Understanding Transgender Reality

In February, at the annual International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) symposium, I was honored to hear Ryan Sallans, an international speaker, transgender man and author of the book Second Son, speak.

Are You Having Enough Sex?

As a psychotherapist specializing in sexual and intimacy disorders, I can tell you that for a lot of individuals and couples the amount of sex they’re having (or not having) can be worrisome.

Looking for the Right Relationship? Make a Plan!

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and you’re still alone. Or maybe you’re just wishing you were alone because clearly you’re dating a total loser. Or maybe you’ve decided to address your long-standing dating dilemma with a bold new approach. If you’ve opted for the latter, read on.

This Is Your Brain on Love

Remember the 1980s public service ad where the guy fries an egg and says: This is your brain on drugs? It is clear to most people that addictive drugs cause unnatural reactions in the human brain – reactions that sometimes lead to strange behaviors. But doesn’t love sometimes cause similarly strange behaviors?

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, Especially Virtually

Relationship breakups and the angst surrounding them have always been solid psychotherapeutic fodder. As we’re all aware, these issues are challenging in and of themselves, and they also tend to evoke deeper emotional and psychological issues that can be worked through over time in therapy.

6 Ways to Make a Clean Break

The New Year often brings with it a desire for personal change and positive growth. For most people this involves a resolution to lose ten pounds, to keep the house clean, to stay on top of work once and for all, or something similar. That said, many people have something bigger in mind – ending a problematic relationship.

Want a Ride? Use Uber. Want a Prostitute? Use an App

In today’s world you can find pretty much anything if you just know which smartphone app to use. Looking for a nearby restaurant? Try OpenTable, UrbanSpoon, LocalEats or Yelp.And if you want to finish off your evening with a paid-for sexual encounter? Well, there are apps for that as well.

Is Your Man Gay, Straight or Bisexual?

Dr. Joe Kort, author of 'Is My Husband Gay, Straight, or Bi? A Guide for Women Concerned About Their Men,' talks about his new book in a recent interview and explains how he determines whether or not a man is gay, and what drives homosexual men into therapy.

Therapeutic Baking: An Interview with Sara Barthol

Yes, you read that correctly: pie therapy. Sara and Stacie describe this course as “a simple, fun and yummy introduction to baking with a therapeutic twist.” When I heard about pie therapy I was immediately intrigued and knew that I had to learn more, and that I wanted to share this idea with others.

The New Monogamy Challenge

Once upon a time, in the pre-Internet days of yore, monogamy in marriage was a given, and sexual infidelity was very definitely frowned upon. Nowadays, however, in our highly digitally sexualized, divorce-accepting world, infidelity is no longer such a big deal culturally.

Peyton Place Goes Digital in 'Men, Women & Children'

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by Paramount Pictures to host a pre-release screening and audience discussion of Jason Reitman’s new film Men, Women & Children at the famed ArcLight Theater in Hollywood.

The Cheater's High

With both genders, one reason for cheating may be that “getting away with it” makes people feel good both emotionally and psychologically. Although this research did not deal specifically with sexual activity, it did look at unethical behavior in general, and the findings can certainly be extrapolated to sexual activity.

Why Addicts Relapse After Going to Treatment

Aftercare plans, usually several carefully prepared pages, are written, disseminated, and discussed with recovering addicts for a very good reason - they outline the path to continued sobriety and a healthy, happy life. Ignoring any element of an aftercare is never a good idea.

Debunking Myths About Addiction and Recovery

The good news is that despite the many myths about addiction, many addicts have sought treatment and established long-term sobriety and recovery, living healthier, happier, and more productive lives. The bad news is that many more addicts are shamed and stigmatized into silence and continued addiction.

Living With a Liar Can Make You Crazy

The concept of psychological abuse perpetrated by presenting false information and insisting those lies are true, thereby causing the victim to doubt his or her judgment, perception, memory, and even sanity, is relatively well-accepted in contemporary society. “Gaslighting” routinely occurs in conjunction with serial sexual infidelity and various forms of addiction.

Do You Have Sexual Integrity?

