“Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us, is up to us.” —Pema Chodron
There is much sex-negative and body-negative messaging in our society and many of our clients (as well as many of us practitioners) carry these “sexual madness” messages in ways that negatively determine our self-worth and sexual well-being. These beliefs and emotions are so uncomfortable that we may continually run, numb, distract, or lash out in the face of them, thereby maintaining problematic patterns in intimacy and sex, and sometimes undermining our best intentions with clients.
Mindfulness and self-compassion are powerful tools that can uncover patterns that interfere with intimacy and communication, and then support us in making choices that weren’t previously available. These skills help us awaken to the opportunity for new, healthier, and more heart-centered relationships, sex lives, and professional service.
This training is a combination of a lecture about research and health benefits, experiential activities, personal reflection, and group interactions. Mindfulness is a simple concept, but a lifelong practice in building nuanced awareness and emotional resilience. We’ll be exploring mindfulness and compassion practices together and working on how these can be immediately applied to each participant’s personal and professional life.
- Discuss research in mindfulness and compassion and their overall health benefits.
- Explain the basic brain science behind mindfulness.
- Explain how to apply mindfulness skills to positively impact common concerns in sex and relationships.
- Demonstrate ability to stay present with uncomfortable emotions and thoughts, both personally and professionally, and utilize skills in how to move forward in those circumstances.
- Describe skills in specific mindfulness tools and explain how to apply them to sexual and intimate interactions
- Create an outline of problematic clients or personal interactions and identify ways to apply new learnings.
Jennifer Gunsaullus, PhD, is the author of the new book, From Madness to Mindfulness: Reinventing Sex for Women.
In addition to being a sociologist and sexologist, Dr. Jenn is a mindful intimacy coach and frequent speaker about sexual consent, healthy relationships, body image, erotic play, women’s sexual empowerment, sexual health, and mindfulness. She has presented two TEDx Talks, is a writer on sex and relationships, and a recurring intimacy expert on the San Diego morning news. Dr. Jenn is also an active philanthropist with Women Give San Diego, the founder of World Sexual Health Day–San Diego, and on the executive team for Sex Positive San Diego. Her In the Den with Dr. Jenn educational video series has 1.5 million hits on YouTube and she is an expert in the documentary on masturbation, called Sticky: A (Self) Love Story.
Dr. Jenn recently launched the humorous and educational Sex Talk with Clint & the Doc podcast through I Heart Radio. Additionally, as a martial arts practitioner, she was promoted to black belt in Soo Bahk Do (Korean karate), so watch out for this badass doctor!