Becoming a Supervisor

This Spring, I am supervising 4 graduate counseling students in their Practicum field experience. Basically, I’ll be helping new counselors evaluate their work and design treatment plans. To prepare, I am taking two courses:

  • “Clinical Supervision: Mastering the 4 Stages of Development” with Robert Taibbi, LCSW
  • “Using Deliberate Practice to Enhance Clinical Skill Development” with Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD

I’m looking forward to this collaboration with other clinicians. It’s always good to continuously re-evaluate my own skills and assumptions. I also decided that 2019 is my year of intentional leadership.

Factors in an Affair

A big thank you to Nicolle Zapien for pinpointing these 8 factors in infidelity. I find that they are very accurate.

  1. Dissatisfaction and hopelessness in the relationship.
  2. A value of novelty and passion in romantic/sexual relationships.
  3. A sense of deserving sexual satisfaction and intimate connections.
  4. The partner and self are viewed as fixed characters.
  5. Lack of curiosity for the partner as a subject.
  6. An experience of desire and passion overriding and overtaking one’s judgment.
  7. The affair is not recognized as an affair until after it begins.
  8. Divorce or opening up the relationship are not considered options for resolving the issues.

This Woman is on Fire

I’ve been reading Woman on Fire: 9 Elements to Wake up your Erotic Energy, Personal Power, and Sexual Intelligence. The 9 elements are: Voice, Release, Emotion, Body, Desire, Permission, Play, Home, and Fire. Amy Jo Goddard offers worksheets and exercises in each chapter to help individual women explore their sexual stories while identifying any stuck-ness, growth edges, preferred experiences, and experiments. I may refer to some of Goddard’s activities and resources as tools to bolster therapy.

Tantra Sexuality & Sacred Intimacy

I participated in a two-day couple’s workshop in Tantric Sexuality lead by Dr. Sally Valentine. Tantra is a special practice due to it’s concurrent engagement of the mind, body, emotions, and spirit.¬† Tantra emphasizes a person’s internal body consciousness and self-love as a foundation for connection with a loved one. This foundation & specific practices facilitate a neural synchronicity between lovers with heightened non-verbal communication. I learned at least 12 non-verbal practices and 6 verbal practices for increased relational intimacy. I’d be happy to share these techniques with you!

Decentering the Norm

I attended a 3-day workshop titled “Decentering the Norm: Social Justice Transformations in Sex Therapy, Counseling, and Sex Education.” Some highlights included:

  • sex tools that enhance or enable pleasure for people with disabilities
  • connecting pleasure with personal power and agency (rather than, for example workaholism)
  • a discussion of “sanism” and introduction to Mad Studies
  • how queer theory intersects and modifies attachment theory

Conference Summary

I attended a sexual health annual conference again this year & added these trainings to my resume:

  • Latin@ Bisexuality at the Intersections of the Erotic, the Exotic, and the Dangers of Colorblind Racism
  • Tantric Meditation
  • Sex on Film: A Research-Education-Filmaking Collaboration
  • Embracing Your Discomfort: Cultivating Mindfulness in Sexual Health and Social Justice
  • Ourselves as Context: the Ethics of Personal Disclosure in Therapy and in Educational Settings
  • Bedpost Confessions¬† [[–my FAVORITE experience. It was like the Vagina Monologues & Moth Story Hour for all genders and orientations with audience participation!]]
  • Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape
  • Pushing Boundaries: Teaching Diverse and “Taboo” Sexuality in Higher Education Settings
  • Sexualizing Cancer
  • Complexity of Couples, Sexual Desire, and Clinician Values
  • Sexual Healing Heals More than Sex: an Embodied Relational Approach to Transformative Intimacy
  • Narrative Conversations: Helping Clients Reconstruct Taboo
  • Finding Pleasure and Intimacy When Sex is (Undesirably) Painful: Working Clinically with Pelvic Pain Diagnoses
  • Interracial Open Relationships: How to Manage Jealousy and Promote Racial Sensitivity

Defining Success

I used to work in a university Career Services center. There, I learned that one of the toughest job interview questions was, “How do you define success?” It’s time I answer that question myself.

From my experience, productive counseling meetings incorporate three main therapeutic skills:

  • I provide concentrated attention: capacity to listen, presence, and track the main points from our prior conversations
  • I help someone expand their story: exposing & exploring additional layers
  • I offer concrete options, alternative actions, and resources

“Under the Influence” & Ethics Training

I just completed two additional trainings:

  • Sex Under the Influence: Substance Abuse and Sexuality
  • Ethical Code for certified sexuality therapists

I appreciated the substance abuse & sexuality training because oftentimes these issues are artificially segregated. For example, many substance abuse treatment programs avoid inquiry and topics related to sexual shame, sexual abuse, body image, and sexual orientation dilemmas that contribute to people’s addictive patterns.

The ethics training was mostly review–but important stuff. Anyone can view the Ethical Code. I also adhere to the American Counseling Association ethical code. If you have any questions about either of these topics, feel free to contact me.