Bringing Intimacy Back, January 30, 2020
Bringing Intimacy Back with Dr. April Brown and guest Dr. Melvin Lee Phillips, Jr., Ed.D., LCSW,
YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/NgKu0tRZykg
Guest Occupation: Psychotherapist
Dr. Melvin Lee Phillips, Jr. is currently employed in a group private practice, Capitol Hill Consortium for Counseling and Consultation in Washington, DC., where he treats chronic illness and sexual dysfunction. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Dr. Phillips has been in private practice for more than a decade, working with couples on sexuality after chronic illness. He has worked in several mental health and substance abuse treatment settings including outpatient community mental health, inpatient treatment, as well as private practice.
He is a speaker and has lectured on topics including sexuality, chronic pain, preventative services, anxiety and stress management, caregiving stress, depression in the elderly, mindfulness and cognitive strategies for chronic pain, reclaiming sexuality for couples with chronic illness, ethical decision making, and the assessment of mental disorders.
He is the resident psychotherapist on Invisible Not Broken https://invisiblenotbroken.com/, a chronic illness podcast.
He has published in the Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, conducting a research study on LGBTQ-Affirmative Teaching at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Understanding Program Directors Views. He holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in Behavioral Health from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ.
In addition, Dr. Phillips holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Norfolk State University and is an adjunct professor in the Master of Social Work Program with the School of Social Work at Western New Mexico University.
He is currently writing his first book, Sex & Love When You Are Sick, which helps couples overcome shame and the sexual limitations caused by illness and gives strategies to create and reclaim a sex life that works. Couples will learn how to acknowledge loss, cope with changes, and build a new relationship with their illness and each other. The book will help develop a “new normal” of partnership. He has been featured as a guest faculty member with Modern Sex Therapy Institutes and with the Integrative Sex Therapy Institute.
As we look around in this world today, it seems we are becoming more disconnected from one another, even though we have the technology to connect to more and more people than ever before. Furthermore, the lack of intimacy (in its many forms) is one of the top three reasons why relationships struggle and many times end.
Thus the Bringing Intimacy Back talk show is a show dedicated to inspire, enlighten, and encourage intimate connections. This show provides an engaging atmosphere to discuss and demonstrate ways to enhance intimacy in one’s personal relationships with significant others, families, friends, Higher Power, and oneself. The show will discuss intimate connections in many different forms, such as sex, communication, emotional, physical, health, and spiritual. In fact, research has shown that as we increase our intimate connection with ourselves, our Higher Power, and others. It will help decrease the conflicts, anxiety, and depression in our lives.
Increasing intimacy for all has become Dr. April’s mission. The mission statement of the show is to provide an atmosphere to discuss and demonstrate ways to increase closeness in one’s personal relationships with significant others, families, friends, Higher Power, and oneself. Therefore, Dr. April started in February 2018 to host her own new Radio/TV Show Bringing Intimacy Back where she and other intimacy experts will provide resources and tips on increasing intimacy in all types of relationships. Audience members will be able to transform their relationships through relationship experts’ insights, useful and practical resources, role-playing, and audience participation. The show’s goal is to show its audience members that intimacy can be alive and real in the relationships we desired.
