Tailoring therapy to you
Updated: Apr 26
One of my very long-term, committed, erotic-explorer clients suggested this topic to write about. It's a useful question as there are many pathways to personal development. Whilst I believe deeply in Sexological Bodywork as a multi-dimensional modality for deeper self-awareness and change beyond and including the erotic sphere, it may not suit everyone. For those that see erotic well being as fundamental to whole being health, it may be just the thing. But, is it for you?
You are unique and the erotic world you inhabit is very specific to you. So as a Certified Sexological Bodyworker, how can I understand and implement exactly the best process for you? It depends on both of us showing up with honesty, curiosity and unconditional positive regard. It's a collaboration which develops through mutual trust. From that place I can draw on the experience, tools and theories that are best suited to you moment-to-moment as you allow your vulnerable, erotic self to trust in the process.
This comes easily to some but can be very challenging for others. Our aspirational culture of brilliance and bravado can inhibit one's ability to admit to 'not knowing' or being unskilled. It is only when we are prepared to name the things we don't know or want to learn more about, that we can embark on the brave journey of becoming more brilliant.
This doesn't just happen on the side of the client either. I show up not knowing who you are and what you need. Through deep listening and attention to all the words and the micro-signals you send through your body in every moment, I can then respond intuitively, trusting in my training and the tools I have to offer. I can gauge whether my offers land well or need adaptation because your signals tell me. And I ask. Asking questions and listening acutely to the answers is how I tailor to you. You are always leading the process.
Some very general examples of what I look for and how I adapt are:
If through a bodyscan - which is the typical starting exercise of any session - I notice someone is unable to describe their inner sensate world (or proprioception), I know I will need to incorporate sensory awakening activities to cultivate the language and sensitivity of the physical experience;
If I see someone dissociate, withdraw or shut down, I teach the tools to come back into the body and bring the frontal cortex (rational brain) back on-line;
If someone is very fixated on exploring 'x' but they turn up with body symptoms exhibiting 'y' we will go into 'y' so that they may then be more ready to do 'x' later;
If after several sessions someone is really blocked, resistant or struggling with a particular skill, I will change tac. For example, one client I worked with really struggled with the 'what's there in the moment' led process so I formulated a rough outline of a program so that they would feel safer and more grounded.
The process that unfolds can take many directions. For some, a longer process is necessary so that the slowing down can reveal subtle - and often potent - insights which open up new avenues to discover. The repetition of skills and circling back to the same exercises continues to reveal new things and embed long-term change. There may be a clear set of intentions to explore that give us a rough guide to follow but the process will be informed and will adapt according to what we discover along the way.
Others seek guidance in relation to a very specific need and thus a more targeted and often shorter skill development process is engaged. A session-by-session approach can be useful for someone that wants to explore a particular interest and get some foundational skills to work with 'at home'. Once they feel there has been some level of 'mastery' of this, they may then feel inspired to delve into another interest area.
There is no 'one size fits all' approach. In all instances, the core tenet of Sexological Bodywork is to work with learning 'intentions' rather than goals. This approach enables us to learn through the journey rather than being fixated on an outcome. When we are open to the journey, so much more can be observed and integrated.
The work, training and education framework that dominates our culture is focused on outcomes and productivity. These methods and goals can get in the way of the somatic attunement that is required to 'be with' the body as it discovers and learns new ways of being. Trusting in this organic process can be harder for more goal oriented folk. But, in the erotic world, it is a vital skill to learn.
Erotic engagement is an organic experience that is dependent on the body. The Cartesian mind-body hierarchy that has devalued erotic well-being can only be recalibrated through somatic practice. Like any skill, erotic development requires regular practice. And who wouldn't want to be practicing pleasure on a more regular basis, really?
This is why home-play is encouraged in every session, with every person, regardless of their 'learning intention'. Depending on what you specifically want to work on and what comes up in a session, I will suggest home-play exercises to do in your own time. The unguided experience of home-play can bring up fears, resistances and/or blockages and this is very normal. Working through these things on your own is necessary as you are ultimately responsible for your own journey and development.
My job is to listen to what you want, offer you exercises and skills that might help and enrich your understanding of how you can better access the things you want. It's not about me, it's about you.