Marriage Quest, Israel and Cathie Helfand, Cabot Vermont, 802-563-3063

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Addressing Sexual Concerns
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For Second Marriages too
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Sexuality

All couples are different. Some couples find that, after working through their emotional intimacy goals and strengthening their communication skills, they are ready to go another layer deeper, particularly in the areas of physical intimacy and sexuality. Some couples return to us for another Marriage Quest Retreat to address these issues after their initial work on conflict resolution and communication in the first retreat. Other couples see sexuality as their primary issue and choose to deal with it in coordination with their other goals and some couples are immediately focused on sexual issues. Improving the feelings of connectedness, desire, and desirability is one of our goals as your therapists.

We have worked with many couples who secretly wished to improve their sexual relationship but would not say it unless specifically asked the right question. Sadly, most therapists rarely inquire or know what to do to help couples improve or resolve sexual concerns. We take sexual issues seriously and know how sensitive they can be as well as how important they are to the overall health and happiness of a marriage.

Sexual satisfaction improves as the overall health and wellness of the relationship improves. Which comes first? Just as in the age-old children's riddle The Chicken or the Egg, no one remembers which came first, the sexual problems or the marital problems.

However they started, the problems festered and grew, feeding each other, getting worse and worse until the marriage was in real trouble. Because the marital and sexual problems are so intertwined it is sometimes necessary to unravel them both at the same time.

We work with each couple to determine which approach is the best. As sexual therapists as well as marriage therapists, we have had very good success in working with and helping couples understand and improve their feelings of desire as well as performance and technique. We have helped couples to understand and deal with the "normal" psycho-sexual stages of a marriage including the change from the honeymoon to parenthood and the young family years, as well as the menopausal and aging years of a marriage. For example, older couples who work with us find relief and greater pleasure when they focus more on pleasure than on performance.

While many couples find that emotional intimacy leads to sexual intimacy, it is also true that too much closeness can sabotage a "hot" love life. Dealing with the daily business of diapers, bills, and dishes can (and often is) a mood crusher and usually interferes with lust and passion. We help couples recapture the passion by exploring their erotic nature.

What should happen in a long term, mature relationship is for the newness and excitement to be replaced by a comfort and commitment. Through this trust and confidence in the relationship... exploration and experimentation can occur. This can be the doorway to a deeper level of excitement and "sexploration".

Just as the two problems feed on themselves, so the solution can also feed on itself. As the therapy progresses, and the four of us work on the marital problems we will also develop a plan to improve the sexual problems, and even assign "homework" to get started during the retreat. Reducing the stress in the marriage can increase sexual intimacy, and they can both improve together.

Because we are both senior marriage counselors and sex therapists this is an area we receive referrals from other therapists who have been stuck or ill equipped to deal with such issues. If you or both of you are currently in therapy, ask your therapist, or show them our website. We are confident they would welcome our help!

Click for a more detailed description of Intensive Marriage Retreats.

For more information on the sexual aspects of our retreat work see our sister site Sexploration.Org

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