Does the idea of working holistically with your clients appeal to you?
Do you agree that our sexuality cannot be confined to the bedroom, but is actually interwoven into every aspect of our lives?
In my next video (see below), we’re going to delve into the Mind and how the mental realm can contribute to a person’s sexual blockages.
You’ll see how I use the framework of the MEBES model to work through those issues that stem from our thinking self and get in the way of our sexual pleasure.
Ready to dive in with me?
Video #2: Mind
Hi Dr. Patti here.
If you haven’t watched the first lesson—which is our overview of the MEBES signature system—you need to go do that first, because I’ve set up the context of how it works, why it works, and how you can use it in your clinical work.
This lesson today is about the first letter of the MEBES signature system and that’s M for mind or the mental realm. When we think about the five parts of the sexual self—mind emotions body energy and spirit—I gotta tell you the biggest trouble that my clients get themselves in is their thinking self. What is in the mind is the BS that our clients carry and what do you think that is? Yeah, you’re right. It’s that kind of BS but for the most part it’s belief system. So the thoughts that they think over and over and over again become habitual thoughts that become beliefs that form their belief system. They’re thinking things like “every other couple in the world at our age is having more sex than we are.” OK. That’s such a common one.
Also in the mental realm is misinformation. Today we live in an era where all you need to do is get on your smart device and ask Dr. Google for information. Here’s one example: how long should it take until a woman experiences her orgasm through cunnilingus or oral sex on her body? That kind of thing; or “I have a mass or a lump or a cyst and I need to know what that is, so I’ve got doctor google to diagnose it.” Now that kind of misinformation is part of the mental realm, and part of what we as clinicians need, to help our clients correct the wrong information.
I think that one of the biggest elements of the mental realm that gets in a client’s way is negative self-talk. It’s that constant tape playing– even though we don’t have tapes today—but OK, we’ll call it an MP3 in the brain that’s going on and on and on. Saying things to ourselves like, “ I’m not good enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not young enough, I’m not strong enough, my erections aren’t hard enough, I don’t orgasm fast enough.” Whatever that negative self-talk is—and we’ll talk more about that in a lesson coming up about the body in the MEBES signature system—that negative self talk about body image is so toxic.
There’s also something else that’s going on today in our world and that is that so many of our clients are living on electronic devices. I don’t know why it’s called a smartphone! It should be called something like an “interruption device” rather than a smartphone. I know that my clients spend way too much time adhering to things like a ping or a notification on their smartphone while they may even be having sex or making love. I see it all the time when I go out to a restaurant and I see what looks like an intimate couple and they’re sitting across from one another and each of them is on their phone. I want to walk over to them and say, “You’re missing out on the moment, folks!” This is a disconnect. This is where people are really living an E life and not being present, and being present is actually a mind issue. It’s necessary actually to teach our clients how to tame their minds to be here now; taming the mind to live neck down instead of neck up.
So many of my clients—males, females, and non-binary are living in that neck-up state during sex or before sex, or even after sex. They’re having persistent thoughts that then create anxiety and performance anxiety—which you may think is emotion—but it is actually a thinking problem. Performance anxiety is really the biggest culprit that stops people from being present, being in their body, and connecting with themselves and or a partner.
Then there is the aspect of fantasy in the Mental realm. I could talk to you for hours about this topic. Fantasies can highjack a person from being present for themselves or partners, or on the other side of the spectrum, fantasy can infuse the provocative stimulation needed to get into sex.
There also are so many myths that people carry—similar to misinformation—but the mythology that people have about what SHOULD be. Years ago I had the privilege of being a patient and of course I was already a student of Dr. Albert Ellis. He was world-renowned as a sex therapist, a Researcher, author, and a psychologist. One of the expressions that he taught me, and this is part of his legacy of work, is to stop shoulding on yourself. SHOULDING. When I tell my clients “stop shoulding on yourself”, stop the self-judgment, stop putting yourself in the pressure cooker, it’s all about their thinking.
There are clients who speak in a language where they say to me things like “I’m broken or I can’t do that” and really this is a mind issue. We need to be able to help our clients to reframe and redirect thoughts—and sometimes therefore language—whether it’s inner language (inner monologue or inner dialogue) that they hear or even how they speak. I once had a female client come in to see me with her husband, and she introduced herself by putting her hand out and saying “hi my name is Janet and I’m a victim of childhood sexual abuse.” Really! Every three sentences she would say “I am a victim of sexual abuse from my childhood.” Our work actually was about re-framing that self-talk and having her rewrite her sexual story to change her script. It worked. She never said that again. So negative self-talk can be the toxic element or ingredient that blocks us or stops us from experiencing pleasure.
Finally, the concept of “good enough”. There’s so much to talk about ideal sex, perfect sex, and there’s no such thing! Sex is different every time, even with the same person, the same body, and the same response cycle. There is a concept of good enough sex that Dr. Barry McCarthy and Michael Metz constructed, that really helps our clients to calm down a bit, let go of some of that idealistic thinking, and allows them to be in the moment and experience the joy of what is.
So, help your clients clear these boulders in the mental realm as their clinician and you’re going to see miracles happen.
I want you to tune in to learn more about the rest of the MEBES model or Signature System. The next lesson is on the E for the emotional realm. Be sure that you also check out my brand new Britton’s High Achievers mastermind program.
I hope to see you in the next lesson.
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