About Me…

October 19th, 2008

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) located in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, I provide compassionate and affirming psychotherapy for individuals, couples, families and adolescents. I have specialized experience helping people who do not feel like they fit in – those who’ve been marginalized or dismissed based on their identities or experiences…

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Negative Self-Talk & the Nasty Roommate

October 22nd, 2015

negative self-talkThe Scene: Two men are talking on the phone, trying to set up a date for the weekend. Sam called Jamal to ask him out on a date. Sam is VERY interested in Jamal, and feeling very vulnerable.

Sam: Do you want to get together this weekend?

The Voice in Sam’s head: He won’t want to see you. He’s got better things to do.

Jamal: Sure, that’d be great.

Sam: When are you free?

Jamal: I’m free all weekend.

Sam: Ok.  Let’s do Saturday night.

The Voice in Sam’s Head: He has nothing better to do so he’ll go out with you. Read the rest of this entry »

Therapy…and Sexuality…as Liberation

October 8th, 2015

sex-positive therapistIn September, I presented a workshop with my colleague, therapist Tamara Pincus, at CatalystCon West in Burbank, LA. Our workshop, “Why can’t I go to a sex party?” provided a space for professionals, including psychotherapists, to explore how their sexual expression and professional lives interact. We’ve facilitated this conversation several times and one thing has become abundantly clear: the dominant culture’s shaming of non-heteronormative, non-monogamy-based sexualities affects not only clients…but therapists as well. The shame and judgement of a sexually-repressed culture has consequences for everyone.

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Am I Seeing a Sex-Positive Therapist?

September 28th, 2015

sex-positive therapistIn US culture, personal sexual expression is still a topic that is little discussed and very much stigmatized. While this is true for the population in general, it is also true for psychotherapists. The fact that sex therapy is a speciality rather than a skill all therapists are expected to have speaks volumes. In my field, sex is often seen as a side issue to a person’s well being, rather than integral. Many therapists are taught to see sexuality through a pathological lens. Anything outside of heteronormative, marital, & monogamy-seeking behaviors is often seen as problematic. For these reasons, it’s very important to be able to identify a sex-positive therapist when you need to work on sexual concerns about which you feel some shame or embarrassment.

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Making Monogamy a Choice

August 24th, 2015

poly-friendly therapistRecently at the Woodhull Foundation’s 2015 Sexual Freedom Summit, Tamara Pincus, LICSW and I co-facilitated a discussion on compulsory monogamy – the idea that everyone is expected to be monogamous. Monogamy is the norm in the US. It’s expected and unquestioned in relationships. And we are subtly taught from birth that we too will one day be in a monogamous relationship. We often times don’t even realize that we have a choice in the matter.

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“The White House is lit up like a gay pride flag!”

July 27th, 2015

LGBT therapistIt was the night of the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. I was at dinner with some friends and things were winding down. It was late, almost midnight, and I quickly checked Facebook and saw what seemed unbelievable. The White House was bathed in the six colors of the gay pride flag. I shouted out, “The White House is lit up like a gay pride flag!” I decided that I had to see it in person, so I rode my bike to the White House, arriving at 12:30 am.

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Sexing the Trans Man

July 18th, 2015

Transgender menHaving good sex can increase a trans person’s comfort with their body. This is the message Buck Angel and I attempted to impart to over 150 sex educators, counselors, and therapists at the annual AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists) conference in Minneapolis this past June. At our workshop “Sexing the Trans Man,” attendees were excited to learn about the connections between gender identity, body dysphoria, and sexual expression as well as the opportunity to dispel some myths about transgender men. We showed one of Buck’s docu-porns to help attendees hear from actual transgender men as well as see what transgender sex actually looks like. (Hint – it doesn’t look any different than cisgender sex.) as well as see the diversity of transmasculine bodies.The major myth we attempted to dispel is that trans men hate their bodies.

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Keeping Things Light

May 28th, 2015

self-care“I like to keep things light.” This is what a boyfriend – let’s call him Rahim – recently told a friend of mine – let’s call her Sharon. Rahim said this in the face of major crises, including a life or death situation for a loved one. Sharon told me about the inherent dichotomy in what her boyfriend is saying versus what he is experiencing. And how stating that he keeps things light is actually an avoidance strategy that is not honest, nor is it ultimately helpful. Rahim was sleeping poorly, had stomach aches, and generally felt miserable.  So much for  keeping things light.

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Fear? Or Intuition?

May 7th, 2015

PTSD treatment“Trust your intuition.” We’ve all been told this. It’s nice to be able to trust yourself and your internal compass. However, a yoga teacher recently reminded me that trusting your intuition isn’t always that straightforward.

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Relationship Lessons from a Pro-Domme

March 31st, 2015

relationship lessonsIf your Master or Mistress asks you to tell you what’s on your mind…you tell them, says a Pro-Domme (professional dominatrix) in a workshop for people in Dom/sub relationships.  She was reminding everyone about why they contracted to be with their partner and how to continue in a healthy way.  It’s actually pretty straightforward advice if you’re the submissive in a Master/slave, Daddy/Boy, or any other kind of Dom/sub relationship. You entered in to this relationship with the understanding that you do as you’re told. In fact, being clear about expectations and direct communication are hallmarks of many D/s relationships.  However, this advice is not exclusive to these kinds of agreements. It can be helpful to all.

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Sojourner’s Truth

March 20th, 2015

build your confidenceI’m not man enough, says one trans male client. I question my masculinity, says another cis male client. Am I as much of a woman as a cis woman?, asks a trans female client. Why doesn’t my life matter?, asks an African American cis male client. Questions like these pop up with much regularity in my work. People questioning their authenticity because cultural “norms” and life experiences make them feel out of place, invalidated, and just plain crappy about themselves.

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