Over the last 8 years in my work with clients, studies with skillful mentors and colleagues, and hours and hours of researching and writing, I have crafted a model that I call Concentric Sex Therapy. This model is a confluence of body-centered, contemplative, person-centered, and sexology theories. The combination of these theories allows the development of skills to harness the client’s actualizing tendency – a tendency towards growth and complexity – toward a fully embodied experience and expression of the sexual self. This model includes the practice of Erotic Mindfulness, full-body arousal anatomy with a whole-person approach to the human sexual expression cycle (Human sexual response), and skills for embodied expressivity toward one’s personal erotic potential and healthy relational sexuality.
Concentric sex therapy is how I have invited the somatic psychotherapeutic view of body into sex therapy and how I have invited sex and sexuality into somatic psychotherapy. By weaving together these important areas of specialty, we are able to increase the efficacy of both.
Why concentric circles? Concentric circles are circles with a common center, a common origin that determines the nature of the circles that surround it. Like rings inside a tree or ripples in a pond, our sexuality is deeply impacted by our environments and the resulting expression ripples out, impacting how we experience life while conversely impacting all that we interact with. This impact allows us to experience our developing sexuality in different ways and through different lenses as we take in new information about our body, our genitals, our very identity as a sexual being. Concentric circles offer a model for envisioning this experience of being a body embedded within and co-evolving with layers of natural and social environments.
Concentric sex therapy is a social justice minded model, recognizing that individuals are embedded within, and therefore inextricably linked, with the concentric circles of systems of their social location. It recognizes that we are all embedded within and deeply impacted by the experiences of being integral members of familial, societal, cultural, and institutional systems. Because the intersection of these cultural and institutional systems intimately impacts an individual, sexuality is one of the most highly socialized aspects of the self. Therefore, working toward healthy sexuality is a process of referring back to the felt sense of somatic experience while exploring these layers of systems. Continually inviting the somatic experience to inform this exploration allows for evolution from the ground up.
Through body-centered and contemplative methods, clients are invited to connect with their present-moment, lived experience to shed the cultural and institutional messages that block healthy eroticism and intimacy, integrate the experiences that frame the sexual self, and unlock innate wisdom toward growth, self-understanding, and healthy, conscious intimate relationships.
Through this process of transforming our understanding, experience, and expression of sexuality, we have the ability to collectively transform the institutions in which we are embedded, such as the institutions of marriage, religion, government, etc. This is evolution in action. Concentric Sex Therapy harnesses this natural tendency toward growth and change and offers each individual the skills to actively engage with their own evolution and the evolution of the locations where they live and work and love and play.
I offer yearly a training in this model and continual supervision from this perspective. For training in this model, register here.