Thank you for taking a look at my offering for online education about healthy sexuality. Each course is $29.95 with unlimited access upon purchase. They are on an unlisted youtube channel so once you purchase I will give you an access code an a link.
I am in the process of setting up a system wherein you can purchase the classes directly via this website but for the present time, please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested in purchasing a course and we will do the transaction over the phone. Thank you!
Class #1 Outline: Healthy Couples Sexuality (Part 1)
1. A brief overview of the attachment model of relational development
2. How securely attached, anxiously attached, and avoidantly attached children respond to threat and exploration
3. How childhood attachment tendencies tend to correlate with our way of relating in adult intimate relationships and in our sexual relationships
4. Synchronous, Solace, Sealed off sex explained
5. Individual identity development and its correlation to sexual development
6. Love and marriage in its historical context: How partnering has evolved over time
7. Brief overview of the evolution of sexual attitudes and mores due to the advent of the internet
8. Foundations of healthy sexuality as a reflection of an “I-Thou” relationship
9. The theology of sex as God-ordained means of profound connection
10. Struggles with intimacy due to life stage and other stressors
11. Items to consider when a couple is struggling sexually (medical, mental, medication use, etc.)
Class #2 Outline: Healthy Couples Sexuality (Part II)
1. An overview of the “thinking brain” and the “feeling brain”
2. Fundamentals around issues of sexual desire and arousal
3. Explaining issues of sexual desire and arousal from the perspective of the thinking brain and the feeling brain
4. A deep look at struggles in sexuality and common issues that couples have that stem from belief systems embedded from culture, church, family of origin, etc.
5. Issues around sexuality and gender
6. Women and sexual identity development
7. Overcoming myths around women and low desire as a birthright
8. The female body and its sexual potential when supported by a knowledgeable and caring partner
9. Taking ownership of ones own sexual identity development
10. Key learnings: what healthy couples do to have a vibrant sexual relationship
Class #3 Outline: Human Attachment and Addiction Vulnerability
1. A deeper look at human attachment theory as a means of keeping parents and children in close proximity in times of stress and struggle
2. Some fundamentals of early brain development and how attachment to primary caregivers correlates to healthy cognitive and emotional brain development
3. A breakdown of the three fundamental attachment styles (secure, anxious, avoidant attachment) with illustrations and personal and clinical examples
4. How are the main characters in the movie FROZEN great examples of the three attachment styles?
5. Addiction as an outcome of one trying to get ones healthy attachment needs met in an unhealthy way
6. Fundamentals of addiction in general
7. Sexual addiction and food addiction as most complicated addictive processes as they each are a fundamental part of what makes us human
8. Jesus Christ as the ultimate healer
Class #4 Outline: Classic and Contemporary Sexual Addiction Fundamentals
1. Classic sexual addiction (definitions, correlations, treatments, etc.)
2. Contemporary sexual addiction (definitions, correlations, treatments, etc.)
3. How each variation of sexual addiction resemble and differ from the other and how are treated differently clinically
4. Healthy sexuality defined
5. Addicted sexuality defined
6. Levels of exposure to flesh media and its impact
7. Elements common to addictive disorders
8. Activities associated with sexual addiction
9. Behaviors and attitudes associated with sexual addiction
10. Hope in healing through God’s creation of a brain that is “plastic” in nature and can be changed throughout life
Class #5 Outline: Sexual Addiction—The Brain on Porn
1. Brain chemicals that are involved with sexuality
2. How these same chemicals play a role in addiction
3. Why is porn addictive?
3. A close look at the Super-Chemical: Dopamine
4. A simplified explanation of how key sections of the brain are impacted by sex addiction
5. The thinking brain and its key functions in healthy brain development
6. How to maximize the functions of the thinking brain
7. The malfunctions of the brain impacted by porn and masturbation
8. Going deep into the addiction cycle (core beliefs, triggers, rituals, etc.)
9. Sobriety versus recovery in addiction
10. Hope that healing is possible through the ever-changing brain
Class #6 Outline: Stages of Sexual Addiction Recovery and the Power of Group Recovery
1. Stages of recovery overview:
2. Each stage of sexual addiction recovery reviewed including how long the phase generally lasts, how one feels, how they impact and are impacted by others (family, support groups, etc.), key areas of growth in each phase, key areas of struggle in each phase
3. Key factors to successful recovery
4. The power of group work
5. Overview of Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
6. Overview of SA’s definition of “The Problem”
7. Overview of SA’s definition of “The Solution”
8. A discussion of how the 12 STEPS are incorporated into SA group work and how they benefit those who seek true recovery
Class #7 Outline: Preparing our Children for Encounters with Pornography
1. Setting up the need for prevention: A review of studies done on the porn industry, average age of exposure, parental lack of knowledge, etc.
