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Radical Self-Acceptance

Admin : February 18, 2017 2:48 am : Sexual therapy, Sexually Compulsive Behaviors, Shame, Spousal Support, Substance Abuse

Sunset

Paradoxically, the more we try change ourselves, the more we inhibit change from happening. When we open ourselves up to experience who we are the more likely we are to change.

Often times when people come to therapy they have come to the conclusion that something needs to change. Although change is frequently the goal in therapy, an eagerness to change can actually be a block to moving forward. When radical self-acceptance is incorporated during your struggles you create a calm and confident starting point to move forward. Without radical self-acceptance during your struggles you add suffering to your suffering. Adding suffering to your suffering might look like judgment about your feelings, impatience with yourself, or frustration about having a struggle to begin with. Self-acceptance can be challenging when we face problems that are culturally taboo: Addiction, Sexually Compulsive Behaviors, LGBTQ issues, and more. These problems carry a significant amount of shame with them and radical self-acceptance can release you from the shackles of stigma.
Radical self-acceptance is about having compassion for yourself, being patient with yourself, and accepting your humanness. A stressful environment inhibits learning/growth and radical self-acceptance can create a safe inner space to gently move through challenges. This is a radical concept because it goes against the messages you may have received in your family or the beliefs you may have acquired from your political and social context. As challenging or as awkward as it might be at first you must choose to embrace who you are and where you are right now. Radical self-acceptance opens you up to your potentials. The second paradox of change is that the slower we move in therapy the faster we see change.

Cameron Reis, M.S., MFTI 96516

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Codependency

Admin : February 9, 2016 11:39 pm : Couples Therapy, Relationships, Sexual therapy, Spousal Support

codependency
Do you want someone or do you need them? A question not commonly asked, but rather a statement most often made.

“I need you.” When hearing this, it is a common initial response to feel you are that individual’s highest priority or they have the deepest amount of love for you. Same concept with another popular phrase, “I need you like I need air to breathe.” These are highly romanticized notions. But have you ever taken the time to really understand what it would mean to need someone to that extent? It is one thing to romanticize this need, it is another to experience it.

If you need someone to this extent, that is a representation of dependence, a sign of codependency. If you need someone like you need air, then without them you will suffocate. Imagine, the same person attached to you like an oxygen tank, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Still feel like it is a sign of love and devotion to need someone?

Humans have basic needs. According to Maslow’s hierarchy there are 5 levels of need, beginning with food, water, etc…and ending with self actualization. You will notice, the first word is SELF. To be self actualized means to be self fulfilled and to know your own potential.

Wanting is entirely different. To want someone means you do not need them. You have met your basic human needs, as well as your emotional needs as an individual. At this stage, a partner is a choice; a decision one makes for the betterment of life. The goal is to have a partner that enhances the day to day and can be enjoyed for who they are.

This is not to say, because you want someone, life will be perfect every day. There will continue to be challenges, but it will remain a choice to continue the relationship or not. If the choice is to stay, then you know this person sees you for who you are and accepts you fully. If the choice is to terminate the relationship, there will eventually be peace in knowing you will overcome the loss.

Whereas, in a needed relationship, there is a constant fear to be alone. For if you are alone, your air supply will be non-existent. This shows up as entering into a new relationship immediately after one ends. Or staying within a relationship when you know it is not right for you. Both scenarios never allow you to know your own strength or potential. Instead, this constant state of need teaches people lessons or core beliefs such as feeling unlovable, unworthy, undeserving, etc.

Reflect back on your dating history and ask yourself again, do you want someone? Or do you need them? If you have a pattern of needing, but want to learn how to want, the Counseling Center for Sexual Health can aid you in that process. Thankfully, the brain is plastic and can be rewired and reprogrammed. Call us to learn how (805)308-9800.

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

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The Holidays

Admin : December 29, 2015 9:16 pm : Relationships, Self Care, Sexual therapy

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CCSH wishes you and yours a very happy holiday season!

Holidays typically bring a ton of emotions, especially towards the end of year. The people you see or do not see; the relationships that are missed; the family coming into town that you would love to avoid. The list of examples is endless and specific to everyone. But more often than not, there seems to be this overwhelming feeling of pressure and anxiety building up. It is important to have adaptive coping skills to help balance the equation out. Self care is unique for everyone (massage, a walk, spending time with friends or alone, quiet time, movie, etc.), and is especially important when the chaos of life is escalating.

With New Years right around the corner, ask yourself, “What do I hope to see for myself in 2016?” Reflecting back on 2015 and observing what worked and what could be improved or different is a great starting point. Once you find out what you would like to see change then ask, “How do I hope to accomplish this?” Then comes the most challenging part… follow through.

Creating a sequence of short term goals allows for progress and encouragement along the way towards a long term goal. Setting goals too large in the beginning can feel unattainable and discouraging. It is important to allow yourself the accomplishments of realistic short term goals to continue motivating you to the finish. Sometimes it is not always about the destination, but about the journey it took to get there.

If you need assistance with creating a plan, sorting through the holiday emotions, etc. CCSH is here for you. We have multiple therapists on staff waiting to help. Call or email today!

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

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Intensive Outpatient Program

Admin : September 23, 2015 8:16 pm : Sexual therapy, Sexually Compulsive Behaviors

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The Counseling Center for Sexual Health is pleased to introduce our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adult males struggling with sexually related issues. This program provides ten hours of therapy a week for each client; including both individual and group therapy. Group sessions will be offered Tuesday and Thursday from 6-9pm, and Saturday from 9-12pm. Individual therapy will be scheduled per client.

There are many benefits for participating in an IOP. Perhaps the largest benefit is the continued support and treatment while individuals integrate life events (work, school, socialization) into a sober lifestyle.

CCSH professionals are sex therapists certified through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) trained and skilled in ways to assist people in gaining a deeper understanding of their own sexuality and how it affects their lives in relationships.

If you believe you or someone you know would benefit from our Intensive Outpatient Program or Psychological services, please call the Counseling Center for Sexual Health intake department (805)308-9800 Ext. 3.

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

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Ashley Madison Scandal

Admin : August 12, 2015 9:54 pm : Couples Therapy, Relationships, Sexual therapy, Sexually Compulsive Behaviors, Spousal Support

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First ask yourself, “What is Ashley Madison?” If you can confidently answer the question with anything but, “I do not know,” then you may have been affected by this site.

Ashley Madison is the second largest online dating website, second only to Match.com, with the slogan, “Life is Short. Have an Affair.” Recently a hacker group called, “The Impact Team,” threatened to release the “confidential” information for dating websites: Ashley Madison, Cougar Life, and Established Men. The goal behind the threat was to have these websites permanently shut down because the “cheating dirtbags,” according to the Impact team, were not worthy of discretion or confidentiality.

“Cheating dirtbags,” does not exactly insinuate the Impact Team is composed of men; and coincidently Christian Mingle did not get hacked. Does this information shed some light on who orchestrated the attack? Maybe, maybe not.

The more important questions are: What lead up to the affair?; Is there a history of similar sexually acting out behavior?;  What happens to the relationship now?; How do you cope with the onslaught of emotions ranging from fear to shame?

Millions of relationships and families have been affected by this threat of exposure. You are not the only one and you do not need to deal with this alone.

If you have been affected by the recent events involving Ashley Madison and other sites, the Counseling Center for Sexual Health can help. We work with individuals, couples, and partners of individuals affected. Contact us today (805)308-9800.

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

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