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Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation

What are the Differences Between Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation? I’m frequently asked to explain the differences between sex, gender, and sexual orientation.  So, what are the differences?  The short answer is this: sex is about your body, gender is about who you feel yourself to be, and sexual orientation is about to whom you’re…
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What to Expect from Counseling

Counseling 101: What Happens During a Session?​ One in five American adults has a mental health condition. Research has shown that these mental health conditions can be treated effectively. Scientists continue to disprove the stigmas surrounding mental health.  As a result, more people have acknowledged the value of modern therapy.  But many people have no…
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Cognitive Distortions

What are Cognitive Distortions? Edit Column Cognitive distortions are biased or exaggerated thought patterns or beliefs. They are usually irrational, or misrepresent reality in some fashion.   The concept was first proposed by Aaron Beck, the founder of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  It was during his treatment of patients with depression that Beck realized his patients often expressed thoughts and beliefs that…
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Recovery and Sexual Health

Why Are We Talking About Sex? Sexual health and recovery is a frequent topic of discussion in my group therapy sessions.  In active addiction, the dependency on drugs and alcohol interferes with the ability to experience healthy intimacy.  Emotions are numbed and the capacity  to form meaningful attachments is impaired.  Often, the desire for sex…
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Healthy Intimacy and Addiction

Healthy Intimacy Healthy intimacy and addiction are terms that can be incongruous.  If people are abusing alcohol and drugs, it can be almost impossible for them to maintain healthy intimate relationships. As drugs or alcohol become the objects of obsession, there is no room for anyone else. As the individual falls further into addiction they…
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Do 12-Step Groups Really Work?

I’m frequently asked “Why do I need to go to AA meetings?” “How is a 12-step group going to keep me sober?” Frequently, my response will be “Going to meetings provides accountability. Working the steps helps you change your life. I will often point-out to these skeptics that the word “alcohol” is used only once…
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