feeling lost and alone looking for validation from your partner only to find the feeling of rejection and continued frustration here together yet so far apart now your frustration is turned into disdain and resentment your insecurities have begun to affect every aspect of your life ironically you have now become the cold and detached shielding yourself from the uncertainties of your relationships dr. April Brown has created bring intimacy back a series of discussions that are designed to help you reclaim what you have lost along the way after April will help you ReDiscover and reconnect to the intimate relationship your heart so desires go to www. Bringing intimacy back.com today and let the healing begin
welcome to the party and intimacy back show where intimacy is real on this show we aim to help you increase the internet connection between you your significant other your higher power family fence business Network we just help you can give you the secret power to intimacy to create a life you love or love the life you create and so on Today Show today we always talked about yesterday and today we wanted to talk about intimacy with also with intimacy and a group of people are any of us this can happen to any of us who may have a chronic illness because sometimes if you're sick when you have an illness and stuff sometimes things people forget about you feel like forgets about you and things are difficult and so today would we want to talk about it to give you resources ideas and thoughts and also to even open up
everyone's perspective on this topic and still today I have of course a great expert his name is dr. Melvin Lee Phillips and Melvin Lee Phillips is Ashley and I can't do in DC and he treats chronic illnesses and sexual dysfunction welcome dr. Michael by Melvin Lee Phillips how are you doing I'm great thank you for having me yes yes yes yes to have you under shelving to talk about intimacy and he goes by dr. Lee Phillips that's fine get into the field of therapy and then or counseling or whatever and then how did you decide to focus on chronic illness in Tennessee
leaving College in New York City in Chesapeake Virginia and I pursued it undergraduate degree what I really wanted to do and then I started to research social work and counseling and I decided to go into social work at being a very broad feel that it know if I want to do policy work or mental health so they started to get my program I started to really fall in love with Psychotherapy and really focusing on co-occurring disorders at the time working with folks that had you know a little health issue and also a substance abuse problem into that kind of got me into Psychotherapy which I worked in community mental health for about 10 years and then
I knew to DC and pursued my career as an administrator and you know came to find that I really wasn't very fulfilling and I really wanted to get back into Psychotherapy so I went into private practice full time so that's where I'm at now yes yes and sell them right decide on the chronic illness well it's interesting because when I worked in Community Mental Health I worked as a geriatric psychotherapist and so I had several different clients coming in with various medical conditions that caused quite a bit of you know depression anxiety and other mental health issues of concern and that kind of sparked my interest and it more but then I started seeing younger people that were coming and I was starting to get known in the community and so I had young folks coming in that had autoimmune diseases and other neurological disorders that really
a lot of psychological effects do to their chronic illness and caused a lot of chronic chronic illness and so that really got me more into the work and I wanted to carry that on here when I came to be okay so what do you really defined as chronic illness illness is Define mainly is play as conditions that last about a year or more and they require like ongoing medical attention or limited activities of daily daily living are both and you know what's interesting is that what we're finding in the research according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention and at the population in by 20 20 20 20 that number is going to be estimated to about well this year 2020
157 million with 81 million have and what we are having a lot of you know sexual dysfunction due to that and the reason why I got into Sex Therapy to was because I went to a building your private practice Workshop here in DC okay and the woman that hosted that Workshop was not one of my mentors she asked me she said have you ever thought about becoming a sex therapist because people with disabilities and chronic illness they want to reclaim their intimacy and there was fascinating so that's how I got involved in Sex and chronic illness illness for a year or so and many times it does affect your life absolutely with that many times they come
can I put it just depression is stop because you can't see what you're used to doing it maybe I'm glad we're talking about intimacy because people may be like oh my God Siri your second that can stop you just don't have I don't want people with that type of illness that have be hopeless you know so much into this yeah so that's the whole point is to be able to reclaim something just because you know not having to destroy your life just because you have a chronic illness because the whole goal is to learn how to accept it and live well with that I think I think that's when I really work on with individuals and couples when they come and see me and you know everyone's illness is going to be different so you know everyone every client you know this we know his therapist that come into treatment they're going to be different and so it's by an individual basis and so people come in during many phases of a chronic illness they may come in
