Couples Counselling and Sex Therapy

Darwin, Northern Territory based Relationship Counsellor and Sex Therapist    

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FIFO workers urged to get help with mental health, relationship pressures

Posted on 28 November, 2016 at 6:35 Comments comments (0)

FIFO workers urged to get help with mental health, relationship pressures

105.7 ABC Darwin By Adam Steer and Jacqueline Breen

Posted Fri at 3:31pm

 

Long work hours in a harsh, remote climate are pushing people and relationships to breaking point, according to a Darwin-based couples counsellor and sex therapist.

 

While fly-in fly-out workers on projects around the country face similar pressures, Nina Booysen said she believed the problem was particularly bad in the Top End, where large numbers of men work on contract.

 

"FIFO workers, Inpex project workers and high levels of Defence [employment]," she said.

 

"More and more men are exposed to difficult conditions over long periods of time."

 

Unions raised concerns about the mental health of FIFO workers on Darwin's Inpex Ichthys gas project last year, saying that seven employees had taken their lives over three years.

 

Ms Booysen said the strain on individuals spilled over to affect couples and families and that the problem was still going widely unacknowledged.

 

"Everybody just has this ongoing attitude of, 'just push through, just push through, this is not forever'.

"But by the time you push through, there's so much damage done you can't come back to it."

 

Emotional strain and unhappy sex lives

 

Ms Booysen said couples were coming to see her struggling with emotional issues around anger, resentment and aggression.

 

"The men kind of tend to think, 'well I'm earning the money, we're paying the bills, I'm working my butt off, leave me alone'," she said.

 

"Then the partners tend to say, 'I get that it's hard work, but...'."

She said these pressures were affecting intimacy within relationships.

 

"They seem to have disconnected sexually and there's a massive drop in male sexual desire [for their partners] here in the Northern Territory.

"A lot of the workers are engaging with sex workers and excessive pornography ... because it doesn't have an emotional connection, it's just easier to get that relief or to engage in that.

 

"Then over time they actually lose the ability to engage with their partner."

 

Help available but often unsuitable

 

Despite more mainstream coverage of the health and mental health issues affecting FIFO workers, Ms Booysen said many people failed to recognise that something within them had changed.

 

"The biggest step as far as being resilient and being able to cope with mental health issues is to acknowledge that it's going on," she said.

 

"Have some self-awareness and acknowledge that something is different."

And she said many who admitted they could use some help were hesitant to take advantage of support that was being made available by more employers.

 

"They don't want internal staff, they don't trust confidentiality," she said.

 

"They always think, first thing, 'I'm going to lose my job'.

 

"We need to look at the barriers that [prevent] people to actually interact with these services."

 


Hair Loss & Acne Treatments Resulting in Loss of Sexual Desire & Arousal

Posted on 23 September, 2016 at 8:25 Comments comments (0)

I had the privilege of being included in a workshop this week to look at an emerging treatment for Post Finasteride Syndrome. Brett McCann and colleagues in Sydney, have been working hard to look at this issue. Finasteride is a key component in hair loss treatments. This treatment was at its peak in the early 2000's. The side effects were not discussed in depth, the only focus was on how many new follicles were regenerating and hair growth success. Later the side effects were noted but did not outweigh the success of the treatment. Now, finally, it is well known that this treatment has infact cause many men to loose all sexual desire and ability to become aroused. This is not a side effect but a syndrome as it did not abate after ceasing the medication. Finasteride is still prescribed here and attainable online.

Acne treatment Accutane (oral isotretinoin) which ceased distribution in the USA in 2009 has also been reported to have detrimental effects on sexual functioning such as impotence, decreased desire, genital deadening, inability to orgasm, watery ejaculate and shrinkage of the penis in a flaccid state. This drug has well documented mental health risks increasing susceptibility to depression and suicidal ideation.

Although research has focussed on men it reports of sexual functioning being affected in woman has been identified.

If you feel you may have been affected by these treatments and would like more information call Nina on 0420 323 022.

 

To the 20 somethin's out there

Posted on 29 June, 2015 at 8:20 Comments comments (0)

I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of young people seeking assistance from a relationship and sex therapist such as myself. This is definitely something I have encouraged, always touting that people should not leave their issues until they are terminal before seeking help. This is the “good and the bad” of what 20 something’s are experiencing as part of relationships today.

 

1. Access to information – the age of instant connection, gratification and knowledge has created a boom of thoughts, emotions and questions. While “God”ogle seems to have all the answers at the click of a button, these can tend to confuse and overwhelm that most find themselves progressing up a level on candy crush instead.

