• Yvette E. McDonald, LCSW-QS

On the Couch with Janet Bayramyan

Welcome! To our series of blog post in which I, Yvette E. McDonald, LCSW have the pleasure of interviewing one of our therapist here at Traveling Light Counseling. In our series of couch interviews the therapist will be offering us a glimpse into their speciality by answering questions about topics relevant to their field and imparting a few tips, ideas, and suggestions on ways to traveler lighter.

As a disclaimer these interviews are by no means a substitution for therapy and if in need of more specialized, personalized and/or intense help please find a therapist that would best fit your situation.

Here with me today is Janet Bayramyan, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and author who specializes in helping individuals and couples from a trauma focused perspective.   She has over 5 years experience supporting individuals and couples through healing of past and current distressing events. She helps and guides individuals and couples along the path of growth with focus on helping them develop healthy boundaries, communication skills, coping skills, relationship stresses and helps those struggling with long distance relationships (just to name a few of what she brings to the room). She provides her services through various channels including individual and couples counseling, EMDR Therapy, and Support groups.

So, today's interview revolves around sexual intimacy:

Question: Why would a client come to you for help with sexual intimacy?

Answer: If I was sitting across a patient, I would explain it this way:

It can really be anything.

Clients have come to me for:

  • Reported differences in sexual desire/arousal from their partners.

  • Physical pain with sex (vaginismus, vaginitis)- can or cannot be trauma related.

  • Men with erectile dysfunction issues or premature ejaculation issues.

  • Clients with low libido, inexperience with sex, fears associated with sex (again trauma related vs non trauma related).

My process:

  1. I usually request that the client get a medical work up to rule out any medical issues.

  2. From there I often recommend that for specific issues clients, and I collaborate with physical therapists for the pain with sex concerns and/or urologist for premature ejaculation issues.

  3. We complete a full sexual inventory as well as part of the assessment.

Together we:

  • We work on managing and challenging. Creating healthier core beliefs around sex and intimacy, work on managing expectations that may be unrealistic based off of religious values, pornography usage, etc.

  • We engage in exercises to improve and lessen anxiety with sex and I utilize something called sensate focus intervention, work with fantasies, use of toys if comfortable, dilators if comfortable, and depending on the issue we may take some time to temporarily eliminate porn as that is a big contributor to some of the erectile issues and self esteem issues.

  • If something is trauma related we work on processing the trauma. A lot of it is really psycho-education, and a lot of coaching with different exercises and recommendations.

I hope this answers your question as I was speaking very generally, and every case is definitely case by case. No one case has been the same for me with regards to working on Sexual Intimacy. Culture also plays a big part in one's values related to sex and desire.

What a great interview with Janet. I appreciate her taking the time and both explaining her process and answering my question today. She definitely knows her stuff when it comes to helping individuals and couples in the department of sexual intimacy. I know from my professional experience that the topic of intimacy is so misunderstood let alone intertwining it with sex. Making sex deeply meaningful and intimate takes intentionality and for some there is healing involved in order to experience it within your relationship. It's a blessing to have someone with this experience to help individuals and couples travel lighter through the journey of life by giving them a place to talk and unpack today's struggles and pains for a lighter tomorrow as it pertains to sexual intimacy.

If you feel like Janet will be a good travel companion for your journey. She offers a 15-minute free phone consultation.  During this time she will talk with you about your current stressors, you will get any important questions answered, get a better idea of who she is and how she can help you.  

So, what are you waiting for?  

Schedule a time to speak to her at 772-361-8448 ext. 704 or simply book your consultation online now.

Thanks Janet!

Yvette E. McDonald is the owner and counselor at Traveling Light Counseling, a practice for individuals, couples and families helping them discover the person/couple they were always meant to be, as they become the best version of self in their roles and relationships in the Port Saint Lucie and Martin County area.