All posts in Body Image


STdsIs there a correlation between the rise of “hookup” sites like tinder and the increase in STDs? How do you ask your new partner about their sexual health? Or, are we just a more hyper-sexualized society that just throws caution to the wind when it comes to protecting ourselves? Well, I’m not quite sure which is the right answer. However, we can take a look at a smaller sample size in the state of California, more specifically the county of Los Angeles for some possible answers.

Current studies are indicating that theses stds, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have consistently been the highest infections in California. This a real concern! It is also a difficult conversation to have or bring up with your partner. Now I’m not going to dedicate this space to exploring our sexual health, rather, it is the psychological effect that contracting an STD has on a person that I want to address in this blog.

Have you considered what happens to a person when they learn that they have an STD? What I have witnessed take place with many clients is that suddenly their emotional state of mind becomes unstable, their anxiety rises, and eventually depression follows. Simply put, the dominoes begin to fall. Rarely, do I get the client when they are newly diagnosed, rather, they have already been battling the depression, anxiety, and accompanying stress for quite some time.

In reality, when people receive their diagnosis, life is never the same again. This is extremely difficult to wrap their heads around. Many times, this revelation of a sexually transmitted disease literally brings to light previously undetected, repressed, or eschewed mental illnesses.

On the opposite spectrum, my experience with some teenagers and some adults has been a interesting choice to pursue extreme sexual activity with the knowledge that they are suffering from the effects of their mental illness related to their contracted STDs. Remember, depression can cause isolation, break off connections and make one feel like they are the proverbial “island.” The psychological impact of contracting an STD is far greater than what you think, so please think and educate yourself, partner, friends, and your family. To help, their are a number of good studies written here that I suggest you read, so click HERE







Gay? It’s in the genes

male hand holdingOk, a very interesting clinical study has been conducted that claims to be accurate in predicting our sexual orientation by how we are genetically wired.

Apparently, these researchers have put together a formula that essentially relies on identifying a person’s molecular markers. This really is fascinating and probably quite controversial, as well. If you are wondering have they discovered a “gay gene,” the answer is no, because one does not exist.

There is quite a bit of science at play here. For example, changes in our genetics are passed on from one generation to the next, or these can made in the form of a living fetus, a child conceived that transitions from adolescence into adulthood. The key concept here is epigenetic changes, basically how our genes express themselves. Ok, I know that some of you are already bored…moving on

The bottom line is that a biological basis for partner selection exists. Are you interested in learning about the psychosexual impact that this has on male fetuses, click HERE


Let it go, how?

washing-hands-350Sometimes I feel like I cannot write a single sentence unless it’s grammatically perfect. The screen sometimes remains blank for quite a while for fear I’ll say something that might be misunderstood. Wait, is that a smudge on the screen, got it, that’s better. Hold on a minute this keyboard feels dirty…I just need to clean that up too, yeah that’s much better. Now where was I? Ah yes, I was putting my colored pencils in order from brightest to darkest colors, I think. Wait, I need to go wash my hands again.

Does this sound like you, or someone you know? Do you find yourself unable to let unwanted thoughts go? Maybe you perform some rituals like counting, checking, or washing your hands in an attempt to control your thoughts. It’s not helping though, is it? These rituals are compulsions and the unwanted thoughts that you cannot let go of are obsessions. These compulsions (rituals) can become so intrusive that your life begins to revolve around these rituals. This is what we call impairing your daily functioning.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I find,  is often an under reported and underdiagnosed disorder. OCD typically develops in early adolescence and can be easily overlooked as quirky behavior. However, as children grow into their teens the obsessive thoughts and compulsions become more obvious to those most closest to them.  I find that my clients have become expert at masking their symptoms to the outside world, but, it takes a terrible toll on their self-esteem, happiness, and as a result they really struggle to find meaning in their lives.

However, there is hope, there are tools, and there are medications that can all help you manage these symptoms of OCD. Remember, as with everything in life it will take consistent effort, patience in the process, a trusted therapist, a good psychiatrist, and family support. You must see the process through to the finish. There is guilt and shame to work through, as well. At times, you may battle the ugliness of depressive feelings, or debilitating symptoms of anxiety.  Take heart, you will get through this with a good therapist, learned tools, family support, proper medication, and perseverance. I have witnessed this time and again with my clients! So, do your research and become educated. Please do not beat yourself up, but, do get help!



Behind Closed Doors

1440478758015I guess that I’m a different type of therapist for my clients. It seems that many prefer to concentrate exclusively on the psychological elements of why their client’s are unable to experience intimacy with their partner(s). Of course, a psychological component is a part of it, however, what I have discovered is that many practitioners tend to dismiss or overlook the physiological elements that are typically at the heart of intimacy issues for both genders. Maybe its my pharmacological training, or, my capacity to just really listen to my clients narrative that clues me in to the real source of frustration and dissatisfaction with their relationship that reveals the physiological obstacles.

You see, when Viagra hit the market “men rejoiced and women ran”. Nursing homes became “Club Med” and many reported that their relationships were reinvigorated, more meaningful, playful, and many couples reported feeling more connected. Frequently, the conversation turned to the inevitable question, “What about a Viagra for women?” At the time their was only the hope that one day there would be a pill that could deliver the same enjoyment for women that men would be taking advantage of for decades. Well, now it appears the wait is over for females everywhere!

