I DO INTIMACY
WHO AM I?
People want to be connected--it is genetically and evolutionarily based--and a lot of the time, we don't know how to do it. We especially don't know how to do it when we either came from a family of origin that was hard, or our partner came from one that was hard. It is hard when people are attracted to one another but don't have much in common, and worse when they don't KNOW they don't have much in common. It is hard when values are not in alignment. It is hard when communication styles and coping strategies are dissimilar. It is especially hard after couples have children. I am a social science researcher with a knack for guiding difficult conversations in relationship. I have 25 years' experience and education in human development along the life span, as well as an educational background that lends itself to understanding some of the more challenging aspects of family life. I teach adults "to adult."
Yes, "to adult" as a verb. If you can think it, you can become it.
Sex & Relationship Doula?
What is a Doula?
The word 'doula' — pronounced 'doo-la' —
is a Greek word meaning 'woman servant or
caregiver'. More recently, it refers to someone who
offers emotional and physical support to a woman and
her partner before, during and after childbirth. A doula believes in 'mothering the mother'. In this context, I believe in nurturing the client and being in service to the client at all times. It starts with vulnerability as a two-way street, but first modeled by me, in service to you.
In the same way that a birth doula or newborn doula or night doula might support a woman who is giving birth or a family who has just brought a newborn baby home, I support individuals and couples who want more out of their social, emotional, and intimate relationships, sexual and non-sexual, romantic and otherwise, familial and professional, in order To Be in connection, in balance, in stability, in wholeness.
I believe in...
Integrity: personal accountability and agency from individuals. Making choices from a personally empowered space, and being aligned with personal values and beliefs. If you don't know what you believe in or where your moral compass is, it is difficult to have integrity.
Dignity: each individual deserves to be treated with respect and has worth. When we come from a place that believes our own dignity, it is much easier to treat others in a dignified manner.
Verity: being truthful begins within oneself, and challenging personal belief systems that may be internally "true," but not necessarily true for others. When we know our worth, have agency, are accountable for our thoughts and actions, and treat others in a dignified way, we are empowered to make better decisions for ourselves and for a partner we may claim to love.
Love, Sex, & Conflict: Love is going to include the entire spectrum of emotions, especially in intimate and/or sexual partnerships. Frolic can turn into fighting once the oxytocin wears off, and there is where intimacy is or is not built. Ideally, it was built beforehand, but, alas, it frequently is not.
I believe in the sacred and the Divine when it comes to sex. Is it this way for every body, and does every body want to relate to the Divine? It can be, and no. In my practice, I will get a sense of what you want to work on and then we will work hands-on through experiential somatic play and exercises. This can be done individually, or as a couple. The goal is frequently about becoming more embodied and in balance within each individual, and not the image of what the individual should be.
As a Sex & Relationship Doula,
I Do Not:
Perform any clinical tasks
Unlike a licensed mental health professional, I am not your vehicle for change--you are. You are accountable to that work. At any time, however, if you feel you need help with deeper psychological issues, I will recommend and encourage you to seek help.
Make decisions for you
The notion of self-determination guides my work with you. It is your work, your life, your relationship, your body. My work is to help you embody who you say you are in the world and to offer immediate feedback to you according to the goals of your work.
Disclose our work with anyone outside of our practice together
You made the decision to work on yourself in this way, as an individual or as a couple. This is your work. It is completely confidential and unique to you.
Project my judgment onto your experience
From my website and my writings, you will have a good idea of who I am and the objectives of my work. I will be attuned to you and will align myself to the relationship of our work together. You will have chosen me because you felt my attitudes about your goals were in alignment to how you want to be. I will not shame or blame you when my personal beliefs are not in alignment with yours because I operate from the perspective that YOU are the expert on you.
Much of our shame in today's society feels like trauma. You don't need more of it here. You will be received, nurtured, cared for, and attuned-to within the boundaries of our work together.
A LITTLE MORE
INTIMACY AT THE INTERSECTION OF SEX & CONFLICT
I am an intimacy expert specializing in conflict, sex, and family sociology. That means I work with individuals and couples on how to deepen intimacy, how to fight, and how to resolve sexual issues. Family consulting and couples' advising is intended to empower people to empower themselves, to live more meaningful lives, and to identify patterns of behavior and thoughts that interact positively or negatively with others within the dynamic.
SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH
In my spare time, I'm a social science researcher. The core focus of my research has been Family & Family Systems, Identity Formation, Stress & Trauma, particularly for children, youth, and emerging adults. My cornerstone focus has been on changed neurochemistry in the adult male brain. Over the past four years, my research has been in Male Trauma, Desire & Sexuality. While working as an educator, I found that boys--even as young as primary school, and certainly by middle school and high school--sometimes felt marginalized, problematic, dirty, or in some other way pigeon- holed into a way of being that was harming their hearts, their sexuality, and their ability to relate first as human beings, and then as the masculine energy that they were told to suppress unless using an outlet such as sports. This manifests as shame, which is enculturated and transgenerationally transmitted.
Why did I switch from educational pedagogies for birth to 5 and K-12?
Because in 1996, when I began working with families with boys who had "behavioral" issues, and in 2000, when I founded a school that provided support to families with babies through 12th grade children, I found that these are not the problems of children--they are the problems of adults. Adults who lack cohesion in their own identity formation grow up with gaps in their ability to nurture themselves or, sometimes, to be aware enough parents to stop the learned legacies that they have been passing down for generations. Each adult is a child in a mature body, and this does not always represent the full facts of our upbringing. It is the marriage of these interests, education, and experience that puts me in the unique position to consult with individuals, couples, and families to deepen healthy intimacy and to develop language for feelings, conflict, and productive communication in order to find workable solutions to stress and strife. This involves identifying internal differences in needs and wants, and differences between individuals of needs and wants.
In 2020, I launch into a new study on an educational model for Learned Secure Attachment that puts agency into the hands of individuals with an awareness of their relational patterns that are difficult and desire for better outcomes in relationship through greater self-awareness and knowledge of systems.
It's time for a new era.
Looking at the lens of Identity Formation as it pertains to pre-adulthood trauma, and the transgenerational legacy formation from these traumas, it is imperative that we study and transform the way young boys’ identities are being shaped today--it is why I began working with men, women, and couples.
I do training on Trauma and Identity Formation, how trauma shapes boys in particular, and outcomes for boys with adverse childhood and adolescent conditions in adulthood. What we are able to understand and name becomes a pathway for healing and rectifying former chosen routes of thoughts and behavior. It is with this in mind that my practice and lecture series go to a broader audience around the world to provide peacemaking, love-making, and different healing and personal empowerment themes for like-minded and like-hearted people.
I graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s in Integrated Social Sciences, attended the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Behavioral Economics, and am currently in the psychology graduate program at Harvard University. Additionally, I am a Somatica Institute trained and certified sexological and relationship advisor, and also hold certification in the State of Washington as a trained and certificated mediator and conflict coach. My modalities are therapeutic dialogue, pranayama, yoga, and CBT, as well as Reiki and other energy work modalities.
Certified Sexological Somatic Advisor
Somatica Institute, 2017
Advanced Certificated Mediator
Dispute Resolution Centers of Thurston, King, Snohomish & Tri-Counties, 2016, 2017
500-hour yoga teacher certification (in progress)
Harvard University (in progress)
Anusara yoga instructor, 200-hour, Seattle Yoga Arts, 2018
Master's program, Behavioral Economics
Chicago School of Professional Psychology (2016-2017)
Heated Vinyasa Flow yoga instructor, 200-hour, Live Love Flow, 2014
Bachelor's of Integrated Social Sciences
University of Washington