when they just been diagnosed they may be coming in where they're not sure what's going on in there going from Doctor to doctor to find out what it is there's a crisis that happens but I find that when an individual in a couple they know the diagnosis that's when they really want to start to become intimate again they want to reclaim their sexuality and I think that's such a big piece of what we do in Sex Therapy what do you think intimacy is so important in a real you know I think it's Misty you know it's such a broad word and how many like different things but he knows an intimate relationship it is that definitely that interpersonal relationship and it involves a range of things physical and emotional intimacy and I think we were in a partnership we have various needs that want to be met right so we have our emotional needs and we have our physical needs and so the physical intimacy is characterized
romantic or passionate attachment for sexual activity and that's such a big part of a relationship until when someone gets diagnosed with a chronic illness condition that tends to go to the to the Wayside or it can also
I think that's such a big heart have a relationship and you know when people come in to see a sex therapist that's one reason why they're really coming in there trying to figure out what's going on with desire in a row what's going on with their attachment to each other what's going on with the sexual communication so one of the things that I think it's really important to talk about with a couple is sexual empathy and starting to use that to reclaim your sexuality with a chronic illness which I haven't heard before but just wait so I need to find that first sexual is where you come to a place with your partner and you look at what's possible instead of once was once chief of all and I think that's when you're working with a chronic illness or really just it even if you're not you know you're looking at what's possible in your relationship
there is this having a high regard for each other you're emotionally connected to me that is that core of sexual empathy that you're there for each other and I think it is you're not seeing the blame game going on that's when we have sexual intimacy right I'll send yes and I'm thinking even with them
illnesses and stuff many times can you take the blame game you haven't seen me you have to work with the individual not to blame themselves yep we hear a lot of that I hear a lot of that in my hear several different messages in my office I hear everything from how do I juggle my needs to be an ill and disabled how do I support the needs of healthy how can I take or cope with feelings of inadequacy and shame juice my illness how do I keep it together for my partner who's battling a chronic illness do for the partner that does not have a chronic illness how can I be of support and still be a partner even though I'm being a caregiver to now expects yes
I need the when you're sick how to even like you say be a little sexy ride how to become sexy again yeah and I think that is something to really work through you know what I find with couples when I come in therapy is that they really have to work on their emotional bonding or their emotional stability to get to a place where they can be sexual again I have seen it on the other side of the fence where they really just need to reclaim their sexuality in the relationship can fix itself but I've seen that to be very rare I find that couples have this emotional disconnect I call that the Rapture in the relationship and so I think what we have to do is work on healing that rupture and that rupture can be to an illness it can be to infidelity if there are a couple of that practice monogamy it can be all different types of things that are going on and you know and I know is you know that you know there's a lot of reasons for
you know for furloughed desire and arousal and I think illness and medical reasons are one of those they don't get talked about so much about this what's sure you know when it's infidelity sometimes you know a way to blame or whatever when it's a medical thing is really inside there's nobody to blame but you get upset yes there's no difference because it's not a blame but for some reason it goes into a blame game with the park it's like well we can't have sex anymore because you don't have the desire to do to your rheumatoid arthritis right now even saying that a feeling that exactly exactly and so you know the answer of blame is accountability right it's like well you know I'm accountable
because yes I I did this and I'm working on that but I think when we get hit with a chronic illness we really one thing that I do is try to hold a safe space where we can get some oil and say will you know what no one is to blame here this is something that's happened and I try to get the couple to work is you know that team with each other to where they can reclaim things that they have lost the also just look at what's possible you know maybe they won't be able to have the same type of intimacy that they had in the past but get them to a place where they can't do something that is enjoyable because you know sex is not right and I love how you put it that it's about the accountability you know each person being accountable and having that as you put it before the sexual empathy for the partner absolutely
you know I find that that's what are the magical things about you know Psychotherapy and sex therapist just holding the space for people to process to listen to hold that place where they don't have to feel shame they don't have to feel judge and that you know what it comes down to is that you can be sexy still you know your sexy misses unique it's different from everybody else's and so one of the things I really try to do is help Define what is that to them what does it mean to be sexy now and how can you connect on a deeper level now that this has affected your life because when people can accept things I feel like with an illness illness becomes one part of their life and become one part of it and yes there are certain illnesses where we see a relapse is and flare ups and so that's when we go in to self care
