Frequently Asked Questions for Sex Therapy
What are some reasons to start sex therapy?
When your anxiety or depression is interfering with your sex life. People often describe this as feeling like they’re not present or “in my head” during sex which prevents them from enjoying their time with their partner. Others expresses constant worrying related to performance or body-image issues, such as “I’m not good enough” “I’m not sexy enough” “they’re not really enjoying themselves.” Sex Therapy can help reduce those negative thoughts and improve your confidence.
When you’re overwhelmed with guilt and shame about your desires and fantasies. It’s totally normal to have fantasies which help our sex life and desire, however due to moral, religious, or cultural pressures we are taught from an early age to be secretive about our desires and given unrealistic models of what is “healthy.” Sex Therapy can help shake away those shameful messages. I have also helped individuals who have fantasies related to non-consensual sexual acts manage their desires and redirect them to healthier, consensual forms of sexual activities.
When you feel like you can’t tell your partner(s) about your desires. Some people feel so ashamed about their desires that they fear that if they tell their partner(s) they will be judged or broken up with. Sex Therapy can help identify why you are worried to talk about your desires and help you learn more confident ways to talk about sex.
When you’re too embarrassed to talk about sex. I have helped numerous individuals of all genders and sexual identities gain more comfort and ease when talking about sex. Since we are taught from a young age to be secretive about our desires, we then have trouble finding appropriate comfort and vocabulary to describe our sex lives. Sex Therapy can help you grow more comfortable with this so that you can be more confident when telling your partner(s) what you like, as well as asking them what pleases them sexually.
When you’re about to open your relationship. Non-Monogamy and Polyamory has been more openly discussed lately which can give permission to some couples to explore this option. Entering into non-monogamy can be exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. In sex therapy we can explore what non-monogamy entails for you, examine your hopes and fears, and have a safe space to discuss boundaries, all while improving communication and conflict resolution.
Are you inclusive of all genders, sexual identities, abilities, class-structure, relationship-structure, race and ethnicities?
All of the yes’s. I strive to offer excellent therapy that applies to fellow residents of Oakland and the East Bay. I hold a strong sociopolitical and sociocultural lens in my work with individuals, couples, and polycules. I work particularly well with clients from diverse backgrounds and identities, and hold a poly/kink affirming, as well as trans and gender-nonconforming affirming approach in my work.
What is your training in sex therapy?
Prior to my training in psychotherapy I completed a Master’s Degree in Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University. While there I focused my studies on kinks, fetishes and polyamory, and my thesis was on LGBTQ Middle Eastern individuals regarding identity, silence and shame. I am also a lecturer at San Francisco State’s graduate Counseling Psychology program on Counseling Aspects of Sexuality.
I fold in my knowledge of psychotherapeutic theory with queer theory, feminist approaches, and a multicultural lens. This allows me to approach our work from a holistic sense that looks at all the moving pieces in your internal and external life.
Are you going to judge me?
Our work is based in trust and compassion. I have been thoroughly trained to reduce judgment, identify my own biases, and increasing self-awareness. In order for our treatment to work you need to feel that I provide a safe and non-judgmental space for us to explore your deepest hopes, fears, desires and shame. Furthermore, I have worked in this field for 10+ years. Trust me, I’ve heard it all.
Due to the complexity of our work, there may be times where you feel shame or embarrassment, or worry that I am judging you. I invite you to speak to these feelings as I have found that when these feelings show up in our work it is indicative of your feelings that show up in personal relationships.
Does sex therapy include touch?
No it does not. We will be talking about intimate aspects of your life and helping you gain further confidence in your sex life, but this will be done verbally and not physically. Most clients find it helpful to talk about their recent sexual encounters to help unpack how their anxiety, shame, depression or other underlying factors affect their sex life.
What are the first few sessions like?
I start with a 15-20 minute phone consultation prior to meeting in person to assess if I will be a good fit for you based on presenting issues, availability and fee. I will then meet with you in person. Since therapy works the best when you feel comfortable with the therapist, I recommend we agree to meet for 4 sessions to see if there is a right fit.
How often do we meet?
I meet weekly with individuals for 50 minutes per session. In some cases it is best to meet more than once per week. We can discuss this further over the phone or in our first session.
How long is the process?
The process varies depending on how often we meet and your presenting issues. Sex Therapy is a process, which requires time and attention to the issues that are affecting you. With some cases this process can be relatively short such as 6 months, while other cases can take 1-2 years. Some say that this is an investment towards a healthier sexual and romantic life.
How much is it?
$175 for 50 minutes
$250 for 90 minutes
What is your cancellation policy?
I require 48 hours notice for cancellation. If you are to cancel after 48 hours, or no show, you will be responsible for paying the full amount for the session.
Are you telling everyone about us?
Nope! Confidentiality is key to our work. Not only am I legally bound to hold our work confidential, I am also ethically held to standards of confidentiality. I hold our work sacred and do not want to diminish the treatment that you deserve. The only caveat is when I am legally required to break confidentiality, which involves cases of:
Known or reasonably suspected abuse to children under the age of 18
Known or reasonably suspected immediate threat of violence upon yourself another person
Known or reasonably suspected abuse to an elder over the age of 65, or a dependent adult
Where are we meeting?
My office address is 4001 Howe St, #1, Oakland, CA. The office is close to MacArthur BART, and there is street parking on Howe and side streets.
Do you offer online counseling?
Yes! I offer therapy through online video conferencing using a secure HIPAA-Compliant program called VSee, which is free to use. Once we get started I will help you setup your account and we will choose a time and day to meet.
What’s our next step?
You can arrange for a free 20 minute phone consultation to answer any questions you may have by emailing me via my form on my Contact Page.