Posts Tagged ‘christina spaccavento’

Empowerment, Inspiration and Creativity in sex and all aspects of your life

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

As a counsellor specialising in sexual and relationship issues one would think that I hear all sorts of outrageous stories about my clients’ sexual experiences. And I do. Some would think it’s the dream job; talking about sex all day- what more could I want? And, well, yes it’s true, it is my dream job and I love it. But aside from all of this I also hear endless stories about individuals and couples that are looking for more in aspects of their lives that don’t seem to have anything to do with sex. They don’t just come to sessions wanting to heat things up in the bedroom but they often talk about issues that go much deeper.

 

Believe it or not a lot of the work I do involves the exploration of issues that go right to the core of my clients’ sense of existence on this earth. Deep huh? Yep. And they occur on multiple levels. The first level is clients’ dreams for their romantic relationships such as wanting a richer and deeper sexual connection with their partner, improving intimacy and exploring with their partner. The second level involves deeply personal issues such as the development of self-esteem, self-exploration (in whatever form that may take!), greater consciousness, spirituality, assertiveness skills, the search for happiness and even finding inner peace.  And the third level deals with life skills and challenges such as reaching financial security, finding the dream job, achieving a balanced lifestyle, good health, pursuing studies, hobbies, travel and friendships. It’s a lot to deal with and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all struggled with some, if not all of these issues in our lives.

 

What I’ve found is that for many of my clients (and myself included!) to feel truly empowered, inspired and creative in their sex lives they often need to work on many of the aspects just described.  I’ll give you an example. John presents for counselling with erectile dysfunction. His wife complains that they don’t have sex any more and even when they try he struggles with his erections. Hmmm…seems a simple case of Erectile Dysfunction. But when I dig a little deeper, John reveals that he has been working 60-hour weeks in the same job for 15 years. When asked why he keeps doing it he answers “because, well, what else is there to do?” 6 months ago he was diagnosed with depression and his doctor warned him that if he didn’t change his eating and exercise habits he would become a candidate for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. After some time working with John and his wife, he was able to feel strong enough to change his work schedule, invest in his health, make more time for his family and have a healthier, more fulfilling and connected sexual and relationship with his wife. It took some time and lots of dedication, but John is a happier man for it now.

 

We all have room to grow, evolve and become more empowered, inspired and creative. For more information on how check out my new workship ‘Lovin your Loving’.

 

Signing off.

Christina

 

October Adult Workshop – The L Word – Sexuality of the Modern Queer Woman

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

It’s time for a BRAND NEW workshop – and this one is just for queer women…

This new workshop will look at the ins and outs of sex and relationships for the modern queer woman.

Presented by Sydney sex therapist Christina Spaccavento, the aim is to examine some of the big issues women in the community have constantly been asking about; female anatomy and the female sexual response cycle and orgasm, female sexual desire, communication with your partner, how to negotiate roles in same sex relationships, keeping it fun in the relationship and gender identity vs sexual orientation including coming out.

If you want learn more about your sexual and romantic relationship with your female lover, come along to an informative and interesting community event at Maxxx Black.

 

Learn about how to better please your lover.

Find out how to communicate better in your girl on girl relationship.

What do we mean when we talk about gender and sexuality?

Do you want to explore different types of sexual play with your partner?

Plus, a Q&A where you’re encouraged to ask Christina anything!

 

The Details

When: Tuesday 23rd October 2012

Time: 7PM – Please aim to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start.

Where: MaXXX Black – Level 1, 264 King Street, Newtown

Tickets: $20 (including booking fee)

Tickets are available: at the counter in-store plus you can phone us for mail orders OR CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS ONLINE

About Christina

Christina is a qualified clinical Sex Therapist and Relationship Counsellor whose understanding, warmth and experience have made her popular with singles and couples alike from across the social spectrum.

She works with couples and individuals on a broad range of sexual and relationship issues and holds a Masters of Sexual Health from the University of Sydney, is the Acting CEO of Impotence Australia, Director of the Australasian Institute of Sexual Health medicine and Board Member of ASSERT NSW.

Christina regularly conducts sexuality workshops for health professionals and the public and has appeared on the Taboo National Geographic Documentary series as an expert therapist as well made various contributions to media such as Marie Claire, Body and Soul, Reader’s Digest and SBS radio in the areas of sexology and sexual health.

Visit Christina’s website to find out more a  www.sstherapy.com.au

NEW WORKSHOP THIS TUESDAY!!!

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

In our opinion it’s never too late for some good sex education – and it’s even better when it’s not just about sex, but about the love and desire we all feel too – after all, it all goes together to make for a fabulous life! So we’re super-psyched to be bringing Christina Spaccavento out this week for the first of our Summer Workshops – Love & Desire: Stronger Relationships, Better Sex.

This workshop is designed for EVERYBODY – whether your in a relationship or single, whether your into boys, girls, or both – the human body is something we can all talk about. Tickets are selling fast, and we have a maximum of 50 places for this workshop. You can get you tix online or in-store.