definitely yes we're going to take a short break for when we come back we're going to talk more about how you helped apples to find what all this means to their sexual life and all the stuff that you've done in working with pebbles and giving some couples control so we're going to take a short break and will be back in a few minutes
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dr. Phillips yes we were just you were just sharing with us how you felt couples Define what that mean in the sense of couples who met one partner sometimes maybe they're both Partners have a chronic illness and how to move with them how do you have couples Define well each couple of course it's going to be very different so couples who battle static or dynamic illnesses will definitely benefit from doing couple sex therapy and when I mean by Static illnesses that name mean something like a paralysis cerebral palsy things that stay static and dynamic illnesses that could be something like an autoimmune disease or a neurological disorder where we have relapsed is and flare ups and so I think it's seeing what what type of disorder they have coming in being able to Define what is that mean to them and to see where they're
one of the things that I do is that I always assessed to see where they're at with coping with the chronic illness there's different phases of a chronic illness is best characterized by crisis in chaos and asking some couples that come in when they're in that say so I try to just give them a safe space be supportive to help them move from the actual mindset of their illness to an emergency stage to help them get some sort of relief to give them some resources to get help for it medical spiritual whatever that's going to be an ultimate goal is to just get immediate help and so I have some couples that come in and then I have some couples in a stabilization phase so I help them understand that and that's when they reached a plateau symptoms and because they stay more or less the same they become familiar with the diagnosis
Copart in so instead of it if it's a couple instead of being my illnesses are Elvis and we're working as a team together I think that's beautiful and then of course resolution were they have symptoms that are still there but they're learning how their illness behaves and how the world responds to it and so helping them do that and of course the last days of integration so really helping them to arrive to a new place and their partnership where they're at and one part of that is just recognizing that is just one part of their life now one technique that I love using that really does help is that I draw a lot out of Imago relationship therapy so having to do some type of dialogue instead of a disgust disgusting thing they have room for reactivity but if we're doing a dialogue and they're doing some mirroring were validated and empathy in the session then we see that there is
last rupture of reactivity that can happen yes yes it seems to be very successful and they can assimilate in session and then work on it in Private Ryan has to give them some homework to take that home because the healthy partner of the partners. That's not sick they may not understand really what their Partners going through so helping them get to a place where they can have some type of invalidation and you know what validation it's not necessarily agree in with your partner is just acknowledging the knowledgement is acknowledgment and acceptance is key absolutely for a my sessions and getting their you know every every individual and couples different but it's always nice when they can finally get to that place I think that's where we start to see the healing
assuming that many people get stuck about how things were in the past and how their life was and you know like I was healthy I could do this or we could take these vacations and now things have changed right helping them to I'm not just seeing the black and white but there's many different shades of different possibilities of Asia yes yes so with the person that's with the illness do you sometimes work with them separately are you always do couples work right I have I have worked with them individually before and then they will bring their partner and every once in awhile for couples work and sometimes just to help the other partner that's that does not have a chronic illness is to also refer them to someone that they can speak with about their own stress
dancing some type of you know I'm caregiving stress they have depression and anxiety themselves a high level of a stress level now and gaining some coping skills on how they can Priests quite a bit of their stress I think that's important and given them the resources definitely different yeah I'm done talking about this because I also think sometimes when you're struck with a chronic illness such as cancer or so I get different things people think that I shouldn't even think about my intimate life or my intimacy ar2ax and I cannot talk to my doctors and you know that's great that you bring that up because I have several clients that come in you know for her second European Sex Therapy and they're like I'm so glad that you specialize in this Doctor Phillips because I can't talk to my
