couple holding hands

What is Intimacy?

Expanding The Definition of Intimacy   A lot of people come into my office and talk about having no sex. Yes, that is a lack of intimacy, but sex is only a part of intimacy. They fail to see the part before sex, which is super important too. I’ll ask them questions such as, “how are you with conflicts?” “How are you and your significant other with expressing yourselves?” And their response is, “We don’t do any of that.” There’s the problem. Let’s talk about the stage before sex and what that entails. There are three parts to that. A lot of people have confused or oversimplified the stage before sex. Which is communication. You do need to communicate, but there is a specific way to communicate, which I have broken down into three stages. The stage before sex is crucial. Men tend to minimize it, and women tend to overemphasize it. Communication isn’t just sitting down and babbling. There are three parts of the pre-stage of sex that makes it intimate. First, being able to know what you’re feeling. It sounds simple, but it is incredibly hard for some people. They talk about what they’re thinking, but it’s tough for them to name the actual feeling they are feeling. Telling someone what you’re thinking is different than naming the feeling. We can tell anyone what we’re thinking, but we share what we’re feeling with our significant other, this is what makes it intimate. You have to be able to name what you’re feeling. Example: Some people say,  “My wife came home late, and I told her she shouldn’t be late; it’s wrong to be late.” I ask them to name their feelings, and they proceed to say that the wife was wrong to be late, she shouldn’t be late, and they can’t trust her. The issue is, those are all thoughts. I have to stop some people and name feelings; that way, they can pick the feeling. In this case, it is typically anger. Being able to name your feeling is taking the time to think long enough about what you’re feeling and being able to name the feeling.  Second, is being able to express the feeling — any emotion, anger, sadness, joy, frustration, or hopefulness. We want you to be able to express your emotions in an emphatic way. Emphatic means you’re listening to the other person expressing …

How to Overcome Intimacy Issues

  Let’s talk about the Intimacy Now Online Course And how to overcome intimacy issues The Intimacy Now online course is my course that offers a way to help people in areas and places and situations that I have never been able to reach before. It teaches the participants how to overcome intimacy issues and solve destructive relationship patterns. Any barriers preventing you from seeing me, such as time, distance, space, money, whatever it is… Is taken away with this course, which I love. The more people I reach, the more relationships I can change, and that’s what I love to do. The Intimacy Now online course was started last spring, and we had a great turnout. We also received great feedback which was very uplifting to me, and very rewarding for me. But more importantly, the people who joined got great satisfaction out of the program. Naming things like, “It was the first time I had practical psychiatric help as opposed to psychobabble.” They were able to apply it to their situation and benefit from it. Some people said that they were happy for the first time in their relationship, ever, which is pretty big. And other people talked about the different ideas and advice that I gave and how it helped them turn something specific around, such as their ability to talk about negative emotions with their spouse or significant other. What to do about those tense moments after a fight, how to give your spouse what they need without being a yes-man- you know to lose your backbone, how to get what you need, how to handle being on a separate page and on and on. Lots of great feedback. This course was me compiling every aha moment in the therapy session. Killer advice from killer therapy sessions where someone said, “Oh my gosh, I never thought about it that way,” or “Oh my gosh, that worked so well.” I took all those moments, and it boiled down to six pieces of advice to fix the most destructive relationship patterns. And teach couples how to overcome intimacy issues. Questions and Answers Q. How can you answer my question on a general course because it’s so specific? A. Well, after doing this for 20 years- helping professionals of all kinds to fix their relationship problems, really, everybody’s details are different- that is true. But it all comes down …

Why do People Watch Porn? From a Doctor’s Perspective.

 Top 3 porn-related reasons I see people in my office A Doctor’s perspective on why do people watch porn or why they’re porn addicted. Whether you’re the one using it or someone you know does. This can be a tough topic in a relationship, but it doesn’t need to be. Reason number one- Conflict with intimacy. Why do people watch porn? Some people have trouble with intimacy. I don’t mean they just make mistakes, but they actually have a conflict with it. They’re conflicted about the closeness. They want the closeness, they’re in a relationship, they love their significant other, but they have connected intimacy with something bad. Typically, the ‘something bad’ is: being taken over, being controlled, losing their individuality.  They want the closeness, but then they feel as though they’ll lose themselves. Now, a lot of people resolve this with pornography because it’s a way to put a wedge between them and their significant other. It’s a way for them to get some relief from that sensation of being too close. Somehow, it’s tough for people to maintain intimacy for that reason, and it comes out in that fashion. Reason number 2- Conflict with aggression. There are a lot of people who have a conflict with aggression and a conflict with anger. They know it’s an emotion, they know it’s a normal emotion, but they have so much guilt about it, that they tend to bury it. They tend to think anger is wrong, bad, mean; something they need to avoid at all costs. This is what I call an enemy emotion, where they shove it away. Somehow they don’t realize anger is normal and expressing that anger is required, or it’s going to blow or implode. They end up hurting themselves with it, by not dealing with the anger, or expressing it because they feel so guilty and they want to bury. The anger stays under the surface. So, they use pornography as sort of a weapon. “I’m not going to connect with you. I’m going to connect with my magazine,” or where ever pornography is being viewed. And then, of course, it ends up hurting the significant other, because they end up finding out about the pornography. The S.O. has no idea why their partner is using porn because the partner has not expressed the anger. And they may not even be consciously aware of …

