How long have you worked at Houston Relationship Therapy?
2 years this month!
Describe what you do in a sentence.
I help couples and individuals take a step back from their experiences, see things from different perspectives, and find ways to improve their relationships with their partners and themselves.
What areas in relationship therapy/ sex therapy do you specialize in?
Change is inevitable in life and relationships. Even positive changes can naturally bring stress to ourselves and our relationships. I specialize in supporting couples and individuals through these transitions. This can range from finding new ways to connect sexually, learning tools to fight fair, or even preparing for marriage.
What is the biggest misconception about your job?
When others find out that I work with couples they automatically think the couples I see have BIG problems, which is not true. Therapy is not ALWAYS a last resort for couples. There are plenty of times I see individuals or couples using therapy as a way to get a fresh perspective on their experiences. When it comes to sex therapy, the biggest misconception is that it is hands on. No folks, this is not true. It is strictly talk therapy!
How did you end up specializing in couples/sex therapy?
I have always been fascinated by relationships in general and how strong of in impact they can have on the quality of life. In my masters program, I found myself enjoying working with clients who were finding challenges in their relationships with others and with themselves. After I graduated, I was introduced to Dr. Viviana Coles and I continued to pursue my passion in supporting couples and individuals in their relationships. Through my work at Houston Relationship Therapy, the opportunity of becoming a Certified Sex Therapist came my way and of course I jumped on it! This leads me to where I am today. I have been at Houston Relationship Therapy for two years, and I am in training to become a Certified Sex Therapist. I can honestly say that I can’t see myself doing anything else.
What is one of the biggest challenges in your work?
The most challenging part of my work is the truth that therapy is not a miracle pill. Being in therapy is difficult, and might not always be at the pace clients are hoping for when the start. Therapy is a process, and explaining this to some clients can be challenging depending on their understanding of therapy.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a couple in a long-term monogamous relationship?
Take some time to learn more about each other. Often times, we may love our partner the way we want to be loved, but in reality, our partner may want to be loved in a different way. Ask your partner to list the top 5 things that you do for them which makes them feel loved, valued, and respected. You may be surprised with what they come up with! In my experience, this tends to be especially true for those couples who have had many years together. This could be due to the growth that has happened for them individually and in the relationship over the years. Once you have this information use it, use it use it! YOUR PARTNER JUST GAVE YOU GOLD! Also, let your partner know when you notice them loving you in the way you asked them, as well as other efforts they put towards your relationship.
Any helpful exercises, mantras or thoughts that anyone could use to improve their intimate relationships?
When it comes to the sexual intimacy in relationships often times I find clients being much more in their mind than the moment . The mantra I would encourage people to remember is “quiet my mind.” Try focusing on one of your senses during sex to get you over that hump, no pun intended. It can be the scent of your partner, the feeling of receiving their touch, or even what it taste like to kiss them. Of course like anything else, being in the moment takes practice. Start now!
Have you noticed a shift in the perception of relationship counseling and sex therapy in the past few years and if so, why do you think that is? (For instance, have shows such as GIRLS, Masters of Sex, radio shows, and more progressive laws changed your work?)
Yes, I have. Especially in shows that have a strong plot about sex and/or relationships like Masters of Sex or GIRLS. I think it creates a conversation starter between people and couples. Talking about a show as a way to ease into a conversation about relationships and/or sex is a lot less daunting than directly diving into the topic itself.