We are learning to divert our emotional wants and needs to the safe place of daily task ticking and quick interactions. Slowing down and taking the time to communicate openly and without judgement has become a lost skill, not just to the young. However, young people are being encouraged to talk and be open about what afflicts them through campaigns about depression and anxiety, school education programmes to reach out. They are not being encouraged to hide dysfunction but to seek help. I hope this trend continues.

 

2. A shift in the gender dynamics of sex and relationships – I can clearly remember giggling at, but misunderstanding jokes being told by male teenage friends about how to make a woman have an orgasm which would end with the proclamation of “who cares”. I thought, “oh well if they don’t care I guess shouldn’t either.” Perhaps I should thank them because I do care and so do many more people these days including men. In general people do tend to care about their partners satisfaction. Youngsters are slowly dropping the gender walls and moving to emotional and physical equality within relationships. Sexist jokes are no longer tolerated and expectations of men being emotionless machines is dissipating too

 

3. Unrealistic expectations - That’s it really. For people in their early 20’s I have found their expectations of self and of others overwhelmingly high, so high not even Hollywood could match what is in their heads. It took our brains around 12 months to teach our legs to walk, and even then we still had bumps on our heads. Sexual maturity, functioning and enjoyment does not come after the first sexual partner. Allow yourself to be in training for your entire twenties. Take the good with the bad and know it will get better as you learn to relax and enjoy the moment rather than trying to fulfil an unrealistic goal of a 1000 shades of rainbows. If I have any advice it’s to masturbate. Do it with your daily Berrocca. Teach your body to respond to touch or different pressure and texture. Take your time and enjoy the different reactions throughout your body, your heart rate, your stomach, your toes your breathing. Take it all in and give yourself permission to enjoy this inbuilt pleasure response.

So to all the 20 something’s out there, I applaud your tenacity and willingness to grow and improve. However give yourself some space to fail, to be rejected, to cum to early and to freak out a little. Each of these awkward and sometimes emotionally painful experiences trains your brain and body to do it differently and therefore better next time.

 



The G Spots Existance??

Posted on 19 May, 2015 at 2:30 Comments comments (0)


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I was recently informed of a research article published in the journal of ‘Clinical Anatomy’, volume 26, issue 1 by Vincenzo Puppo entitled Anatomy and Physiology of the Clitoris, Vestibular Bulbs, and Labia Minora With a Review of the Female Orgasm and the Prevention of Female Sexual Dysfunction. I was glad to see such an indepth look at the anatomy of female genitalia. I was even more thrilled to see how the examination of the anatomy and how it functions shows that there is no such anatomical structure to represent the G- Spot (Grafenberg Spot) nor is a vaginal orgasm possible. As Puppo says “The correct anatomical term to describe the erectile tissues responsible for female orgasm is the female penis. Vaginal orgasm and the G-spot do not exist. The vagina does not have an anatomical structure that can cause an orgasm”

 I just love this picture, we think we are so different girls and boys, but just look how alike our genitals are! A. being the female clitoral body where only the tip is external and B. is the penile body. Basically, woman (and their partners) can sigh in relief knowing that only 30% of woman experience orgasm through penetration alone and this is not because they have a special interior sensitivity. Woman orgasm due to contraction of muscles brought on by stimulation of the erectile bodies such as the outer and inner lips, the vestibular bulbs and clitoris. So fear not ladies, you are normal if you don’t experience orgasm through penetration alone and you need not continue searching for the holy grail G-Spot because it isn't there. If you are orgasming, no matter what the means, you are doing just fine.

The Amazing Female Orgasm

Posted on 19 May, 2015 at 2:20 Comments comments (0)

The female orgasm, thought to be myth until recent history has had the reputation of being the unattainable holy grail of the good lover. Well, it seems there is lot more to Mother Nature’s gift as science is discovering. Recently studies across the globe have discovered that not only is the female orgasm real but it has multiple purposes such as Influencing relationships, reproduction, good health, reward, bonding, warmth.

The clitoris, a by-product of the penis after the embryonic stage of life, is an organ which extends into the female pelvic area. Woman who experience orgasm through penetration are lucky in a sense that their clitoral body lies close the vaginal wall and as thrusting continues the internal clitoral body is stimulated and orgasm occurs. Ultrasound shows that during penetration the internal clitoral body is squashed and separated due to internal pressure. Only 25% of woman experience penetrative orgasm. The rest are happy to receive their pleasure through self-stimulation or oral. ‘Vaginal’ or external, it’s all clitoral and it’s all good.

The biggest the sex organ, brain.

A willing participant was placed in a scanner and asked to masturbate to orgasm. When she achieved orgasm 37 parts of her brain lit up in a specific sequence. The reason for the sequence is unknown but the hypothalamus ends up secreting oxytocin which cause the contractions in the pleasurable contractions in the uterus and the forceful contractions in men to enable ejaculation. It releases happy chemicals and allows you to feel soothed and satisfied.

