What Your Upbringing Says About Who You Are in Bed

Esther Perel asks.

As a Relationship Therapist - I ask.

📌Why is it that many women don’t seem to know what they want?

📌Where does the sense of being disconnected from your own body stem from?

📌How can it be so hard to talk about sex with our partners? 

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As Perel explains, much of our adult sexuality, our current desires, the way we relate to others, how we perceive our self-worth—is the product of the way we were raised and the environment in which our sexuality developed.

Q&A with Esther Perel:

Q
You’ve said that if you know how someone was raised, you can tell how they will be as a lover. Can you explain?

A
Consider a paradigm we’ve always known in modern psychology: Tell me how you are loved, and I’ll have a good idea of what may be some of your issues, your concerns, your worries, your aspirations, and how you love.

But this paradigm never got translated into: Tell me how you were loved and I will tell you how you MAKE love. How your emotional history is inscribed in the physicality of sex. How your body speaks a certain emotional biography.

For example, the question I often ask people is: How did you learn to love, and with whom? Were you allowed to want? Were you allowed to have needs growing up—or were you told, “What do you need that for?” Were you allowed to thrive? Were you allowed to experience pleasure—or was pleasure just a break between work sessions, a reward after a lot of effort? Were you allowed to cry—and were you allowed to cry out loud, or did you have to hide it? Were you allowed to laugh—out loud? Did you feel protected as a child by those who needed to protect you—or did you flee for protection? Did the people who were supposed to take care of you do so—or did you have to take care of your caregivers, becoming the parentified child

Interested in Reading More... 



Baltimore Area Adult Women:

Does post this resonate with you? Are you interested in exploring your own adult sexuality and how it shows up for you in your relationship?

If so, reach out - you don’t need to navigate these feelings & ideas - ALONE. 


 Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges within coupleship. 

Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges within coupleship. 


Your relationship has changed with the years, and so has Valentine's Day (here's why that's totally ok!)

Your relationship has changed with the years, and so has Valentine's Day (here's why that's totally ok!)

The flowers, the cards, the hype, the expectations… As a culture, we’ve put so much pressure on February 14 and the particular - and even peculiar - ways this holiday celebrates love.

 

At the end of 2017, I invited you to sit with your partner and do a “Year in Review.” In that article, I quoted the legendary relationship therapist Esther Perel: 

 

Today, we turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did: a sense of grounding, meaning, and continuity. At the same time, we expect our committed relationships to be romantic as well as emotionally and sexually fulfilling. Is it any wonder that so many relationships crumble under the weight of it all?

NEW Women's Group Starting Feb. 21st

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The Empower Flock 

Be more
Connected * Creative * Courageous

Be more
Healed * Authentic * Empowered

Be more
YOU


Relationships. Family. Work. Self care. There’s so much to do every day… How are you really feeling in the midst of all that hustle?

As women, we’re asked to be so many thing to so many people. As we try to make a livelihood, care for others, and make the world a slightly better place, we ask so much of ourselves too.

You get the to the point where you feel overextended, unseen, and isolated by your own stress.

And that’s why it can be so helpful to gather with a group of women dedicated to the same things you are… Being at peace with the past. Maintaining healthy relationships. Finding the courage to be who you really are.

Introducing…
The Empowered Flock, a new women’s Baltimore Women’s Group.

This interpersonal therapy group for women is intended to help you connect to your own vision of empowerment. You’ll be invited to find new ways to:

• embrace reality (even if it’s uncomfortable) 
• solve problems
• accept yourself and others
• feel courageous.
• be more spontaneous and creative

This intimate group is limited to seven participants. It is facilitated by Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC at her Space Between Counseling Services offices 1501 Sulgrave Ave. Suite 200 A, Baltimore, Maryland 21209 .

This group meets on eight Wednesdays from 10:00 – 11:30 am:

February 21
February 28
March 14
March 28
April 4
April 11
May 2
May 16

Fees:

$50 for a 45-minutes initial individual intake session that ensures you’re a fit for the group and helps Susan get to know you and your story

$50/ group session (a total of $400).

Save $50 when you pay for the entire program in advance (a total of $350).

Have questions? Please contact Susan: (443) 527-2042 or SUSAN@SPACEBETWEENCOUNSELINGSERVICES.COM OR schedule your intake phone call ONLINE. https://susan-stork5334.clientsecure.me/client_por…/schedule


 Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland.    Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges of coupleship. Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s  PACT  approach, Susan helps you move through the muck of life and into a life of INTENTION, purpose, and connection. 

Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland.  

Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges of coupleship. Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s PACT approach, Susan helps you move through the muck of life and into a life of INTENTION, purpose, and connection. 

Your Coupleship: Year in Review 2017

Your Coupleship: Year in Review 2017

Coupleship: Year in Review 2017

Why would you and your partner want to do a “Year In Review”? This series of check in questions is designed to help you two invite structure, flow, play and connection into 2018.

