Sexual Self-Worth is About More Than Just Sex. Here’s Why

woman standing alone on deck by lake

We’ve all been there — finally connecting with a person we pined after for months — feeling the exhilaration, the desire, the ravaging. Regardless of the quality of the sex itself, in that moment we feel wanted, desired, and sought after.  But then what?

What happens when they ghost you, or communicate that it’s not the best fit? What if, after you date long term, they desire sex less often?

Continue reading Sexual Self-Worth is About More Than Just Sex. Here’s Why

Having Healthy Sex after Sexual Assault

Person reading with tea under covers

The summer I was nineteen, I researched and wrote a travel guide to Italy, journeying from Venice to the Cinque Terre armed only with a sundress and my handy dandy Macbook.

It sounds pretty ideal, and it was—except for the constant, terrifying, enraging sexual harassment. From being groped on the train to being kissed non-consensually by hostel owners and bartenders, the summer left me tan, skinny, with killer calf muscles — and with a feeling of total disconnect from my sexuality. After months of constant, unwanted attention and physical violation, I felt that my sexuality had become a weapon used against me rather than something for my own pleasure.

Continue reading Having Healthy Sex after Sexual Assault

Why Use Picture Messaging in Online Therapy?

If you’re reading this blog post, odds are you are at least somewhat familiar with Talkspace. If not, let me fill you in.

Talkspace is an online therapy platform and app that allows clients and therapists to send an unlimited number of messages back and forth, securely and confidentially. No commutes or scheduling — with all the benefits of traditional, in-person therapy. Needless to say, convenience and affordability are major selling points of the platform.

The vast majority of our users send texts, though many additionally rely on both video and audio messages. What may surprise you is that there is also a significant subset of people who regularly communicate using another format: picture messaging.

Continue reading Why Use Picture Messaging in Online Therapy?

The Best Way to Fight With Your Partner, According to a Therapist

Couple having conversation outside

Fighting with your partner can be stressful, demoralizing, and scary. But fighting doesn’t have to be a source of such angst, and certainly doesn’t have to weaken your relationship. There are productive ways to argue with your partner and work through challenges that can bolster your connection and leave both people feeling better.

Of course, much of the difficulty of fighting comes down to each partner’s communication style. Sometimes, it’s not what we say — but how we say it — that leaves one or both partners feeling misunderstood, angry, and emotionally abandoned. Learning how to fight in a healthy way with your partner is much more important than trying to avoid fights in the first place.

Continue reading The Best Way to Fight With Your Partner, According to a Therapist

The Surprising New Connection between Sleep and Mental Health

Woman with alarm clock

Sleep research is gradually establishing itself as an important field, and a recent study focusing on the relationship between insomnia and depression may have useful implications for mental health practitioners.

Insomnia is generally regarded as a core symptom of depression, but new research shows that it may actually be a cause of it. The study, which was conducted by sleep researchers at the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, found that “sleep disruption is a driving factor in the occurrence of paranoia, hallucinatory experiences, and other mental health problems in young adults with an average age of 25.”

Continue reading The Surprising New Connection between Sleep and Mental Health

4 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People, According to a Therapist

Young man in city

Everyone knows difficult people — whether at work, at home, maybe even in your friend group. While people can be difficult for a variety of reasons, most people we’d identify as “difficult” share something in common: they are hard to interact with. Perhaps they are fixated on being right, always pointing out others’ flaws. They may make social situations tense by being quick to criticize or make fun of others, whether openly or passive-aggressively. They may explode when they are challenged, or have volatile mood swings. Often, others feel like they have to walk on eggshells around them.

Continue reading 4 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People, According to a Therapist

How Therapists Keep Their Clients Accountable

Coffee cup and calendar for accountability

Working with a therapist is one of the best things that you can do to better your mental health. It is a highly individualized process and can look different from person to person. This is what makes therapy feel so safe and productive for so many people.

At the same time, there often comes a time when you’re working on particular goals in therapy and need to be held accountable for making progress. Staying on task, and being accountable for your progress, is an important part of the therapy process — but it can be tricky territory when you need help staying on track. Some people may feel ashamed to ask for help, others may be resistant to the thought of being held accountable.

Continue reading How Therapists Keep Their Clients Accountable

Is It Normal to Still Love Your Ex?

sitting woman with heart tattoo on arm

Love’s favorite thing to do is to stick around when it isn’t convenient. Perhaps the worst thing about a breakup is that the feelings don’t walk out of your life as easily as your ex did. Instead, they linger. Unsolicited late night “I still love you” text messages ensue. And if you’re anything like me, you think about your exes often, you still write in your journal about them, and, most importantly, you struggle to resist the strong urge to stalk them on social media.

Continue reading Is It Normal to Still Love Your Ex?

A Guide to Not Being Miserable During the Winter Months

sad penguin alone looking down at feet

Even if you don’t have seasonal affective disorder or another kind of depression, it’s absolutely possible for you to feel the winter blues. Unless you’re one of those people who enjoys the cold and shorter days, you may have to take some precautions to make sure you don’t slip into a dark place…and I’m not just talking about the lack of daylight hours!

As the winter barrels ahead, use it as an opportunity to really get in tune with your feelings. Take note of your emotions and evaluate if the holiday season and the colder weather have been affecting you negatively. If they have been impacting you, don’t worry. There’s a bunch of things you can do to cheer up, even just a bit.

Continue reading A Guide to Not Being Miserable During the Winter Months

How Psychology Stigmatized Female Orgasm (and How We Got It Back)

woman's hands on bedsheets

For most of us, orgasms are, simply, awesome. Yet from the origins of modern psychology in the late nineteenth century, a combination of cultural stereotypes, pseudoscience, and plain old misogyny created an enduring notion that women’s orgasms were a problem to be solved, rather than a normal part of sexual pleasure and mental wellbeing.

From the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, many psychologists, inspired by Freudian psychoanalysis, argued that women should only achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration by a man. Any other kind of female sexual pleasure — including masturbation, queer sexuality, and any stimulation of the clitoris — was considered a sign of “masculinity,” imbalance, or even insanity.

Continue reading How Psychology Stigmatized Female Orgasm (and How We Got It Back)