This presentation reviews the latest brain research demonstrating right-brain dominance for empathy, generosity, giving and receiving pleasure, and other qualities promoting sexual presence. It provides evidence for a couples’ sex therapy that includes awareness of partners’ subtle bodily cues that affect intimacy and sexual responsiveness, and offers methods for sexual healing, enrichment, and transformative sex therapy. A paradigm shift is taking place in the fields of psychotherapy and mental health, and exerting an important influence on the field of sexual health. Left-brain cognitive-behavioural therapeutic methods have dominated over thirty years, a likely backlash to the body-based, often anti-intellectual Human Potentials Movement of the 60s and 70s. Thanks to exciting developments in brain research, the pendulum is shifting back to the body.
The new focus is on therapeutic methods that address the profound influence of early nonverbal, right-brain stress-related programming on adult capacity to resolve distress, enjoy emotional closeness, and be fully present for sexual pleasure. While left-brain reframing of a couple’s problems as growth opportunities is helpful, directing a couple to nonverbal, emotionally triggering body-language can uncover deeper issues that, without awareness, may sabotage conscious intentions.
Through no-fault, body-based processing, partners learn in therapy to work as a team – not adversaries – to discover unresolved emotions from original families projected onto the other, and underlying habits, expectations or motivations getting in the way of intimate sexual connection. Somatic processes like making eye contact when talking, breathing and down-regulating stress and being responsive and not reactive, can have profound effects. Right-brain to right-brain communications can make up for family of origin deficits, heal wounds from sexual misinformation, insecurity, or trauma, and foster bodily presence for sexual connection and pleasure.
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