Ever wonder if there was an ethical, functional and fun alternative to monogamy? Come join Elizabeth Wood and Mim Chapman, PhD, in exploring different relationship styles in their upcoming workshops.
For more information email me or Elizabeth.
Registration closes soon!
Come join this November in Boulder!
A Review and Reflection on the film Men Women & Children
Last night as I was winding down after seeing clients and reviewing my material for an upcoming workshop on the ways in which technology is effecting youth and their ability to develop healthy relationships and intimacy, I stumbled upon a movie that was perfectly apropos. The movie, Men, Women, and Children begins with a scene of Adam Sandler looking disappointed and disgruntled at his slow internet speed, as he is trying to access porn in a comical yet too-close-for comfort digital world way.
The movie follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they flounder and falter navigating the internet. It highlights just how imbedded and infiltrated the internet is in their every communication, lurking as they strive to build relationships, and infecting their ideas of self-image, and self-worth. This film addresses several social issues that have been consequence to the over-integration of the internet into peoples daily lives. Issues such as hours spent on video games and the violent and degrading gaming culture, perpetuation of eating disorders and anonymous chat rooms, the ease of infidelity through cyberspace, desperate attempts for internet fame and approval and the proliferation of sexual material on the internet. As the story progresses, the film highlights the struggle parents go through walking the tight rope of over-protecting their children trying to shield them from the potential dangers of the internet and over-indulging kids with devices waiving any time and spacial boundaries on the limitless information they have access to.
The common thread these parents shared despite their polarizing positions on internet access and permissions, was their lack of talking with their children. The over-bearing mother who literally tracked her daughters every move and text message never sat her daughter down and explained why she was doing what she was doing. Nor did the mother trust her daughter to navigate the inevitable. This mother was in denial about shielding her daughter. By rejecting the notion that her daughter could access the dangerous sites, she shut down any conversation that could have helped her daughter navigate and process the "dangerous" material in a healthy and supported fashion.
Parents need to talk to their kids. Have awkward conversations. Show them that you can stumble through the awkwardness and come through for them.
On the other end of the spectrum, a mother had over-indulged her daughter and felt acceptance and approval from the lewd comments strangers were giving her daughters bikini pictures. The mother was unaware of the dangers of the internet as well as the objectifying message she was sending her daughter, "your worth is not only in your looks, but how much other people approve of your looks". The internet is a mesmerizing temptress, beckoning us into its vortex of anonymous engagement and limitless information. Kids are desperate for boundaries. They will push the envelope and hope to be pushed back. Explaining why the internet is powerful and dangerous and providing kids with the tools to self-regulate is invaluable. It is impossible to shield kids from the internet (unless you live on an iceberg somewhere without wifi). So rather than pretending like they wont access of the information we wish they couldn't access, we need to accept that the internet is here to stay and start talking to our kids. Help them build a toolkit to navigate this digital age where information is limitless and instantaneous.
Like spiderman's father once said "with great power, comes great responsibility". Technology has made our lives so much more convenient and efficient, but it also has the potential to strip us of our intimacy and ability to enjoy REAL LIFE happening in REAL TIME.
Lets learn to intentionally unplug, look up from our screens, and tune into the ephemeral here and now.
I will be facilitating a 75 minute workshop on how to navigate the ever-changing landscape of Technology and its effects on the development of intimate relationships for Youths.
This workshop will provide relevant, digestible, and current statistics on the sexual activity of teens and adolescence. I will also discuss how technology has changed the way youth relate to themselves and others sexually and emotionally and what the implications of these changes are.
Finally, there will be a discussion on how parents, educators, and professionals can effectively and confidently navigate the ever changing technological landscape in order to relate, connect, and influence youth to develop healthy, fulfilling sexual identities and relationship.
I will also talk about the skills and activities to help parents and educators have age-appropriate, and comfortable conversations with youth and provide exercises to practice these skills, supplemented with resources on age appropriate books on sexual topics.
When: October 14th and 15th, 2016
Where: Magnolia Hotel Denver
An exciting event is just around the corner! This fall Colorado Youth Matter is hosting a Conference : Raising the Bar: A New Day.
I am thrilled to be apart of this special event this year. I will be be giving a 75 minute workshop and a brief "Ted Talk" like Sex talk on the controversy of Porn and how it is effecting romantic relationship in our children.
This 75 minute workshop is called "Beyond the Binary: Understanding the Gender Umbrella". This workshop addresses the ever- expanding definition of gender and how our gender identity intersects with sexual identity, and biological sex. This workshop will address the controversy of gender fluidity and the tangible differences of male and female brains. Specifically, how Michael Gurian’s research has revealed neurological differences between male and female brains and how his research validates the trans community. Learning objectives include: 1) how educators and counselors can familiarize themselves with new and different gender language, 2) the difference between gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation 3) how to be sensitive and conscientious when asking or discussing gender and sexuality (i.e. asking what pronouns one uses) and, 4) understanding the importance of the transgender experience so as to be inclusive to this youth population as they are among the highest for suicide. 5) how to do a suicide risk assessment. There will be handouts and time for Q & A at the end.
A little background on yours truly:
I am a licensed social worker and sex therapist and in Colorado (License Number: LSW.0009920892 ). I provide individual, family, couples, group, and sex therapy at Intimate Inquiries in Niwot Colorado and at The Intimacy Institute in Boulder, and I lead workshops, retreats and speaks at conferences focusing on different topics on human sexuality. I hold a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis and am finishing up my postgraduate work in Sex Therapy and Human Sexuality from the Buehler Institute. My clinical experience and diverse training allows me to effectively address a variety of issues that range from relationships, sexuality, desire, pleasure, intimacy, gender identity, sexual orientation, trauma, depression, anxiety, and major life transitions. I use a solution-focused, strengths-based approach that integrates empirically supported methodologies such as Cognitive Behavioral, Mindfulness, Humanistic, Art Therapy, Emotion focused therapy and Family Systems theories with modalities that include Gina Ogden's 4 D Medicine wheel, somatic yoga, and music. She uses empathy, a sex-positive approach and a touch of humor to guide her practice and facilitate growth.
Feel free to send me an email or drop me a line with any questions or comments!
There will also be other local and national speakers like Dr. Lindsey Doe from the YouTube channel Sexplanations, and Al Vernacchio, author of "For Goodness Sex: Changing The Way We Talk To Teens About Sex, Values and Health". You will also have an opportunity to hear from Colorado's own Amy Adele Hasinoff, author of "Sexting Panic: Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy and Consent."
I hope to see you there! Register Early before space runs out!
If you are in need of financial assistance, please contact Lorena Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please understand that scholarships are awarded on a first come first serve basis, and will be announced at the beginning of August.