have been deemed acceptable. Race, religion, and sexual orientation have stood as barriers to many in intimate relationships. I feel it is important to mention is Elizabeth Brakes term, Amatonormativity. This is the assumption that we are all better off and that everyone's shared goal is to partner with one person and they must hold that relationship as a priority higher than all other relationships. If you're single, you may be seen as incomplete and get comments like, “I’m holding out hope for you. I know you will find that special someone one day” or “why is someone like you single”. This expectation coupled with the growing number of single people is adding to the collective loneliness of the culture. If you do partner, there are then a set of acceptable sexual behaviors that have been passed down intergenerationally. Even having fantasies about deviating from these “normal” sexual behaviors brings on enormous shame to many.


 

If you would like to unpack how settler colonialism has impacted your gender and sexuality, please check out the resources provided. I also encourage you to seek an anti-colonial or decolonizing AASECT Certified sex therapist, like myself, where you can process these themes and how they may be impacting you.



 
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