Talli's blog

Couples therapy is effective when sex is painful

Submitted by Talli on Sat, 01/09/2016 - 20:30
Pain with intercourse, or attempted intercourse is a medical condition which requires diagnosis by a medical doctor, preferably a gynecologist specializing in vulvar pain conditions. One of the most common conditions causing pain is PVD (provoked vestibulodynia) also known as vulvodynia, or vestibulitis. Once diagnosed, the physician will likely prescribe approriate treatments including physical therapy. However, medical treatment alone, may not be enough to address the distress of a couple attempting to enjoy a satisfying intimate life.In heterosexual couples, the woman experiencing  pain often feels guilty and “at fault” for wanting to avoid any intimacy due to the fear that any touch will lead to intercourse, and often the mail partner feels resentful and rejected. A recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine highlights the importance of couples therapy in the multidisciplinary treatment of sexual pain. Paquet and colleagues demonstrate that many couples experiencing sexual pain, perceive injustice about having to deal with sexual pain , and in fact, in my clinical practice, couples frequently express that they feel they are the only ones dealing with while their friends and contemporaries are are likely enjoying a wonderful sex life. This injustice is associated with more sexual distress, and the authors suggest targeting these feelings in couples therapy.


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Intimacy during pregnancy and the post- partum period

Submitted by Talli on Mon, 11/30/2015 - 19:15

Intimacy during pregnancy and the post partum period


From sexual trauma to loving touch: reclaiming intimacy after abuse

Submitted by Talli on Mon, 11/09/2015 - 22:20

Couples may suffer from sexual difficulties that result from one (or both) of the partner's past history of abuse. Abuse affects the ability to engage in healthy initimacy.  Abuse negatively affects how one develops and views one's self, and without a strong sense of self, individuals lack  feelings of autonomy and control, and the ability to verbalize their boundaries, their feelings, and their needs. People who have been abused may not be able to enjoy the sensations associated with sex, due to conflicted feelings of guilt and shame, or, they may disconnect or dissassociate during sex, by engaging in the act but not really staying present.


Going from 'Mommy' to 'Wife'

Submitted by Talli on Mon, 10/12/2015 - 10:31

"How do I make the switch? After changing diapers, nursing and taking care of the little one's needs all day, when its time to go to bed, finally, I just want to sleep"


Be assertive (not aggressive), it's good for your relationship

Submitted by Talli on Sun, 10/11/2015 - 21:29

As poet Thomas Moore wrote "Intimacy begins with the self"


Why curiosity is good for your marriage

Submitted by Talli on Thu, 10/08/2015 - 20:41
In a therapy session, John, 40, says "Mary isn't interested in me. She doesn't ask me anything about my inner world." Mary responds with tears. "I don't know how to make John happy" The well known couples therapist, John Gottman talks about getting to know your partner’s love map! When we stay curious about our partners. we demonstrate that we are interested in knowing and understanding more about their feelings, thoughts, and experiences. However, if we are reactive to our partners, or feel responsible when they are sad, disconnected or mood, we become defensive, and this prevents the curious and caring response. For more on love maps, please read this article.    


Understanding Sexual Pain Disorders

Submitted by Talli on Wed, 10/07/2015 - 20:52

In this issue of Contemporary Sexuality, the newsletter of AASECT, the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, I am inteviewed along with experts Professor Irv Binik, Dr. Deborah Coady, and Dr. Sharon Parish.


More ways to create intimacy

Submitted by Talli on Sun, 09/27/2015 - 15:32

Curiousity about our partner means wanting to know about their experiences, feelings, thoughts, what  people or events influenced and shaped their development and who they are.


Do feminists have better sex?

Submitted by Talli on Sat, 09/12/2015 - 21:27

While some studies indicate that egalitarian couples report less frequent sex than couples who carry on "traditional gender roles", this article explains why feminists have more fun. "Sex is an act between two equal, consenting partners"