about you know I was never told that I was going to have low desire in arousal or some other type of sexual dysfunction that's why I love it when we can find doctors in the community also work with sex therapist I think that's perfect cuz like you said many times they don't know you know I think one of the best things that we can do as a psychotherapist sex therapist is really again it's holding that space and just listening because I think there's a grief process that the couple goes through and you know with grief it's not linear through denial
anger and depression and then getting them to a place of acceptance I mean I had couples were they get to acceptance but then they fall back again maybe maybe a sexual activity that they loved or there is lack of Desire or arousal there so there's many of things that you can you can really help them with good good and so would you also helped his many some illnesses have pain most of you're the one that I see most of is Fibromyalgia of course today is such a big mystery you know it's kind of like the slap on the bed to slap on illness where we don't know what it is so there's pain that radiates through the whole body which causes intense depression and anxiety so of course when there's pain there
lack of Desire we talked about action plan on wellness and I think another thing that's really important to bring up his energy level so you were more intimate in the evening but with an illness now you have more energy in the morning so that maybe the time to have some type of sexual activity or to be intimate with her so we have to dig deep and find out well what can we do now since everything is changed right that's what I call that too that's basically sexual adjustment yes in from the partners prospective anytime it's someone I'm not seen it in my own counseling session and someone has pain at the partner you're a little fearful like they don't want to touch you just want you know what I'm saying I don't want to call yes I don't want her
it involved himself in sex or whatever and then they're very painful and it just becomes yeah yeah so what we do is that is one of the things that I talk about with a partner that has a disability is what is your blueprint of your Sensations like it's going a place where they lay out a blueprint their body and where they feel the sensations that they like right what is it that they don't like and what's uncomfortable so this is where sexual communication really I like it when you touch me like this you know it's uncomfortable when you touch me here it's almost like doing is I'm as I doing since a focusrite it's really go into sexual activity and they have to have an orgasm and do we really work on trying to
change. Yes the perspective of that and that it's about pleasure absolutely what are you both like you know some people find just Simple Touch change kissing can I get them to a place where they can try new things that I really like how you put it on ya blueprint of pleasure and it's great that you are it's about communicating it's about communication it's about what do I find pleasurable what do you find pleasurable is this something that we can try differently you know what's also interesting to is that a man and the partner has chronic pain condition due to an illness or just an illness
that's another thing they start talking about consensual non-monogamous relationships that's happened that's ultimately your decision and I helped if that's what they want to go into and I've had a few possibilities of how they can each satisfy each other but find satisfaction in other aspects open communication and yeah so we can talk a lot about couples but I know some of our listeners are puppies. A chronic illness and then you're like well that's the end of my day tomorrow yeah I've had a few clients that come in that are single
they're on the apps they're on the laptop switch there are so many these days and they're out there trying to find someone and so really you know I think again I kind of assess where they're at and the phases stage okay what is it that you want in a relationship like looking for what are your expectations and we go through the course they talk about their decision so we talked about the benefits of doing that and how you're putting it out there if you really like the person or do you not talk about it I also have them go.
first date well I think it really I think it's a I think it really depends on the individual some people want to get it out in the open because they're so anxious about it and then some people are like well maybe I should wait and see how this develops because that's another part that comes is white right yes right so if you get close to someone and you start dating them and then you tell them that hey I'm chronically ill and then they reject you like that's so hurtful to some people would rather say something right in the beginning okay
just been completely off and I can stop yes we're Yuba SEPTA things were there at your learning how to live well with chronic pain and chronic illness you kind of get to a place where you may prepare yourself for that rejection and so I think one thing to do to is like refer them to like maybe there's a wow I haven't thought about this maybe there's like a singles chronically ill support group right they can meet somebody else another definitely navigate as well right on the other end if you're meeting someone and you're just meeting them and you find out they have a chronic illness
has you're the person on the other side of the fence I think you have to look at your own expectations and what it is that you want in a partner and maybe do your research on it right I think I think people don't understand chronic illness I think that when I think there are some not all but some people that when they go out on a date and the person says oh by the way I've got multiple sclerosis that must mean you're going to die on me that's not the case and find out that there is hope and look at the person for their other qualities for the other things that they have you know their Lust For Life