2. The detrimental effects of pornography on children and adolescents with regards to the formation of attitudes and beliefs relative to sexuality
3. The role of parents and other primary caregivers in modeling healthy gender equality and other formal education
4. Fundamentals of sexual/intimate relationship education
5. A background for parents on the workings of the child’s developing brain
6. The child’s brain: learning, imitation, and habit formation
7. A step-by-step breakdown of how to teach a child about healthy sexuality and addicted sexuality
b.normalizing sexual interest
d.a simple explanation of the ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’ brains and how these relate to making smart choices
8. A protocol to teach children when exposed to pornography
Class #8 Outline: Healthy Adolescent Sexual Development (Part I of II)
1. Introduction of a healthy paradigm around sexuality and spirituality
2. Overview of the multiple types of intimacy and the importance of developing these in ascending order and with adequate maturity
3. Consequences of developing sexual intimacy premature to other types of intimacy
4. Gaining a deeper and richer understanding of sexuality: “The 5 Circles of Sexuality”. Helping parents and caregivers find language around the topic of sexuality
d.Reproduction and Sexual Health
5. Triangle of Healthy Sexuality: A Theological Conceptualization
Class #9 Outline: Healthy Adolescent Sexual Development (Part II of II)
1. Hopeful Outcomes of Helping Teens Develop Healthy Attitudes around Emerging Sexuality
2. Possible consequences of Instilling in our Youth High Anxiety around Emerging Sexuality
3. Struggles with Pornography a Possible Outcome of High Anxiety around Sexuality
4. How Parents Play Key Role in Shaping their Teens’ Attitudes
5. Instructor’s Protocol for Working Closely with Parents and Teens when Teens Struggle with Sexual Acting out (Pornography and/or Masturbation)
a.Emphasis on parent/child attachment bond as the most important component of adolescent’s strength
c.Sexual addiction defined (as many who struggle are not “addicted”)
d.Normalization of emerging sexual desire
e.Understanding of the disabling power of shame
f.Explanation of the sexual addiction cycle
g.Education around porn/masturbations’ impact on the brain with emphasis on the power of dopamine (with brief explanatory slides—please refer to class #5 for a much deeper understanding of addiction on the brain)
6. Feedback from current/former clients on the impact that these conversations have had for their struggling adolescents.
I rely on my husband to update me on the most important pieces of current news. Like the political climate in North Korea or movement of the stock market as it relates to our investments. But a couple of days ago he threw me a real whopper—a piece of news that really seemed to matter to me. What, you ask? Well, the woman believed to be the inspiration for the iconic Rosie the Riveter had died! My sorrow at this was assuaged by the fact that I actually had not been aware that Rosie had a ‘real’ identity…I had kind of thought that she was an artist’s interpretation of WWII female strength, you know, sort of the tough-girl equivalent of Betty Crocker, who is an artist’s interpretation of the composite of all things feminine and domestic.
But no such thing! Rosie was real and her passing has given me a moment to reflect on why she is sprinkled all over my little world. She adorns my trusty laptop, one of my favorite t-shirts, and a pill box that goes everywhere with me. She presides over my walk-in closet on a large metal plate and hangs out with me on a bumper sticker in my office. When my teenaged daughters told me that she is basically my spirit animal, I willingly believed them. I didn’t know what the heck that meant, but it sounded right.
So why my love of all things Rosie? Let me take a stab at it. She represents feminine strength, courage, and grace. I see women like that all of the time and I kind of hope that I am becoming one. I think of one who fought a debilitating mental illness for the better part of ten years and having finally overcome it, now goes about helping others by telling her own story so that they may feel hope and become freed from the bonds of isolation. I have worked with many strong and gracious women who have weathered the storms of their spouses struggles with sexual addiction and find the courage to stay and work towards healing or peace in the choice to leave.
I have worked with numerous incest survivors who show a strength that blows me away as they learn to trust in the love of others. I know a strong woman who has spent years making meaning of her infertility and countless others who feel as if they are drowning in the struggles of the various stages and challenges of motherhood. I could go on but I think I have made my point. We are all surrounded by our own ‘Rosies’. So let’s flex those metaphorical biceps and remember that together WE CAN DO IT!…whatever ‘it’ means in our own unique journeys.
I’ll take GRIT over SMARTS any day!
As my daughter is in the throes of college prep and taking the ACT, I am brought back to yesteryear when I too took (and did very poorly on) this test. My math score was so low that my mom (who I now realize could not afford it) hired a tutor to help me drag my score out of the toilet. We worked problem after problem together but sadly they remained just that…very large problems indeed. I remember opening my new score in great anticipation to find that alas, nothing had changed. My math score was exactly the same. Mom valiantly stayed quiet.
