Trauma and Sexuality

Some clients come to me for sex therapy because recent or past trauma is affecting their ability to experience intimacy and sexuality. This is not at all universal. Many factors can interfere with sexual experience and one should never assume that present difficulties are naturally the result of past trauma.

But some people clearly have experienced trauma that now impairs their sexual openness and enjoyment – and other areas of their lives as well. I am trained and experienced in two novel therapies that have proven to be especially effective at defusing the neurosomatic after-effects of traumatic experiences.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Brainspotting target primitive areas of the brain where non-verbal emotional and physiological memories of traumatic experience can reside. These therapies have attracted the most attention in recent years for their successes in treating traumatized combat veterans and survivors of natural disasters for whom older modes of therapy gave disappointing results. But they are also effective in sexual trauma and other experiences that have left a deep imprint impacting sexual experience.

I have seen and experienced the results of EMDR and Brainspotting first-hand and in the clients I have treated with them. While these therapies are not needed or appropriate for every person who comes through my door, they are a valuable resource for the clients who do need them. I have found them to be remarkably effective when used in the proper context, with perceptible results often beginning already during or shortly after a single session of treatment.

If you are seeking psychotherapeutic treatment for sexual or other trauma, I will be happy to talk to you about what EMDR or Brainspotting may have to offer you.

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