do couples when people are meeting each other they are looking for some commonality would you suggest if you had to and you disclosed it to 10% that you bring them some research on it or something I mean I mean you know I think well here's my thing if the date goes well and there is chemistry and there's a connection right then as you just blows it the other person may say hey yeah give me some information on it let me let me learn about it and I've had couples and therapy where that's how they started they was chronically ill but they did their research and you know they've been able to live a great life and maybe they're in here seeing me for other reasons we also have to point out that
sexual intimacy can be so powerful what a life has been constructed by chronic illness
yeah I mean people come you know it I think it's getting them to a place where it's like well you know I can have sex pleasure and that's completely distracted me from my pain right now exactly that's amazing I love that and relax your body can relax your body and I helped get them some techniques to try different things with the touching you know a lot of my my clients with chronic pain they will they will get into solo sex or masturbation and they say that it helps relieve pain and helps relieve anxiety and they really enjoy it so I think we have to look at that other side of the fence because your life is constricted by an illness or disability you can still find things that make you sexy new variety of things in bed with your partner I mean that's why we have amazing toys we
definitely yes and I'm glad you mention that because like I said they don't block the body which of course your muscles are relaxed yes thanks take slow better and stomach illnesses yes happened to your body when you're having pleasure and there's a route all and you know you have an orgasm you go into a relaxation phase with your body and it feels good so yeah yeah yeah so he's got all this expert knowledge and you bring the book I am in the process I am in the process of writing my first book it's in the stages at this time so I've been on various shows promoting it and speaking at conferences and I'm I'm really excited about it it's called sex and love when you're sick
it's going it's your choice couples but I think the people that are single they would also benefit from it because there's going to be it's going to help people overcome shame and sexual limitations caused by illness and give strategies to create and reclaim is sex like that works for that and the great thing is is that it's going to be Geared for all people so they're going to be stories in the Box dad are wed hetersexual clients gay lesbian non-binary clients who are polyamorous to be able to kinky clients clients that are into BDSM that type of thing to give them away to become sexual again because people lot of times they start to feel less attractive they feel less confident and they're concerned he's going to add apps to an illness and so given them some strategies on how to do that which I'm really really excited about I think it's going to benefit so many people
like this that I know there's a great book out there the ultimate guide for sex for chronic illness and disability which I believe was written in 2007 and excellent books I really just want to add more to it information updated and kind of get out of a heteronormative with many different genders and Lifestyles and sexual orientation and so the goal behind the book is really going to help improve emotional connection around sexual intimacy promoted and so it's a goal is for people to learn their sexual awareness to be aware in their body with an illness how to communicate with their partner and learning their sexual style because what we find it say someone with an illness prior to their illness they were very dominant and then all of a sudden
can't do that anymore so it's talking about what what can my sexual style be now about couples who are in the same household and stuff but now with technology and staff and
is so much technology not they have even if someone has a chronic illness and maybe their partner is in another state yes yes it's so many different toys of virtual reality are you going to keep a job and you can do something in virtual reality
yeah that's unisex check is huge now so the Texas Tech industry being able to find it for toys that are going to work for you that our pleasure you know having a friend to talk to sometimes a virtual friend those things I think it's very important so being able to talk about that in the book I think we'll definitely be to give them some skills on how to communicate with each other because I signed that when couples come in there such this big barrier and rupture that's happened and so what I really want to do is be able to give them the schools to get to a place where they can be comfortable with themselves be comfortable with her body because as you know sexuality in a relationship and involves just such a wide mix of feelings
yes yes and it's many times and working with sexuality and the couple's helping them to communicate also helps them outside in the back is absolutely yes we're learning sexual communication but sexual communication can can help benefit people outside of things you know what's interesting is that we're seeing how Kink and BDSM can help people that don't practice it because in the inconvenience them culture there is this you know heavy dose of communication that has to happen during a place and into other couples can learn that on the other side of the fence so that's fascinating to me and people are using BDSM play to really focus on their good paying for their back pay