Enter a new wonder pill called Addyi (pronounced ‘add-ee’) that interestingly acts on the woman’s brain. Naturally, men and women operate differently, right? Of course, there is concern among the medical community that because this does not increase blood flow to the genitals (keeping this PG) as Viagra does, they are unsure of the physiological and psychological ramifications of this medication. As with any new medication, you have to make an informed decision by deciding if the perceived benefits to your relationship, self esteem etc..outweigh the potential unknown risks to your health?   Is it effective? Will women lose their self-control in their relationship(s)?

Do you want to know more? Read HERE


Are Your Kids Picky Eaters?

toddlersEat everything on your plate! Let’s face it, in this day and age when every child receives a trophy just for showing up to play, plates are left full everywhere.  We live in a different time, we have so many choices, our attention span is so limited, and we will eat only what and when we want. So, why should our kids be any different? They are picky just like us.  Our little picky eaters, rather, I prefer to use the term being “selective” in what they consume has some very unwanted and unforeseen consequences. New research has revealed that this selective eating now can be linked children developing adhd, anxiety, and depression as they continue to mature. All this because they hate broccoli? Are you serious, well, yes I am…

Its more than just the broccoli, so read THIS


So You Had A Bad Day

sad women at trainWe all have those awful, gut wrenching, everything we touch turns for the worse kind of days, ugh! I wish that I could say, “just get back up, brush yourself off, and everything will be great.” Unfortunately, we are not all wired that way, are we? As a therapist, I recognize that it is those negative self-doubts that whisper to us our most feared imperfections. These self-doubts, the negativity is what truly holds us back from moving forward from a “bad day.” Of course, there is some real science behind why we experience these kind of days, and just maybe it will help you understand why those around you have them too, or, maybe why they don’t seem to suffer from them like you do, hmm?

If you would like to be free from your next “bad day” READ here


Romance or Porn?

coule in bedI find it very interesting to hear how differently men and women perceive the viewing of porn. In my experience in counseling couples and individuals, the vast majority of men seem to feel that it’s fine and that they would like to watch it with their girlfriends, spouses, or significant others. While women appear to be more hesitant,  preferring to control what and when porn is viewed, if at all. These three (3) studies certainly bring some interesting statistics to the forefront for a more lively discussion. We all realize that with the proliferation of the internet, pornography is more accessible than ever and creating more relationship and societal problems, as well. How you handle it is very personal, yet, will be vitally important to the health, stability, and growth of your relationship.

If your interested in what these three (3) studies uncovered READ here


Jeb Bush Is Definitely, Grumpily Running … Away From Calories

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 12.31.57 AMHave you tried the Jeb Bush diet? Walking 22 flights of stairs a day, or denying yourself of all carbs. What is the most effective way to loose weight? A 30 pound drop in weight in four months, Wow…see what he’s doing.

Steak Tips Susanne, the $21 entree at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manchester, N.H., arrived as a carefully composed plate: strips of sirloin, sautéed peppers and caramelized onions atop a bed of linguine with a side of garlic bread.

Then the dish underwent the Jeb Bush treatment. The garlic bread was instantly banished to the plate of a nearby aide. The pasta was conspicuously pushed aside.

A sympathetic guest at the table, convinced that Mr. Bush, 62, could not possibly be sated, offered him a piece of her salmon.

Was it true, the guest asked him, that a stomach shrinks during a diet, easing the pangs of hunger? Not at all, Mr. Bush replied.

>>original story here


How do you accept or disdain body dysmorphia?

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 12.29.25 AMFirst, Bruce Jenner announces he identifies as a woman; now, transgender model makes Vogue magazine history.

The next transition that will set a up a divisive conversation will be the transgender curiosity. What will be your stance? What will you do, or say if someone close to you says that they feel they are comfortable with being a boy or girl, or man or women? How do you accept or disdain body dysmorphia? This may be a turning point in our society….

Andrej Pejic has made history by becoming the first transgender model to be the subject of a Vogue profile.

In the interview, the 23-year-old Serbian model opens up about the difficulties of her transition, revealing she didn’t think she fitted in as a child.

She says, “Society doesn’t tell you that you can be trans. I thought about being gay, but it didn’t fit… I thought, ‘Maybe this is just something you like to imagine sometimes. Try to be a boy and try to be normal’.” Pejic has already taken the fashion world by storm, walking runways in both men’s and women’s shows for designers like Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier.


Your Body is NOT Your Masterpiece

Your Body is NOT Your Masterpiece

A dear family friend who has an aggressive form of breast cancer & so far has gracefully kicked cancer’s rear shared this beautiful article today on her Facebook page.  I think a healthy mind includes loving oneself in ALL of life’s circumstances- whether we asked for them or not!  — With or without curves, with scars that come from child-bearing or other battle wounds , a bald head from the effects of chemo… How do you feel in your own skin?  The depths of our experiences come from beyond what the eye can see.

>>original article here