Sex Therapy

Sex, ugh. How did it get so complicated?

Whether it’s from harmful experiences with sex or toxic cultural notions on our sexuality (and gender, because hello, the two are inextricably linked), so much gets in the way of us walking the path of pleasure.

In the sex therapy world they say “pleasure is the measure.”

But so many of us are so disembodied that we don’t even recognize when or how something feels good.

Our society’s insistence on downplaying our “wants” in life (despite all that retail therapy) sets us up to not even allow ourselves to slow down with sensual pleasures.

Or perhaps we just keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Taking pleasure in feels too vulnerable.

In this context, we end up feeling awkward, lost and scared rather than feeling confident, wild and free.

And some wants are soul needs.

How do we know what’s what? Soul needs scream at us over time. And often through the body.

meet natalia

Natalia Amari, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST)

I’d be lying if I said my own lived experiences didn’t inform my interest in sex therapy. It totally has.

My passion for sexual reclamation has been neck and neck with my passion for trauma recovery since day one. Interestingly enough, the more I learned about trauma, the more I bumped into pleasure.

From the nervous system perspective, we are in our most regulated state when we have safety and connection. This is fundamental. And I find that if we pursue pleasure, safety and connection is a given.

So why not aim for pleasure?

Not pleasure in the hedonistic sense, but more in how Epicurious defined pleasure as the absence of anxiety created through pleasurable and meaningful experiences with our nearest and dearest.

And now, having completed the year long University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program and all of the supervision and training to obtain the AASECT Sex Therapist Certification, I am delighted to be able to bring a trauma-informed, somatic oriented approach to exploring pleasure, desire, intimacy, sexuality and relationships in an embodied manner to you and your love(r)s.

Are we a fit? Great Question.

I do my best work with individuals and partners navigating:

  • sexual orientation and gender identity
  • trauma and sexuality
  • polyamory/consensual non-monogamy
  • sexual health and body stuff
  • impacts of working in the sex industry
  • the joyride (sarcasm) that is dating!

My practice and approach is not well-suited for:

  • people in acute crisis involving systems of care
  • relationships in high-conflict
  • couples needing discernment therapy
  • people seeking sex work or surrogacy services (props to those who do this work, I am just not one of them)

Got more questions about therapy with me? Check out the FAQ at the bottom of the Relational Trauma Therapy Page.

details

Sex Therapy begins on a weekly basis and we taper down in congruence with clinical needs and goals.

Standard fees per standard clinical hour (45-50 minutes) are:
$200 for individuals
$230 for couples
TBD for more than two

Sessions are held online via video chat.

Sex Therapy is available to Texas residents.

What richness awaits?

Sexual challenges don’t magically work themselves out on their own. Sometimes we need psychotherapy, sometimes we need somatic supports. Either way, we must turn toward our sex life to solve it.

A life rejuvenated by pleasure can give us the life force needed to stay engaged with the things that matter in life – like nurturing community, advocating for liberation, cultivating our gifts that only we can bring into the world.

What would a life of pleasure look like for you?

What areas of your life would benefit from you having a revived life force?

What would it mean to you to feel deeply connected to your sexual self?

Let’s find out.

KIND WORDS

“I feel like I have gained more insight and can more capably pursue a path to solve my problems. I’m grateful to have found a therapist who was such an attentive listener and was eager to invest attention in practical problem solving.”
Fierce & Beautiful Human Being
Former Client, Age 32

Frequently Asked Questions

The idea of opening up about your deepest, darkest whatever can be realllly daunting.

However, when it comes to long-term, sustainable change, therapy has a pretty great track record. In part, because you no longer have to navigate the darkness alone.

Interdependency is part of wellness.

As humans, we have evolved to withstand life’s inherent traumas through interdependency. Not codependency –interdependency. We thrive, as humans, when we can rely on and support others. And we learn how to support ourselves and others through the kind of support we’ve received.

In an ideal world we would feel all our feelings and let those feelings guide us in a regulated and attuned manner. This is what healthy functioning looks like (despite cultural norms minimizing emotions).

However, we get stuck when we are left alone with unbearable emotions. This can lead to mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and the like. When left alone with unbearable emotions, we adapt in ways that may serve us in the moment, but may not be the best in the long run.

How therapy can help.

In therapy, we create a relationship (a unique one at that!) to help you bring those feelings up to be safely experienced and now responded to in the way(s) you needed before. With compassion, empathy, sincere belief, and support. This is how we release the past and free ourselves from having to “manage” all the freaking time.

And in this process, we also release your inner badass. That core part of you that is strong, fierce, knows what’s up and how to do life. That’s the key to sustainable change – the kind that persists long past the time you spend in therapy.

