Couples

Jenifer Costigan guest speaker on "Love, Sex and Religion"

We are proud to announce one of our therapists, Jenifer Costigan was invited as a guest speaker and appeared on the "Love, Sex, and Religion" podcast.

To listen click on the link below: 

 https://soundcloud.com/lo…/sex-therapy-feat-jenifer-costigan

Pre-engagement vs Pre-marital counseling? What's the difference as long as you go?

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   At first the comparison of Pre-engagement and pre-marital counseling can seem so similar and unimportant. Yet considering the differences, pre-engagement counseling may provide many dating couples additional benefits to the relationship and confidence in making a lifelong commitment!  Here are a few  IMPORTANT  factors to consider in regards to pre-engagement counseling:         Engagement/ Pressure:  Proposals, shinny new engagement ring, and the excitement of telling everyone the great news, can really compromise the objectivity of the relationship. The priority of working on the relationship may easily turn into planning the wedding day instead of working on and finding a resolution to the conflict that may be remaining within the relationship.           Time Constraint:  Couples seeking pre-engagement counseling do not have the same time crunch as couples that have already set the wedding date. Pre-engagement counseling can allow dating couples to openly share fears and hopes in sessions without worrying about how emotions will interfere with the couple’s timeline. In some cases, couples may need more than 8 sessions to resolve or practice new skills they are learning. Rather than couples that have a short engagement, which may not have sufficient time or desire to address issues prior to the wedding.         Confidence in your Decision:  Attending pre-engagement counseling can provide both the couple and each individual the time and place to explore such an important decision with a trained professional. A couple can also benefit from expressing their thoughts and feelings to a professional who is trained in marriage and relational issues and will remain an unbiased third party. It is important to consider the motivation and readiness each person has to make such a commitment. By taking the time to explore your relationship in counseling, individuals can discuss expectations for the marriage and find a compromise if necessary prior to making the commitment.  So whether you are currently in a serious relationship or questioning if you and your partner are ready for marriage, please consider pre-engagement counseling! Pre-engagement counseling may seem as an unromantic plan or unnecessary, yet with staggering divorce rates this is just another way to invest in your relationship!

At first the comparison of Pre-engagement and pre-marital counseling can seem so similar and unimportant. Yet considering the differences, pre-engagement counseling may provide many dating couples additional benefits to the relationship and confidence in making a lifelong commitment!

Here are a few IMPORTANT factors to consider in regards to pre-engagement counseling:

      Engagement/ Pressure: Proposals, shinny new engagement ring, and the excitement of telling everyone the great news, can really compromise the objectivity of the relationship. The priority of working on the relationship may easily turn into planning the wedding day instead of working on and finding a resolution to the conflict that may be remaining within the relationship.

        Time Constraint: Couples seeking pre-engagement counseling do not have the same time crunch as couples that have already set the wedding date. Pre-engagement counseling can allow dating couples to openly share fears and hopes in sessions without worrying about how emotions will interfere with the couple’s timeline. In some cases, couples may need more than 8 sessions to resolve or practice new skills they are learning. Rather than couples that have a short engagement, which may not have sufficient time or desire to address issues prior to the wedding.

      Confidence in your Decision: Attending pre-engagement counseling can provide both the couple and each individual the time and place to explore such an important decision with a trained professional. A couple can also benefit from expressing their thoughts and feelings to a professional who is trained in marriage and relational issues and will remain an unbiased third party. It is important to consider the motivation and readiness each person has to make such a commitment. By taking the time to explore your relationship in counseling, individuals can discuss expectations for the marriage and find a compromise if necessary prior to making the commitment.

So whether you are currently in a serious relationship or questioning if you and your partner are ready for marriage, please consider pre-engagement counseling! Pre-engagement counseling may seem as an unromantic plan or unnecessary, yet with staggering divorce rates this is just another way to invest in your relationship!

Sex Therapy FAQs

Typically, when people ask me what I do I tell them that I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist-Associate and that I am working towards specializing in Sex Therapy.  Once that cat gets out of the bag, in come the questions!  I have found that there are a lot of misunderstandings as to what it really means to be a sex therapist and what exactly happens during a session focused on sex therapy.   So, I have compiled a list of the most common questions that people tend to ask.  

Q: “Does a sex therapist have sex with their clients?”                                                       A: NO!!! Definitely not!  Sex therapy is just like any other type of psychotherapy; all you do is talk. 

Q: “Does the couple have sex with each other in front of the sex therapist?”                     A:  Again, NO!!! There is no touching of any kind, nor are any sexual acts played out. However, the therapist may encourage the couple to go home and try an exercise that was discussed during the session, if they are comfortable with it.

Q: “Do you have to be in a relationship to go to sex therapy?”                                         A: Not at all!  Although sex therapists typically see couples, there are times when an individual is dealing with sexual problems of their own.  

Q: “What type of issues does a sex therapist help with?”                                                 A: Sex therapists generally help discover different emotional issues that are creating sexual problems between the couple. Sex therapists also help people who are dealing with issues such as: lack of desire, difficulty achieving orgasm, difficulty getting and/or maintaining an erection, premature ejaculation, pain during penetrative sex, unwanted fetishes, and sexual addiction.  

Q: “Does a sex therapist ever get embarrassed or uncomfortable during session?”             A: Due to the sex therapist’s extensive knowledge in the field, nothing you say will embarrass the therapist, nor should it embarrass you!  Just like any other therapist, your issues will be treated with compassion and understanding.  (And don’t worry, your sex therapist has probably already heard of anything and everything there is to do with sex at least once!)

Q: “Is my relationship ruined if my partner and I have to go see a sex therapist?”             A: Absolutely not!!! Even though most people tend to wait too long to seek professional help, seeing a sex therapist, by no means, implies that there is no hope for your relationship. In reality, coming to therapy shows a lot of strength in the relationship; it shows that your relationship is something worth fighting for.  Seeking help from a sex therapist can allow your sex life to flourish and liven up like you’ve never seen it before (and who doesn’t want that!).

I hope this entry has helped broaden your view on what sex therapy really is and I hope it has helped fight any stigma that may be keeping you, and your partner, from getting the help you really need and deserve from a sex therapist!