The Chronic pain that they have their pleasure by doing inflicting the good pain that could Sensations that makes them for being a sub I find that to be starting to come up in the research now I'm thinking about this
if you're always the caretaker
then if you see this place where you can be there emissive helps the person who is
Everett Clinic illness feel a little power absolutely because you know what's interesting is that a lot of times I have people that come in a therapy that are interested in BDSM I find it the person that wants to be a sub they may be a big executive at a company exactly yeah yeah and then the person that is the subordinate at an organization they want to feel what it's like to be a Dom so I love that idea. The caregiver maybe switching things up a little bit and maybe take not a submissive role right definitely even think when you
play into it and takes away. Like you said it's doesn't have to be the focus of orgasm orgasm orgasm yes pleasure component to it and then cover a chronic pain conditions are chronic illness and then couples that come in where they don't have that they still feel like everything has to be a performance a lot of times and I think getting them to a place where they can understand that if it's what you want to make of it I always tell people you have a sexual menu you have an appetizer you have an entree and you haven't died and then I'm in the appetizer can be cuddling kissing touching your entree does not have to be penetration it can be more touching and then of course that can talk about how it felt for you how did you like it
did you like it when I text you this way when I kissed you that way again so I like to use that in my sessions as well I find that to be very helpful and then the couple of see how her first then they can go home and they can try that and then come back and report on how it went right right is helping them communicate in the more you communicate their more closer and intimate because you know when your life does get restricted by disability I think it can end of especially in the beginning stages you know it consumes you so much to where you're not able to think about everything else right everything is on the illness and so the goal is to once you're learning to live well with it it's time to Branch out and try something different try something new and that's what makes it exciting we're going to take a little break but I would like you to tell us more about what you do and I think you
participating you have your own podcast so yes take it away
yeah one of the things that that I do on the side is that you know I right I'm a blogger at 5 log on my website I do all of that and what I am now is I am a I am the I am the sex therapist on invisible not broken which is a chronic illness podcast so once a month I get on there and we talked about various topics and one of the things that I'm going to be talking about this month or next month of February is exploring sexual pleasure communication and freedom for gender minorities with chronic pain illness and disability Associates in the gears and talking about that on people that are transgendered with disabilities people that are non-binary people that are LGBT LGBT clients consensual non-monogamy because
when you're coming out as an LGBT first lgbtq first then then you're having to come out with a chronic illness and that can that can be very very difficult so that's what I'm focusing on now and I'm going to be speaking at a stacked this year in Palm Springs on that topic which I'm really excited about because I think we need more talk text while on disability and I think that's really going to help a lot of folks out to others what a research I've been doing on that so I'm busy with that right now and yeah I'm always riding in blogging about about the topic which witch is which I love that's my specialty now until how can people find you if people want to find me they can reach me on Instagram at Dr Lee Phillips I am also on Facebook at Dr Lee Phillips and you can also reach me via my website which is Debbie
W. Dr Lee Phillips awesome
yes so do you have any particular tools for people in chronic illness or chronic disability or to help them and then you have a toilet chair to help their partner yeah one of the tools that I recommend and it's very easy I think when people are so busy they are not listening to their bodies so one of the one of the tools that I give my clients with chronic pain is something called casing for pain so it example of an example that would be staying cuz with chronic pain it's full of uncertainty you may wake up one day feeling amazing and the next day you wake up and you feel like I don't know a Mack truck hit you so it's really listening to your body and doing a self inventory of where your pain is at and said by taking that self inventory taking one task at a time during the day because when people experience chronic pain and they're feeling so
great they make clean the entire house they may go run all these errands they wear themselves out and then the next day and then they crash and their energy down and they may be in bed for days and it's really listening to your body and one way to do that is doing a body scan everyday like from your head to your toes where do you feel the tension out and really taking that into account because if you don't you run that risk of wearing yourself out and what I do with my couples as you know with a partner that made be healthy is have them do the body scan with them do it is an activity together different meditations together by doing that I can bring you closer together
