AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Individual Psychotherapy

Are you losing pleasure in your life, your work, or your relationships? Are you struggling to find your way to the kind of life you had imagined you would be living by now? Do you find yourself unable to do the things you promised yourself you would do?

 

People find their way to therapy to get help with a relationship crisis, or when they find they have no energy to do the things they need to do. When faced with depression and anxiety, seeking the help of a skilled therapist can open the door to greater self-awareness and the development of skills and strategies to manage the problematic feelings, thinking and behavior.  Entering therapy is a vulnerable process especially when you are not feeling strong. It takes courage to admit there is a problem bigger than you and to find help.

Couples Therapy

People come for couples therapy to address a wide variety of relationship issues such as emotional distance, feeling misunderstood and unloved, or feeling “invisible” and underappreciated as well as other challenges.   I can help you learn to communicate more clearly and to recognize and express your feelings. Learning to listen and empathize with your partner can be quite challenging and I will help guide you. Repairing ruptures and injuries and finding your way to a mutually compassionate behavior requires self-awareness, the ability to communicate clearly what you want and need, listening to your partner, and acknowledging your role in the difficulty you are facing.  I will help you on your journey to a more authentic, vibrant and conscious relationship with yourself and with your partner.

Group Therapy

As the therapy progresses many clients, both individuals and couples, join ongoing therapy groups. In groups, people can learn from others and practice improved relationship skills in the community and the company of others.  Learning such things as how to deal with conflict constructively, becoming more trusting, increasing capacity for intimacy, helping others with their relationship issues, and learning to be more honest and direct when expressing feelings occur in the community of a therapy group.  Over time, members shape relationships that are honest, open and clear even with challenging differences. Group members learn valuable skills as they come to trust and rely on fellow group members for honest feedback

 

Sex and couples therapy in groups can be a powerful means of transformation of the relational dynamics which impede intimacy and satisfaction.  In group therapy, couples have the opportunity to witness, learn from, and help others improve their relationships. With the company and alliances with others working on their intimate relationships, couples form a community of healing and growth, deepening commitments and expanding capacities for optimal relating for both members of the couple.  Over time a strong sense of community develops with a feeling of “family” as group members are able to see themselves in other individuals and couples in the group, and the shared experience and company helps secure the internal and behavioral changes in the couple

Sex Therapy

Many people come to therapy to address issues with their sexuality.   I can help you talk about a wide range of concerns, including such things as changes in functioning, low or absent desire, interest in the exploration of new possibilities. Many people have difficulty talking about sexuality and I can provide a safe and reassuring place where you can be more honest with yourself, and with your partner. 

 

Sex and couples therapy entails:

Ask the questions

Talk about what you know so far

Educate yourself, and your partner

Experiment, experiencing some version of what you fantasize about. Is it just the arousal that comes with the fantasy that you really want?

Expand what you know about your sexual interests and your partner.

Doubts, fears, the forbidden...who says it is forbidden? Is that what attracts you, turns you on?

Be friendly with the unknown, with yourself, with your partner. With the therapist’s help, you can help uncover and address issues that interfere with playfulness and freeze the freedom that you feel you want.

 

 

Aging, Sex, and Psychotherapy

 

 

The process of growing older involves daunting challenges. How can you build strength and believe in the possibility and reality of resilience and promise?  A vital sexual presence helps you stay vibrant and eager in the face of increasing loss and physical as well as psychological and emotional challenges.  We can consciously and intentionally grow and protect the connection with our deepest passions, pleasures, and vitality.  

In the safety of the therapy relationship, the client or couple is helped to explore changes in sexual interests, and work toward adaptations to physiological, psychological and relational (including being unpartnered) changes.  This process can flower into the client or couple finding new previously unexplored passions and interests, becoming a new version, vital and whole, of who they are.

 

It is essential to communicate clearly in order to be able to work together as aspects of functioning that once were on autopilot no longer are so easily accessible.  Often individuals and couples never actually had to talk about their sexual functioning, they just “did what they had always done” together. In the sex therapy process, you will develop the necessary communication skills to plot a course to greater sexual aliveness and functioning, addressing vulnerabilities and changes that are occurring physically and emotionally.

 

Sexual expression can be one of the greatest contributors to a life of purpose and passion at any age and is a force for healing and wholeness as we face the challenges of the later chapters of life.  I can help you find your way to the sexual aliveness that is right for you, and to older years that can have precious moments more joyous and filled with gratitude for life than ever before. 

© 2020 by Pamela Finnerty, PhD All Rights Resserved

1700 17th Street, NW, Suite 601         Washington, DC 20009        202-234-7676