The Power of Groups: Why Common Experience Facilitates Sexual Transformation
As a psychotherapist dedicated to Mindful Loving and Sexuality, I work with women individually, and with their partners, to help them create joyful, passionate, and love-filled sexual relationships. But for the last 16 years, I’ve seen some of the most surprising and transformative changes made in groups. We tend to think of sexuality as something to be dealt with “behind closed doors” — whether those doors close on a bedroom or a therapy office. That’s why I want to offer something you might not expect: The power of groups for transformation—especially around sexuality.
Why even think about a group for dealing with sexual issues? Well, it’s true that the women in my Sexual Healing AND Empowerment groups are so amazing you’d probably want to spend some time with them no matter what. And I’ll take some credit for creating a place where people feel safe to be themselves. But there’s something else that’s special in the breathing, pulsing life of a group that emerges when women share deeply about their sexual lives. It’s all the more potent, because it happens in the face of cultural conditioning that sex is private, with fences marking off “normal” from everything else. It’s an area of personal experience that may be filled with minefields of shame, for understandable reasons. And this shame, so often, keeps us from sharing what’s needed to recover and shift, gain clarity and self-love, and to move on to vibrant and healthy relationships.
Given this common fact-of-life for women, a group can be a potent ally. Ground rules of confidentiality and respect create a safe, compassionate group culture from the very start. In this welcoming environment, there’s a beautiful safety to acknowledge and explore a full spectrum of thoughts, feelings and experiences. And since the groups’ purpose is to focus on sensitive/intimate topics, there’s less worry about broaching them in the first place.
As the sharing process deepens, you may notice that your thoughts become clearer. When you speak them aloud (sometimes for the first time) to a witnessing group, the painful emotional charge surrounding them begins to dissipate. And, when we’re met with acceptance and empathy, new truths—filled with clarity, insight and self-love—are allowed to emerge. For all these reasons, the group helps women loosen the grip of patterned (and sometimes automatic) thoughts and behaviors, and instead, wake up to the possibility of conscious choice.
There’s also the powerful experience of hearing other women’s stories. While each individual’s story is unique, there are points of commonality. And, as common themes start to emerge, we benefit from the validation of hearing our own experiences echoed. This dynamic exchange also widens our knowledge and comfort about sexual experience. For many, it opens up an expanded field for sexual play and pleasure.
Once we’ve heard the rich variety of women’s intimate lives, we’re much less likely to hold onto constricting notions of “normal.” In fact, many women discover that they’ve branded themselves as “outside the fold” for experiences that turn out to be quite common. Shame so often silences and separates us. Speaking out can dissolve that isolation. Through our interlacing stories, we finally come to see ourselves not as the exception to a fantasized norm, but as part of the broad spectrum of human experience.
A group also offers accountability. There’s nothing like being witnessed as you commit to a new behavior, or begin a habit. You can build faith in your progress when your intentions become attainable—a process the group helps to facilitate. Your sense of possibility expands when you report accomplishments, and there’s exhilaration at seeing each other break through long-held barriers.
Finally, because we’ve traveled this path together, we grasp the courage, self-knowledge, and practice it takes to make these changes. You can be truly supported and celebrated here, and carry that confidence into the rest of your life.
We’d love to have you join us! Find out for yourself the power of a women’s group to birth you into greater aliveness, passion, and joy in your sexuality—and in every aspect of your life.
For more information, or a free consultation, please reach out to me: (415) 863 – 2222. I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Join us for an upcoming group or workshop