Excellent question!

As a psychotherapist, it is not within my professional scope to prescribe medication, however I can support you in a number of ways.

My role in this process of exploring medication would be to:

  • Help you explore what makes you feel like you might need medication and help you rule out other contributing factors.
  • Help you identify other modalities that could help reduce symptoms, like therapy.*
  • Provide referrals to practitioners who can provide psychological assessments and medication or alternative therapies, if that is more your thing.
  • Help you monitor your progress to more clearly assess if this medication/alternate therapy is helping you or not.

*There are more and more studies showing psychotherapy to be as, if not more, effective than medication in the short term. Additionally, there is support for psychotherapy’s effectiveness at preventing relapse well beyond time spent in therapy. Everyone is different and has different needs, so we are keen to help you explore all the options and make an informed choice for yourself.

What a big question!

In a logistical sense, we will meet weekly for 50 minutes per session. Depending on your clinical needs and goals, we may move to bi-weekly, monthly or as needed sessions. With starting therapy, it’s wise to account for meeting on a weekly basis until we collaboratively decide to taper down on the session frequency.

What will we talk about in therapy?

The initial phase of therapy is when we are likely to do some exploration of your history – your family of origin, relationships, career/school stuff, you name it. This may feel onerous to rehash, but it truly helps inform our work together. Later we will focus more in the here and now while weaving in a greater understanding of how your past influences the present.

Additionally, Rebel In Bloom is an attachment-oriented practice. Therapy work is  intentionally facilitated through the relationship to help you create the change you are looking for in life. In real time, this will involve being real with you and also checking in about your experience of therapy in the moment. This orientation helps to make therapy an experience to promote long-term growth and healing.

Furthermore, you are the leader here. If you come in, first session, and have something big going on that you want to focus on – we can abso-fucking-lutely start there. There’s no rule that says we have to begin by talking about your past. I trust that we will get there eventually.

How structured is therapy?

At times we may incorporate somatic or creative approaches or homework in our process. There is no obligation to do any of it. Your voice on the matter is important to me and this is your space. We will work together to determine what’s most helpful to you (whether that’s more or less structure) and we will roll with that.

Oh, I wish I could say you’d be done after 3 months, but it’s not that simple. Everyone is different. And different life experiences will benefit from different amounts of time in therapy. There are too many variables that influence time in therapy to give a concrete answer to that question.

But here’s what I can tell you – I am committed to working myself out of a job with each and every client. I will be honest about what I notice and what I believe would be helpful. And, I make explicit use of my clinical chops to ensure that we are pacing therapy in a supportive manner.

What does that mean?

There are times in life when we have a lot to work on. Some challenges are more short term oriented and need immediate attention. Other challenges may need a longer term approach. Either way, we will work together to discern prioritization of goals.

You don’t have to change everything in your life right now – life’s a journey after all. And, taking breaks from therapy can be an important experience to have as well. Our goal is to partner with you and help you find a path that is realistic and empowering of your short and long-term goals.

Professional Fees: The standard fees for therapy sessions are as follows:

$200 per clinical hour (50 minutes) for individual therapy

$250 per hour, prorated, for any work on documentation completed outside of session

Fees are prorated at this rate for any additional time. Full payment is due at the time services are rendered.

Sliding Scale

In alignment with anti-oppression work, I am committed to working with clients across all socioeconomic backgrounds. I have a limited number of sliding scale spots offered and unfortunately, none are available at this time.

If you are in need of sliding scale psychotherapy, check out these low-cost mental health care resources in Austin.

Insurance

Rebel In Bloom is considered out-of-network for all insurance companies. If you would like to use your mental health benefits, I can provide a “Superbill” (a fancy receipt with the service delivered, your diagnosis, and my info) for you to request reimbursement from your insurance company, if you so choose.

It’s also important to consider a few things about using insurance. First, to request reimbursement from your insurance, your therapist would have to give you a diagnosis. This diagnosis will be read by all relevant parties within your insurance company and become part of the insurance company’s files. Given all of this, it’s advised to weigh if it would have any impact on you, personally or professionally. For a variety of reasons, it may be important to keep this information confidential. Check with your insurance company directly if you have questions about their confidentiality practices and to understand what coverage is available to you.

Once again, I seek to help you make an informed choice.

STANDARD NOTICE: “Right to Receive a Good Faith Estimate of Expected Charges” Under the No Surprises Act

You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost.

Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services.

  • You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees.
  • Make sure your health care provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least one business day before your medical service or item. You can also ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service.
  • If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill.
  • Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.

For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises or contact us.