Sexual Healing Calgary

How to find a Calgary marriage counsellor for Sexual Trauma and PTSD.

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So, just what is Trauma Counseling and how does PTSD therapy  relate to Sex Therapy for Couples or Marriages?

Finding help can be difficult: So many of our clients have related to us that they went through multiple therapists desperately trying to find someone who understood both sexuality and trauma. Not everything is as advertized. Some therapists who advertise that they work with sexual abuse have really only just completed some program (E.g., Courage to Heal) or only understand trauma and, conversely, other therapists have extensively studied sexuality (and may be outstanding in that area) lack enough of the foundation in trauma counselling training to properly address healing from emotional trauma of a sexual nature.

But, the experience of sexual trauma creates a uniquely isolating, disempowering and intense experience of helplessness that simply can not be properly addressed without an in-depth knowledge of both!

And, TV programs and movies parodying sexologists, couples sex therapy and intimacy counselling have not done anyone any favours either. Obviously, no certified sex therapist Calgary has to offer would even think of offering the sort of therapy those movies depict. Book a session today! 

Yet, while often, admittedly, quite funny, those programs have had a huge impact - striking so much fear into the hearts of the victims of sexual trauma that it's nearly impossible to write anything in the area of sex and trauma counselling without first laying those fears to rest.

So, let's start with what the assessment and treatment of sexual concerns will NOT be about:

  1. NUDITY - No ethical sexologist Calgary has to offer will EVER request, suggest or condone the removal of clothing during sex therapy and education sessions.
  2. PHYSICAL EXAMINATION - While not true in other parts of the world, Calgary sex therapists are not Medical Doctors or Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists and DO NOT PERFORM physical examinations of their clients.
  3. OVERT SEXUAL BEHAVIORS IN THE OFFICE - Intimacy counselling focuses on sex education and ‘talk’ therapy. Any exercises are given only as HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS structured to help with individual healing or trauma recovery and the growth of all areas of intimacy in your couple relationship. Get started with your first session today!

You're in control! People who have been hurt or, sometimes, even just severely neglected during childhood in areas of sexuality can struggle in a wide variety of areas. So much can be done to bring understanding, change, growth and empowerment in those areas impacted by sexual trauma:

Symptoms of Male Sexual Trauma:

• Disorders of Sexual Desire
• Male Sex Aversion
• Male Sexual Fear
• Male Erectile Dysfunction
• Orgasmic Disorder
• Premature Ejaculation
• Retarded ejaculation
• Relationship Problems

Other Trauma Related Sexual Difficulties

•  Paraphilias
   (Fetishism, Exhibitionism,
    Voyeurism etc.)
• Sexual Identity
• Gender Identity issues
• Internet Sex
• Pornography, Addiction

Symptoms of Female Sexual Trauma:

• Disorders of Sexual Desire
• Female Sex Aversion.
• Female Sexual Fear
• Female Arousal Disorder
• Female Orgasmic Disorder
• Disorders of Sexual Pain
   (Vaginismus & Dyspareunia)
• Relationship Problems

PTSD Counselling Calgary for Sexual Trauma: While everyone has a unique and individual process, there generally are 3 stages of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) treatment for abuse and intimate trauma:

  1. Restoring Safety and Stability: Trauma not only makes people feel unsafe in relationships with others, they also feel unsafe within their own bodies. It takes time to restore that sense of safety that can range from weeks to years. The first stages of post trauma counseling focus on discovering which areas of life and person need to be stabilized. And, just what is post trauma counselling? It's the restoration of a person's ability to regulate or sooth difficult and overwhelming emotions in daily life which may involve both verbal and nonverbal therapies including meditation, spiritual practices, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction therapies, Yoga and other skills to reduce negative emotions allow a more calm appraisal of relational and intimate situations. It's only once a person has both found a way to become calm and focused, and then learned to maintain that sense of calmness as they face physical sensations, mental pictures, thoughts or sounds that remind them of the past that they are ready to move to the second stage.
  2. Grieving and Remembering: The integration of the story of trauma into a larger narrative of the self. Timing is so important here as it is easy to get overwhelmed and trigger a fight, flight or freeze response and the maintenance of stability, safety and calmness is essential. This second stage is where losses associated with the sexual trauma are mourned and emotions are expressed. The task shifts from the creation of calmness to using the ability to remain calm so words and emotions can be attached to memory and meaning can be found in the pain. Repeatedly reliving sexual trauma is of no more more benefit than the other extreme found in developing the ability to robotically recount abuse or rape with zero emotion. Healing is found in reintegration: putting shattered and rejected parts back together again. It's worth noting that there are many different levels of post traumatic stress disorder and some of them require only limited work at this step. Find out more...
  3. Empowerment and Reconnection: The final stage is about becoming fully alive and engaged with those around you in the present moment. It starts as we cease keeping secrets from our selves and others - especially about the ways we managed to survive the trauma - and continues as we begin to redefine ourselves within the context of deep and meaningful relationships. This is where we learn to trust and start to experiment with vulnerability and allowing ourselves to be loved again - especially in the area of sexual intimacy. As intimate relationships begin to become the defining and organizing centre of life, we learn to live with the memory of sexual trauma in a way that no longer allows it to control our lives and, instead, allows it to become simply another part of our life story out of which we love others in deeper and more compassionate ways.

Internal Family Systems model: Understanding based Marriage Counselling: One of the key gifts Dr. Richard C. Schwartz and his Internal Family Systems model of therapy has left marriage and trauma therapists with is his understanding that our internal world often operates much like a family does, with all of the different parts of ourselves relating together like a family system.

It's a model we find so helpful in both treating PTSD and in helping partners and spouses of trauma victims strip away the mystery and confusion that always follows sexual violation. When that mystery and confusion is stripped away and the responses of a traumatized person start to make sense, the spouse or partner ceases to just be a passenger and starts to become the powerful agent of healing we all long to be for those we love.

Reach out for more information! Integrated Couples Trauma Counselling is as much about putting all of the parts of yourself back together as it is about reconnection with those that you love and long for relationship with. It's not just about the trauma, it's also about the process of restoring your sexual identity and your ability to fully function as a sexual being.

Sex Counselling Calgary/Couples Sex Therapy Calgary: Ultimately, it's about the ability to fully accept and then live out of who you are for, until we are able to openly and expansively love others and receive their love for us with our entire being, we all still have healing to do.

 Book your first Marriage Counselling Calgary appointment today and begin to discover what it means to live again!

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