Will orgasms get me pregnant?

A study where a female was inseminated with sperm treated with radiation and then asked to masturbate to orgasm showed some interesting results. The orgasm drives the sperm up the vagina, and the body seems to drive the sperm left or right to the ovary which is about to ovulate. While OBGYN’s are not prescribing orgasms to ensure fertilisation, they are happy to say it doesn't hurt.

Orgasms help us choose our mate

Orgasm is a compass guiding us to the mate with good genes. Today’s scientific measurement of “good genes” is demonstrated by facial symmetry (when the one half of our face matches the other). It seems we subconsciously choose mates we perceive to have this feature.

A qualitative study has also shown that woman who are passionately in love with their partners have different brain reactions to woman who are not. They rate their orgasms higher than those who are not feeling the passion. Good orgasms are then stored in memory and triggered the next time she has an orgasm with her lover again cementing the attraction even if the intensity was less.

Hope for the non orgasmic

Dr Stuart Meloy of North Carolina has completely by accident discovered an electrode device which results in orgasm for woman. He is a specialist dealing in chronic pain. In a procedure for a woman to implant his device in order to block her chronic back pain, he missed and intercepted the nerves to the genitals resulting in a wonderful orgasm. This is now marketed as the Orgasmatron!

So Ladies, orgasm is not only a treat to give ourselves or a as a gift from a partner, it plays many major roles in our lives. Don’t fake it, own it!

If you are having trouble connecting with your orgasm make an appointment today.

 

FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE!

Sexual Functioning Enhancement Supplements

Posted on 18 May, 2015 at 21:05 Comments comments (0)

Deborah Brauser, a medical Journalist for Medscape Medical News recently attended the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting. There have been some recent studies on supplements people may take for sexual dysfunction or arousal, although natural there are some concerning trends. Active ingredients such as yohimbe, maca, gingko biloba, and horny goat weed are linked to a number of psychiatric outcomes.

 

NEW YORK ― Ingredients in sexual enhancement products advertised and sold online are associated with several serious psychoactive effects, new research shows.

A review of 108 Web sites and other online resources showed that the most common of these products contained the active ingredients yohimbine, maca, ginkgo biloba, and/or horny goat weed. These 4 substances were linked to the induction of anxiety, panic, mood changes, hallucinations, and/or addictive behaviours.

"There are different compounds that have sexual enhancement properties, but they can also have psychiatric effects, such as acting as a stimulant or predisposing someone for a manic episode," Giovanni Martinotti, MD, PhD, from the Department of Neuroscience and Imaging at the G. d'Annunzio University in Chieti-Pescara, Italy, told Medscape Medical News.

The researchers note that they wanted to raise public awareness about the adverse effects of these products, most of which are not regulated. In addition, they suggest that clinicians should ask their patients about use, especially because additional adverse reactions can occur when mixed with psychiatric medications.

"The possible impact on population health, particularly among subjects with

psychiatric disorders, who are usually at risk for sexual dysfunction, may be significant," they write.

The results were presented here at the American Psychiatric Association's (APA's) 2014 Annual Meeting.

Drastic Increase in Use

Use of herbs and supplements has "drastically increased" during the past few years, note the investigators.

"Indeed, various sexual enhancer products, labelled as 'herbal' or 'all natural' and claiming to improve sexual stamina and enlarge penis size, have become increasingly popular," they write, adding that this is largely due to being readily available over the Internet.

"This phenomenon…represents a serious challenge from a clinical and a public health perspective."

 

Between February and July 2013, the researchers used Google to search 108 English and Italian Web sites, including e-commerce sites, e-newsgroups, chat rooms, and online video channels. They also used the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, which is described as a secure online "warning system" that monitors media reports in 6 languages.

After the most common sexual enhancement products were identified, the PubMed and PsycInfo databases were used to search for reported psychological and pharmacologic side effects.

Results showed that the products that had the most significant psychoactive properties were yohimbine, maca, horny goat weed, and ginkgo biloba.

Yohimbine, which can be extracted from a variety of plants and blocks alpha-2 adrenoceptors at both the pre- and postsynaptic level, is advertised as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, as a sexual performance enhancer, and as a weight loss and bodybuilding supplement.

However, it is also associated with the adverse effects of anxiety and agitation, as well as gastrointestinal distress, hypertension, and tachycardia.

Uncontrolled Availability

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a Peruvian plant that has been used as an energizer and to treat infertility and sexual dysfunction ― but it also contains a tetrahydro-beta-carboline acid, which may play a role in increasing craving and addictions.

Horny goat weed has been associated with hypomanic symptoms, as well as tachyarrhythmia and vasculitic rash.


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