I look back and see that I then lacked—and still lack—math aptitude. But what I had—and have—I have come to realize is infinitely more valuable. It is a characteristic that Amy Duckworth (of the above mini-TED talk) calls GRIT. She says that GRIT is “passion and perseverance for very long periods of time” and that GRIT is either “unrelated or even inversely correlated to measures of talent” or intellect!!
This rings beautifully true to me because quite frankly, I am not very ‘smart’ in the ACT-test-taking kind of way, but I’ve come to own up that I am ‘gritty’. I have this crazy capacity to stick with things and stay laser focused for a freakishly long time on an idea or project and I use my grit to creatively get where I want to go. I took that abysmal ACT score and for a full year I boarded the city bus for the hour ride to a state college because they took anyone. I did this because I just knew that my grit would earn me the grades that would allow me to transfer to my ACT-conscious ‘dream’ university as a non-ACT-disclosing (but high achieving) transfer student. It worked. And my grit (and hours and hours and hours of study) eventually scored me an academic scholarship.
I didn’t know it had an actual name, but I knew from early on that I needed to work my tail off to overcome the reality that things didn’t often come quickly to me. Never a poem collector, I did have one that I loved enough to copy down and tape to my 1980’s rainbow wallpapered bedroom wall. I read it so many times that it still rolls off of my tongue. I see now that it offered my young self hope that I might indeed find success through what I considered the back door. Good for me.
If you want a thing bad enough
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it
If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
Makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it
If life seems all empty and useless without it
And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,
If gladly you’ll sweat for it,
Fret for it,
Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God or man for it,
If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want.
With all your capacity,
Strength and sagacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,
If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain
Of body or brain
Can turn you away from the thing that you want,
If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You’ll get it!”
― Berton Braley
It happened again…I was working with someone who asked the proverbial million dollar question. “Can I be a really empathic parent if I don’t know what that looks like?” Most of those who ask this question were not children of poverty, violence, or abuse. They are just people like you and me who want to show deep engagement in the struggles that their children have and they notice that this is hard. Like really hard. Like they are so uncomfortable with it that they want those little sweeties to just go away for a while and come back when their feelings aren’t so, well, overwhelming.
This is the natural response that one feels when he or she had parents who (tried their hardest and did their best but) were not able to tolerate their ‘big’ emotions. So as children they report that they did indeed end of ‘going away’ and managing those emotions on their own in some creative way. But in the process, they come to have low tolerance for the normal ebbs and flows of their own emotional experience because a loving ‘other’ could not help them learn how. As Diana Fosha says, “That which becomes off-limits in the communication with the caregiver eventually becomes off-limits for the person to experience and consider–even in the privacy of his inner life.” So we struggle to feel and name our own complex emotions and therefore have little or no skill set to give this gift of staying near our children when they feel these kinds of things. And this cycle is perpetuated reflexively into the next generation.
So is there hope that we can do better? Can we give the gift that we don’t feel that we have ourselves? Dr. Dan Siegel says an emphatic “YES”. The below book is a must read if you resonate at all with what I have been rambling on about. I’ll let Siegel give you the bottom line: “When it comes to how our children will be attached to us, having difficult experiences early in life is less important than whether we’ve found a way to make sense of how those experiences have affected us. Making sense is a source of strength and resilience.” Read the book.
“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back to the crowd.” –Max Lucado
First of all…what a great quote. And who doesn’t love Max Lucado? If you don’t know this author, snuggle up your favorite child (full grown or otherwise) and read “You Are Special” and you’ll fall in love with this man too.
His quote inspires me. When I think about leading an orchestra I think of my two high school daughters’ crazy orchestra teacher and how they love the orchestra first and foremost because they love HIM. He is fearless and funny and loves high school kids (a true gift). He teaches his students to love music and to work together. He teaches them to connect their hearts through their various instruments. He teaches them that they can come together and be good at something.
And then he gets up in front of a huge auditorium and locks in on them with his back to the crowd. As I have watched this phenomenon over and over again I am self-conscious for him. I’m like, “dang, what would I wear that would flatter my butt if I were the conductor?” Yep. Those are my thoughts.
The whole point here is that when you are the conductor, you are so immersed in the greatness in front of you that you can’t be worried about what goes on behind you. Not their opinions (about your butt or otherwise), their criticisms, or even their possible lack of interest.
My daughters’ orchestra conductor courageously led his orchestra through a phenomenal concern one evening whilst aware that the entire audience were on their iPhones watching a Royals World Series Game. If he cared, we didn’t know it. He turned his back on the crowd and passionately led his team of musicians. It was beautiful. And courageous. Not sure if the Royals faired well with their bats that night but in my estimation he hit it outta the park with his baton.
How can I learn to turn my back on my “crowd” and do my own flavor of greatness? What about you?