Sex, Intimacy, & Relationships


“Swoon”: Episode #12 – Three is the Magic Number - Nonmonogamy

Format: Podcast

Info: In this episode Julie and Gina discuss monogamy and nonmonogamy. They talk about different relationship styles, different forms of intimacy, relationship expectations and some of the ways people may get their wants and needs inside and outside of their primary partnerships.


When & How Do You Bring Up Sex with Your Clients in Therapy?

Format: Article & Podcast Episode

Info: In the podcast episode, Julie talked about how early she brings up sex when she talks to new clients. She basically brings it up in some form when she first meets them. How she brings it up and the language she uses differs from client to client. But it makes sense that she starts with sex because her clients are typically seeking her out for help with sex. I, on the other hand, don’t specialize in treating sexual issues. However sex is a common topic in my counseling sessions. Although, I will admit that there are some clients I have never talked about sex with. Is that because it really doesn’t need to be talked about? Maybe. Is it because I would feel uncomfortable bringing it up with them? Possibly. Should I have brought it up sooner in our relationship? Probably. 





Intuitive Eating; Tribole & Resch

A tell-tale sign for me that a book is awesome is when it continues to be referenced 10 years later. And with this book, it has been almost 25 years and it is still used as one of the gold standard books to help people understand and reconnect with their bodies, seeing food and the body from a more compassionate and open lens. The 10 principles in this book apply to everyone, with and without an eating disorder, as we all can benefit from a greater connection to and care for our bodies.

Intuitive Eating Workbook; Tribole & Resch

I had never heard of this book before a client of mine brought it in one session and after taking some time to look through it, I found myself buying 2 copies - one for me and one for my patients. The practical skills draw on the 10 principles in the original Intuitive Eating book and help you implement practical skills in your everyday life and reconnect with and listen to your body.

The Body Image Workbook; Thomas Cash, PhD

An 8-Step approach to challenging the myths and distortions about our bodies from ruminating on our physical appearance or trying to change the way we look to meet certain standards. I love using the worksheets to support work I do with clients and find that the practical, reflective aspects of the workbook help clients go deeper than they may have by simply discussing the topic.

The Anorexia Workbook; Michelle Heffner

A workbook that focuses on helping you understand the specifics of your diagnosis/diagnosis of your loved one and then equips you with techniques to manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviors associated with the eating disorder. The book uses Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) as the primary treatment modality to develop the techniques and tools described in the workbook. Increasing research shows the use of ACT in the treatment of ED's and I feel like this is a great first step in making tangible workbooks using this theory for patients themselves.


Finding Your Voice Through Creativity; Levy & Foy-Tornay

An art therapy book designed to support individuals explore their relationship with food and their bodies. Drawing, writing, reflecting and creating - all tasks that are a part of this book. While I do not find every exercise applicable to every client, I think the book really allows for people to create their own combination of journaling and reflection that works for them and gives them the opportunity to keep coming back for deeper exploration.

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food & 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food; Albers

Focusing on mindfulness and wellbeing, these books help you build your toolkit to cope with disordered eating thoughts, feelings, triggers and urges. By developing new skills and practices for relaxing your body and slowing your mind during times of distress, you can find yourself in a better position to move forward in your recovery. Plus, the skills require very little tools or resources so it is financially feasible for a wide-range of people!

Midlife Eating Disorders; Cynthia Bulik, PhD

There is so much stigma around who struggles with an eating disorder. Most people picture a thin, white, 20-something female who is wealthy and American. But the reality is, eating disorders, like cancer or pneumonia, do not discriminate. And without support and awareness around helping people understand this truth, we continue to see people of different identities hide their struggles & pain. This book helps to bring more awareness to and understanding of eating disorders that people in their middle ages face.

Almost Anorexic; Thomas & Schaefer

When I first started my treatment, I had a rationale for every behavior I did, thought I had or feeling tied to my body and food. As I worked on my recovery, it became easier and easier to do 95% of the work. But that last 5% was a real bitch. It was the messy stuff. The stuff you can't clean off with a wet rag. And it became easy to find a rationale for hose residual pieces of my thoughts, feelings and behaviors. I clung to those, almost like the dying breaths of my eating disorder and was reluctant to do any more work to try and get rid of them - I was fine. I had done enough. But then I found this book. And it helped me really understand the spectrum of my recovery and the facets of my eating disorder on a much higher level. Those small pieces I did not want to address would become the seeds for the rebirth of my ED in the future. The negative thoughts and feelings I still had would drain my energy without me even knowing it. And so, I have fought, every day to tackle that last 5%. It appears it may be decades of battle but in better understanding the pathology of an ED, I can say that it is vital for true remission. I would never leave a little bit of a tumor and so I cannot leave a little bit of this insidious disease either.

Yoga & Body Image; Klein & Guest-Jelley

Being completely honest, I used to think yoga was a terrible waste of my time - sitting in these poses, focusing on my breath...what was the payoff? And couldn't I do something more active? My brain would run all of the time and I would constantly feel unsettled. What I didn't realize is that so much of my discomfort was in getting to know the places my brain would wonder - self-hatred, doubt, rumination, dissatisfaction. My brain never seemed to go anywhere positive or even neutral. Over time, and as I learned more about the power of yoga, I started practicing it again and learned about the power in really allowing yourself to wander through that discomfort and settle in to curiosity. I learned about how to feel my body without judgment and to honor things like fullness or bloating as a process of digestion, not something that dictates my self worth and value. This book offers you 25 powerful stories, each with people using yoga in their own journey to bettering their relationship with their bodies and selves.

I have used pieces of this book in my work with teens and just ordered myself my own copy. Excited to explore its full capacity!

From Amazon’s website:

“This workbook has everything you need to achieve connected eating, body positivity and balanced exercise. It will help you stay well informed about how bodies change emotionally and physically in the teen years, and why good nutrition is critical for growth and development. It debunks any myths about diets and 'forbidden' foods and also gives you the tools and strategies to avoid potential triggers of disordered eating.

No Weigh! A Teen's Guide to Positive Body Image, Food, and Emotional Wisdom will help you develop a lifelong healthy relationship with your food! We eat every day, so why not eat with pleasure, joy and happiness?”

Podcast Interview with Laura Westmoreland, LMFT on Therapy Reimagined

Laura does an amazing job breaking down how to support clients in different body types and sizes and how to move from a feeling of needing to “fix” it to better understanding the person and their narrative as a whole. She explores implicit bias and body shaming, the ideas of Health at Every Size, the role of diet culture and other cultural norms, and how to be a more inclusive therapist.She also has a few key points to think about with regards to language which are really cool to think about in the way we interact with others, not only in the therapy room but in the world at large.