The following is an interview between Brittany Senseman, LPC-S, and Melanie Sutton, LPC. Melanie is a trained sex therapist with a Christian world view. In this interview, Mel answers some basic questions regarding the purpose and process of sex therapy.
The #metoo campaign has brought a very important and often taboo topic to the forefront recently. What started on social media is now fueling dialogue over dinner tables, happy hours and therapy sessions. As a counselor, I’m thankful for opportunities to give expression to traumatic events that have lurked in the dark because that is where healing begins. However, as with any issue that has spent so much time in the dark, once it’s open for discussion, the pendulum can swing in both helpful and unhelpful directions. All you need to do is peruse the comments of those who have shared via #metoo to see that this is a vulnerable, complicated and even divisive topic.There is no way that one article (or even one conversation) could cover all of the nuances and complexities involved in these issues. That said, I think it is helpful to start by defining terms.
WHAT: age-appropriate dialogue about sex with your kids
WHEN: sooner than you think— on an ongoing basis
HOW: with plenty of preparation, patience and prayer
WHY: to point to the amazing work of our Creator, and for your kids’ protection!
Sex. It’s one of the top three things that couples fight about within marriage. Why? I can think of at least two major contributing factors. The first is that sex is deeply personal and vulnerable. And the second is that very few people are actually taught how to talk about this sensitive topic in a healthy manner. If the couple happens to be Christian, then the chances are even slimmer that they’ve learned how to communicate their sexual desires or concerns to one another.
Do you consider any of the following to be innocuous? Human-trafficking, objectification of women, violence, rape, incest, infidelity. I’m guessing the vast majority of us would answer that question with a resounding, “NO!” So why do so many people still believe that pornography, a behavior that often precipitates, accompanies, or fuels these atrocities is “harmless” or “okay in moderation?”
Are you protecting your kids from Internet predators? How are you preparing their developing brains to deal with content beyond their capacity when they do encounter it?In today’s tech-based culture, Internet skills are learned early on; so parents need to be vigilant about implementing protective measures regarding Internet safety.
When I counsel engaged couples, I usually ask if they plan to be monogamous. Generally, the first response I get is a startled look that says, “What kind of dumb question is that?” followed by a verbal response such as, “Of course we're going to be monogamous; we are getting married!” Next I ask them how they know they are going to be monogamous, and I am usually greeted with a blank stare as each person turns to the other and mumbles something like, “Well, we just assume…isn't it implied?”