After the wrapping paper is cleared away, but before you pull out the new year's noisemakers, I hope that you can make time for each other. Just being together and enjoying each other is great, but I have an invitation for you that will help make you stronger in the year to come...

In this space between the holidays as one year ends and another begins, I'd love to know that you’re strengthening your "coupleship bubble." Maybe you want to think of it as creating your own private snow globe where you sit together in the swirl of your past and present and plan out your future.

Why I Cheated: Because I Needed to Hide

Why I Cheated: Because I Needed to Hide

What goes through someone’s mind after they cheat? A million different things.

The following letter is a fictitious note written by a regretful partner trying to save a relationship after infidelity. The letter may be made up but the feelings and worries it describes and my response (that’s part two of this post!) are very real.

-- Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC

Photo by Konstantin Planinski on Unsplash

Season of Feelings

 Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland.   Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges of coupleship.  Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s PACT approach, Susan helps you move through the muck of life and into a life of purpose and connection.

Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland. 

Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges of coupleship.

Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s PACT approach, Susan helps you move through the muck of life and into a life of purpose and connection.

  It’s that time of year again. Holidays are in clear sight in all areas of life.   

It’s that time of year again. Holidays are in clear sight in all areas of life.
 

I get that this time of year is hard on many people.
Due to traumatic events, difficult family and/or events linked to this season - many people feel less than { Deep Gratitude, Joyful & Happy } in the days between November --> January.

#Holidays are a rough time of year for many people due to one reason or another.

So, what can we do it about it? Jaime Stacks @jamielstacks has a one formula to stop this “crazy train” that speeds through the holidays for some of us.

It starts with setting your intentions.

Using intentions {PLUS} the therapeutic idea of "Re-Storying" we can alter our current experiences in this “NOW” space of the season compared to the “THEN” space of previous sadness, harm and voids of previous seasons.

 

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{F I V E}  Mindfulness tips to jump-start your Holiday Self-Care}
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[ONE] Set intentions every morning
[TWO] Take 15-30 minutes everyday for yourself
[THREE] Take 15-30 minutes everyday for loved ones -- family + friends and mentors
[FOUR] Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
[FIVE] Gratitude Journal




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Photo by Estée Janssens on @Unsplash
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( Together )

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“We can do hard things.”
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This is a saying that I’ve been saying + hearing lately - in my head, in my sessions, as a business owner, and as a partner + parent.
Understanding that we only have so much control of certain situations but we always have control of our commitments, our responses, our pause and our compassion for ourselves + others.

Being aware of feelings & expressing them PROACTIVELY - helps when things get "hard". Acknowledging that life can be scary, raw, over-whelming & unpredictable --- helps us to realize that it is normal, and that WE don't always have control when "hard things" enter our days. However, these feeling are a {S I G N} that something is amiss.

If you OFTEN use fight (judgement + aggression) , freeze (indecision + prolonged delay) or flee (avoidance) when {hard things} come your way - you might need some more support? 


🖊Writing feelings out (journaling) and/or talking to others might help to identify difficult feelings.

📌Both help me personally to move forward with what I needed to do and not let anxious thoughts take over when "hard things" hit the fan.

🔸In addition, reaching out for help shares the load. I often reach out to my husband + colleagues + friends and ask for insight when "hard things" come my way.



What do you do to confront "hard things"❓

Who are your supports? ❓

Where do you go to reflect + recharge + reset❓

If you find that you often confront "hard things" with fight (aggression + judgement) freeze (prolonged delay + indecision) or flee (avoidance) - it might help to seek more support(s) to help process your feelings and responses to "hard things."

{HARD T H I N G S} do not have to be a way of life - you can share the load, redirect, and pivot when necessary.
 

Hope Dealer

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I was inspired last week to think of my role as a therapist in a different light. Then in sessions, these words came out - #hopedealer 

It seems fitting.

Why Mindfulness? By: Susan Stork

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In 1999 - I took a deep dive into {Mindfulness} unknowingly!

I was dealing LOTS of young adult angst {family, career, relationships, friends & next steps} and I needed an outlet for my anger & frustration - so I entered a yoga training for daily Hatha lessons and guided meditation for 6 months daily at 4 am!

{{ Side-Note: At the time, I was an evening server, who got off work most evenings after midnight & never did a day of yoga in my life.}}

My yogi, never judged me for falling asleep during guided meditation (which I often did because at the time I didn't value MYSELF, sleep schedules & self care ) - instead my yogi pushed my awakening forward by suggesting "walking" meditations (she was slick).

For almost 18+ years - I think about this phase of life almost daily. I grew in ways - I never really appreciated it until later in adulthood.

For me: "Mindfulness" via walking meditation and permission / direction to "be in the moment" promoted my inner growth. Back in '99 - I wasn't aware enough (or mindful enough) to understand -- BUT... "I was where I needed to be to start the work".
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I tell this story because it's never too late to gain control of your mind by harnessing your superpower and increasing your well-being.