You might be worried I’m about to turn into the sex police, telling you what is and isn’t acceptable sexual behavior according to my standards. In fact, in positing the concept of sexual integrity I’m doing quite the opposite. I view sexual integrity as unique to each individual based on that person’s background, values, and life-situation.

Dealing With Your Partner's Infidelity? 6 Do's and Don'ts

Unsurprisingly, cheated-on partners sometimes find themselves struggling with even the simplest of actions and decisions regarding both their relationship and day-to-day life. If you have recently learned about infidelity in your relationship and are experiencing any degree of the pain and uncertainty described above, the following lists of Do’s and Don’ts may be helpful.

Female Sexual Arousal: Why Viagra Doesn't Work on Women

Every single attempt at increasing female sexual desire through peripherally acting agents has been a colossal failure. Drug companies found that if a man is physically turned on, he will also become psychologically turned on. Women, however, require more than just physical stimulation.

Does "Being in Therapy" Hinder Serious Dating?

Are you reluctant to let someone you’re dating know that you're in therapy? Why? Are you afraid that your intimate partner will reject you? If that’s your fear, then I’m going to let you in on a little secret. A person who would reject you simply because you’re in therapy is probably not the loving and supportive partner that you deserve, so good riddance to that person.

Making Real World Contact in a Digital Age

Anyone, no matter how shy or out of practice, can flirt effectively. The following tips may help you become a better flirt and have more fun meeting people.

Women, Intimate Relationships, and Addiction Relapse

For both men and women, addiction is not about partying and having a great time, it’s about control. There are, however, some differences between male and female addicts, including the fact that alcoholic and drug addicted women are more likely than men to link substance abuse with their sexual and romantic life.

Nymphomaniac—A Realistic Look at Female Hypersexuality?

In short, 'Nymphomaniac: Volume I' provides a spot-on depiction of the types of adult female sexual behaviors that can manifest as a delayed response to the neglect, emotional abuse, and other forms of trauma that sometimes occur during childhood.

Heterosexual, Homosexual, Bisexual, Gender Dysphoric

A lot of folks out there find the terms heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual somewhat limiting, and sometimes even degrading. This, of course, doesn’t stop the universal attempt to label. Here are my, very basic (and eminently debatable), definitions of each.

Baby Boomers Gone Wild! Seniors and STDs

Sexually transmitted diseases are spreading like wildfire among seniors. And, while many are sexually active, a lot of them are choosing to not “suit up” before dancing the horizontal mambo. Recognizing this fact, Medicare now offers free STD screenings. However, many healthcare professionals fail to ask their older patients about their sexual activities.

Are Two Actual People Still Required For a Relationship?

For a lot of people, especially older people, the concept of virtual relationships can be rather disturbing. But for younger people, those who increasingly live their lives half in the digital universe and half in the real world, it’s not upsetting at all.

Digital Devices and the Ever-Changing Mating Game

Are today’s online interactions as healthy and life-affirming as yesterday’s face-to-face courtships? Generally speaking, healthy, intimate, trusting relationships require the following: respect, support, quality time, validation, affection, vulnerability, and trust. Whether you are ready to embrace digital technology or not, online dating is here to stay.

Is Male Porn Use Ruining Sex?

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, there is no denying that digital technology has greatly increased the accessibility, affordability, and anonymity of porn use. The million dollar question, of course, is what all this porn is doing to the people who are using it.

Guilt = Good, Shame = Bad

The truly sad part of shame is that shame-based people are, at best, likely to have less rich, less rewarding, and less interpersonally meaningful lives than they’d like. And at worst they become mired in depression, anxiety, addiction, violence, isolation, dysfunctional relationships, and various other manifestations of deep emotional pain.

I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa and Stories of Holiday Cheating

Holiday stress might be a convenient excuse for cheating, but usually there are other, longer-term and deeper motivations for relationship infidelity.

Holiday Crazy? Don’t Forget About Sex!

No matter your relationship status, nurturing intimate connections is a great way to combat holiday stress. Just make sure you play it safe and avoid inappropriate situations that you might later regret.