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Seminar on Sex Addiction with Karen Lloyd, 18 June 2016

Karen Lloyd, an accredited psychosexual psychotherapist and certified sexual addiction therapist, gave us a full day of insight and knowledge on the quite misunderstood and challenging subject of sex addiction.

Karen Lloyd with Wendy Bramham

Karen Lloyd with Wendy Bramham

We learnt that people with sexual addiction do not have fun, that it is not related to a sexual orientation, neither is it connected to sexual fetishes or paraphilias. Sexual addiction is not the same as sexual offending.

We thought about the many words we might use to describe a person with sexual addiction problems and that they are mostly negative. Shame is the most acutely felt emotion and trained therapists work mainly with supporting and helping their clients to manage their feelings of shame.

Karen helped us to understand how she and her fellow trained therapists work with clients and gave us lots of detail on the complexities of working in this specialist field. It is a “process addiction” and the primary driver for sexual addicts is for mood altering purposes. We thought about some similarities in how alcohol addiction is now managed, for example providing support groups as a powerful and effective technique.

Karen spent the 2nd half of the day focusing on how she and her colleagues help the partner of a sexual addict and how isolating and shameful the discovery of a partner’s sexual addiction can be.Seminar sex addiction 2016

The seminar was interactive and well paced, packed with information and insight and very much a taster of how to work with this very challenging subject.

By : Jo Turner, June 2016

We are pleased with the delegates’ average feedback scores as follows:
Overall assessment of event: 4.89 out of 5
Speaker: 4.5 out of 5
Value for money: 4.89 out of 5

Comments from delegates:
“Fantastic delivery of the course by Karen, very insightful and interesting”
“Excellent value”
“Karen’s experience, warmth and knowledge made it easy to engage and enjoy the seminar”
“Very relaxed, intimate and cosy to share”

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Day one: Can therapy make you selfish?

Do you worry that having counselling might be indulgent or selfish? Do you fear that focusing on your own desires and needs might result in neglecting or hurting others? Lots of people who go into therapy have these fears. And the fear of selfishness is understandable given that many of us were brought up to put others first. However, I’m wondering if there is a different way to look at this issue? Perhaps there is a kind of ‘healthy selfishness’ that we can explore in therapy and which might help us get our lives in better balance?

Take journalist, Sally Brampton’s, experience. In ‘Shoot the Damn Dog’*, a memoir of her own suicidal depression, she recounts how a therapist told her she was abandoning herself every time she:

  • pretended she was fine when she wasn’t
  • refused to rest when she was tired
  • didn’t ask for what she needed from a person with whom she was intimate, and
  • put someone else’s needs before her own but resented doing so.

The therapist explained that Sally suffered from a failure of care; care for herself but also care from her parents who should have taught her how to take care of herself in childhood. Sally explains that as a child she unconsciously learned that it was better not to need or become attached to people or things, because anything she loved – people, dogs, houses, schools – were taken away from her. As an adult she was able to see other people’s needs but not her own, and this contributed to her serious depressive symptoms.

Over the next few days we’ll be blogging about this subject, challenging the idea that therapy is selfish, and looking at how a positive focus on ourselves can be good not only for us but for all those we relate to. Far from promoting selfishness, we think therapy might enable us to be less selfish and more loving.

Tomorrow we tackle the hot topic of narcissim… is therapy just ‘all about me’?

Author: Wendy Bramham
Editor: Briony Martin

April 2015

* Shoot the Damn Dog – A Memoir of Depression, by Sally Brampton. Bloomsbury, London, 2009.

Counselling for children, adolescents and teenagers

imageWendy Bramham Therapy – at centres in Newbury and Marlborough – provides counselling to children, adolescents and teenagers, as well as adults of all ages. Helping people when they are young can help prevent mental health issues from developing or worsening later in life.  This message is endorsed by the Duchess of Cambridge who records for the BBC a supportive video message to mark the start of Children’s Mental Health Week.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31483315

 

Are you drinking too much?

Excess stress and strain can lead us to drink too much. Drinking numbs our feelings and distracts our thoughts. Lots of people who come into therapy have a problem with drinking, and, like any addiction, a talking treatment can really help. At the clinic we have a specialist counsellor – Briony Martin –  experienced in working with problem drinking. Our approach is to help clients work out what underlies their drinking and find a better way to deal with those deeper issues and feelings. Being able to talk to someone objective, non-judgemental and supportive can make all the difference.
brionyjmartin@hotmail.co.uk