can I find is really critical and this goes back into communication about intimacy and sex is being able to really just invite your partner into each other's world I think marrying is very great where you say something and your partner just repeats it right back just to understand and asked did I get that right so I understand where you're coming from and so being able to do that in the session but then being able to do that outside of discussion I think it's important to give them a communication schools the other thing that I find us vertical is where on your body do you feel pleasure where is that now if something's changed is there a place that you love and where is that so giving them some exercises for mindful touching to be very helpful for individuals but I think they're both critical to be able to do that to find you know what brings you pleasure and then of course
what's the time of day to do this I have couples that come in and it's like their peak hours are off someone may be more sexual in the morning someone be more sexual in the afternoon and in the evening so we look at it just in that healthy partner going to sexual adjustment where they do something maybe in the morning and in trying different toys you know and they come back in and they report and they really they really liked it I have to say there is a new toy that out there that I absolutely love for men saw the guybrator and it's where you actually it's a different vibrations right okay good yeah
I'll tell you I was tell my clients you know you got to get curious about your partner and get creative with just a little bit and I and I know when you were saying it just thing the time was when we were talking a little bit about energy but a lot of this again and I just want to make sure we focus a little bit on energy it's about energy and yes we do
and everyone feels their energy energy different and so I think it's important to identify where do you put that energy and how to save it when you forget to be intimate many times would cry some kind of energy yes absolutely and is that in the evening some people wake up more in the evening is it in the morning you know I mean I will tell you most of my my client with chronic pain and chronic illness there more sexual in the morning okay that's where they're their energy level is because if they've gotten a good night's rest now some people that have chronic pain or chronic illness conditions they have a difficult time sleeping so everyone's going to be different but I think if you can do something with the energy levels and find out where can you be sexual and what's the Frequency going to be like
right right definitely
yeah then I read a think that's very important for all of us but also if you have a chronic illness yes yes prepare your body for it and that kind of stuff so it's not a shock on a shot in feelings aren't hurt in that kind of thing absolutely very important so we talked about we really get into that like after acceptance you know a lot of times we can't even get there until they've accepted where they're at and where they really want to go but that's but I will tell you that I have a lot of people that come in and they're they're ready for that they've accepted this is a part of them now the pains there but now they want to have better sex or they just have some type of sex life, chronic illness has happened and people think it's going to destroy their relationship but actually it's made them closer because of all the things that you just said
yes it can bring people so close because they're having to work together now but you lost me when you also want to look at what was the sex life prior to an illness show
but those are important questions to think about before someone you know when they're coming in you know I mean if they have a vibrant sex life and has this really do they feel like this is really destroyed them as a cup or has it made it worse because there was no sex prior to an onset of a disability you know so really trying to focus in on that right and one of the things that it's really good for when you when you have a chronic illness when you're still intimate because if you're not still interested in the 50 lslslsls and takes the caretaker maybe not feel like hey this is my caretaking that's where I say that because they really try to focus on how can we shift that and how can we get a lot of that you know that's why you know we use it you know in the deep root and Sex Therapy
always use cognitive therapy and sometimes I think that really comes into play is being able to process to be able to shift that in to be able to behave in a different manner if you can do that's important to yes definitely so much information about chronic illness and intimacy and as we've been talking and sharing with us we're just talking about this physical physical stop he's brought in and talked about a lot of different types of intimacy and using soy other way just kissing hugging different atmosphere you know adding different things whether it's adding another person is but there's ways so if you have an illness don't think a my gosh my life is going to stop and I can have any other pleasure this many ways yes yes yes definitely want to
find dr. Lee Phillips you said on Facebook and Instagram yeah you can find me there on at dr. Lee Phillips and then also you can visit my website which is WWE dr.lee philips.com okay guessing you do video sessions at the time but I am planning on doing that in the future absolutely that's that's that's on the list of things that I will be tackling here in the near future new book out and when was it supposed to be coming out I'm hoping that the proposal will be finished here in the next month or two and then I will be working on it after that and I'm hoping it will be out by the end of 2020 or 2021 at the latest sex and love when you are sick and I'm he's going to podcast called invisible not broken
because I'm assuming iTunes and yes I do thank you so much for being on the show and thanks again this is the bringing it Missy back show thank you