I have specialised in Relationship and Sexual Therapy for couples and individuals for over 14 years and trainied in this area of expertise at the Maudsley Hospital,  Institute of Psychiatry, London.  In more recent years, I have worked increasingly with the growing problem of Sexual Addiction and therefore trained as a Sex Addiction Practitioner at the Marylebone Centre for Sexual Addiction, London. I am a  COSRT accredited therapist.

http://patayersdenver.com/oF_M9uMOjs0 THERAPY APPROACH

The techniques that I use are taken from the Behavioural Systems approach to couple and sexual problems, in conjunction with CBT ( cognitive behavioural therapy) and the psychodynamic approach. In everyday language, this means that I help people to make sense of their problems, explore underlying causes where appropriate, and  teach strategies to identify and challenge inaccurate or unhelpful thoughts or behaviours. Underpinning this is a humanistic, individualistic approach to each couple or individual that I work with.

Life can throw many things at us, and sometimes we have no idea what to do; we are embarking on a learning curve.  Whether it is having a baby, loss of a job, housing difficulties, stress of work, our environment, a trauma, and so on, events can have an effect on our physical and/or emotional health, which in turn can impact on our relationships. Healthy relationships are important for our wellbeing whether they are in the workplace, the family, friendships or as a couple.

It is so important that everyone has access to help, either through the NHS or Private Practice, to address any problem as an individual or couple.

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Presenting problems are diverse, for example: communication issues e.g. he/she never listens to me, an affair, lack of affection/attention, constant arguments, jealousy, new baby, lack of sexual intimacy, money issues, mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, medical problems, ongoing physical health problems, and so on. Quite often, what is seen as an impossible dilemma can be resolved once communication and listening issues have been sorted out. These, therefore underpin most of the work that is done in this area. Sometimes quite practical solutions can resolve a problem, or something expressed that has never been discussed before, can really help. Various techniques are used to enable couples to overcome their difficulties, but the work that is probably most vital of all is usually done at home, in between sessions.  This becomes easier as progress is made!

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Sexual difficulties are very common, such as low libido, painful intercourse, erectile dysfunction, etc., or no time for that physical intimacy which can become a habit, and quite often,  the problem that cannot be talked about.

Sometimes, the more specific areas of difficulty can be related to physical/medical or psychological issues, or a combination of both. Careful information gathering of the presenting problem, medical and personal history, and discussion, enables the therapist to decide how to move forward, with an agreed plan of treatment with the couple or individual. Every care is taken in establishing root cause, and making appropriate referrals to medical specialists if and when necessary.

Needless to say, if communication problems are spotted, with couples, during this process, these are addressed before dealing with the sexual issues. It is essential for them to be able to talk about sex in order for problems to be resolved, and this is made possible with careful planning and practice.

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A term that can be misleading for the general public. Many people will automatically assume that this is about someone wanting sex constantly, and obtaining some relief from watching porn on the internet for hours on end, or making constant demands on a partner, etc. This is far too simplistic. Sex addiction covers a multitude of ‘acting oiut’ behaviours, and can be as a result of multiple causes.

As a therapist, however, I do see the extensive availability of Internet pornography as a potentially addictive influence, and often a destructive factor in sexual, and relationship difficulties for both young and old. A growing number of people are seeking therapy as a result of a partner persistently logging on to online porn, and other associated behaviours.

There is also the potential danger of people crossing the line between legal and illegal  (underage) online pornography, whether they pay for access to this or not. Some may find that they come under the scrutiny of the law, or are frightened into seeking help by an online warning pop up. Crossing this line can lead to loss of everything: home, family, job, freedom, and/or on the sex offenders register for life. All of this will have ramifications for partners and families.

The addictive behaviours that some people develop, can, therefore, destroy lives financially, emotionally, socially, and sexually, and it is important that there is a specific treatment option for anyone, or any couple that is faced with the painful and challenging effects of this addiction.

OUTCOMES AFTER TREATMENT

As a therapist, I am always optimistic about how much people can achieve, and how they can change, and it is quite exciting that research has shown that these changes can now be identified in MRI scans of the brain, before and after therapeutic treatment.

The hard work inevitably has to be done by the individual or the couple, but where there is a will, there can be success.

Prices

Please contact Melanie direct for her current prices.

Concessions available. Assessed on an individual basis.

Some useful links:

http://www.cosrt.org.uk

http://www.atsac.co.uk

Information on Health, Sex and Relationships:

BBC health

NHS direct

Brook

http://www.sexeducationforum.org.uk

http://www.stopitnow.org.uk/the_lucy_faithfull_foundation

Lovelife Matters

Sexual Dysfunction Association

CancerHelp

Vulval Pain Society

Melanie is available to see couples and individuals at our clinic in Faversham, Kent.

Melanie Duffy
Melanie DuffyBA (hons), Msc, DPsych COSRT-AccSRPsyT
Relationship & Sexual Therapist
01795 886272
Email Melanie
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