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3 Porn Myths You’ll be Glad Aren’t True

3 Porn Myths that Aren’t True- From A Doctors Perspective (Pssst: The Doctor Says it Can Actually be Good For You) If only I had a dollar for every time I got to tell someone that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing—or wanted to do—in the bedroom. Most common worry: porn. I’ve chosen to bust 5 of the most common myths about porn and why it’s anything but bad for you. I’ll bust three porn myths now, and two later; stay tuned! Porn Myth #1: Porn is bad for you. Not so fast. Historically, anti-porn arguments have primarily been moral in nature and have little basis in medical science. While porn can lead to addiction (like hundreds of other behaviors), it more often supports and reinforces acceptable sexual behavior. In a healthy, adult relationship, porn can be wonderfully useful. Not only do many couples find it fun, but they often use it to spice up or reignite their sex lives. Many watch it together for new ideas, and some occasionally watch it to help get themselves in the mood when necessary. Like many other things in life, the secret to porn use is moderation, and it is not damaging to a relationship unless one partner regularly chooses it instead of sex with their “real” partner. Porn Myth #2: Porn is a sign that something is “wrong” with you. Let’s be clear: porn doesn’t make you a pervert. It can, however, be a sign that you’re avoiding dealing with uncomfortable feelings or experiences. If you find yourself turning to porn instead of your real partner, or if you find it interfering in your ability to function in daily life or fulfill your responsibilities, please seek professional help to deal with your compulsive behaviors. If you use it in moderation, however—enjoy. Porn Myth #3: Porn is the same as cheating. Many women feel betrayed when faced with the realization that a husband or boyfriend is looking at porn—some as profoundly betrayed as if they’d been cheated on. Often, their immediate reaction is, “What’s wrong with me? Am I not enough?” Some relationships even end over porn. When my patients face this issue, I help them understand that porn and cheating are not the same things. What is the same, however, is the feeling of betrayal. It’s legitimate for a woman to feel betrayed by a man who secretly goes …

Common Dreams and the Meaning Behind Them

     Common Dreams About Intimacy Let’s discuss the common dreams about intimacy that Dr. Laura Dabney hears a lot about. This one is pretty interesting when it comes to dreams about being intimate in inappropriate places. I want to remind you just because you have a dream does not mean you should take it literally. It does not mean that you’re automatically going to change your behavior and start acting inappropriately or anything like that. The dream is trying to tell you something. Common dreams of wanting to do something intimate in an inappropriate place. This may mean you’re doing something outside your comfort zone or you’re breaking a rule you would never consciously consider doing. This could mean you’ve been holding yourself back somewhere or you’re conflicted about something. For example, do you feel like the guidelines at work are making you feel stifled? Do you have a chance to cross another line somewhere but aren’t even considering it? That would include taking a risk somewhere, so instead of joining the family business, you want to pursue an art career. Stepping out of your comfort zone Dreams about stepping out of your comfort zone can often mean that you lost touch with a part of yourself where you’re allowing yourself to be stifled by someone or something else. A part of you wants to rebel against that, that’s the side that your dream is trying to tell you to consider. Another interpretation of this dream is that you already stepped out of your comfort zone and something that you’ve done is now making you feel anxious. It could be that you took a risk. Or you told a specific someone how you felt. Maybe you’re anxious because you don’t know what’s going to happen from telling this person something. So now, this dream may be telling you that you are anxious about what could happen. It could be something you said, or you think someone’s going to judge you for being outlandish or inappropriate and remove themselves from you. There’s so many different layers and levels of things when it comes to dreams. Dreams about stepping outside your comfort zone can mean you’re not sure you can you live with the rebellious part of you. You fear it may make you lose control or lose someone you care about. If you are having that type of dream …