So What’s It ALL About?…….

Ever wanted to know why libido changes?

Or how to understand your lover’s needs better?

Do you want to know more about love & desire?

This informative and practical workshop led by Christina Spaccavento –  Sex Therapist and Relationship Counsellor – will explain the basics of sexual desire in relationships and provide easy and accessible techniques that lovers can use to keep the fire burning within their relationships and themselves!

Plus, a Q&A where you’re encouraged to ask Christina anything!

The Details

When: Tuesday 28th August 2012

Time: 7PM – Please aim to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start.

Where: MaXXX Black – Level 1, 264 King Street, Newtown

Tickets: $20 (including booking fee)

Tickets are available: at the counter in-store, or you can phone us for mail orders OR

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS ONLINE

 

About Christina

Christina is a qualified Sex Therapist and Relationship Counsellor. Her understanding, warmth, humour and experience has made her popular with singles and couples alike from across the social spectrum.

Christina has made contributions to media including National Geographic, Marie Claire & Body+Soul. She works with couples & individuals on a broad range of sexual issues, and holds a Masters of Sexual Health from the University of Sydney, is the Acting CEO of Impotence Australia and is a Board Member of ASSERT NSW.

 

Christina Spaccavento: Male Fertility? Men Don’t Have A Biological Clock…Right?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The risks to female fertility are all fairly well known, but what about our men folk? How much do we really know about the effects of our busy urban lives on the respective family jewels? Believe it or not, the modern man is just as vulnerable to fertility problems as his female counterpart!

There are a number of factors that can affect sperm health including lifestyle factors, environmental factors and even our choice in clothing. So what can men do to improve the potency of their punch?

If you’re a smoker, quit! Studies have shown that the concentration, motility, and morphology of sperm is affected by the toxic mixture of chemicals in cigarettes like nicotine, carbon monoxide, cadmium, and other mutagenic compounds [1].

Paternal smoking has also been associated with an increase in DNA damage to spermatozoa as well as higher incidences of birth defects and childhood cancer. And, if this isn’t enough, smoking is also widely recognised as a major cause of erectile dysfunction in men. Yes boys, the more you smoke, the higher your risk of impotence.

Eating a healthy diet rich in zinc and omega 3’s and regular exercise are also winners for the little fellas. Moderating alcohol intake will also alleviate ‘the brewer’s droop’, something most men will experience after a few too many.

Then there’s that invisible monster that is increasingly plaguing our lives; stress. If you’re working long hours there’s a good chance that your mates downstairs may be starting to feel a little out of their depth. Increased stress levels place heavier nutritional demands on the body to cope and sperm are way down the nutritional priority list when stress levels are high.

Environmental factors can also be major contributors to your sperm’s health. Industrial chemicals such as pesticides and synthetic oestrogenic substances that have crept into food can have negative effects on reproductive health. Going organic might not be a bad idea, but if you still buy from the supermarket, it’s essential that you wash your fruit and veggies well before eating them.

Statistics show that looser fitting underwear assists in maintaining optimum scrotal temperature, whilst reducing risks of overheating that can lead to sperm damage. If you’re looking to increase your fertility then it could help going back to the traditional boxer. And those tight jocks that look so good may be doing a little too much smuggling, so make sure you have some down-time in your more relaxed long johns.

But all jokes aside, fertility issues can become at times quite distressing when you’re trying to have children.  Many men even start to feel like what should be an unlimited love fest becomes a job.  If you find yourself in this sort of situation, getting some help from a Sex Therapist can give you and your partner some valuable support.

Christina is one of the very talented sex therapy professionals that MaXXX Black recommends. For information about sex therapy and counselling we encourage everyone to read our Community Links page.

Reference

1Zavos PM, Correa JR, Antypas S, Zarmakoupis-Zavos PN, Zarmakoupis CN. Effects of seminal plasma from cigarette smokers on sperm viability and longevity. Fertil Steril 1998;69:425–9.

Five Men’s Health Myths

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Christina Spaccavento is one of MB’s community network members and she is a brilliant therapist. Recently she contributed to an article in NewsLifeMedia’s Body & Soul. Here it is….

Myth 1: Low-carb beers don’t make you fat

False

It might be marketed that way, but dietician Kate diPrima says there’s much more to it. “This is a 150 million dollar segment of the industry, which thought they’d catch some health-conscious males,” she says. “Generally, beer is low in carbohydrates. It’s the total kilojoule content that makes a difference to your beer gut. Fat has 37kj per gram, alcohol has 29kj per gram and carbohydrates have 16kj per gram. So it is far better, from a health perspective, to choose a low-alcohol or reduced-alcohol beer and overall, to drink less. Try drinking a pot (285ml), rather than a 375ml stubby.” she says.

Myth 2: Impotence happens to everybody

True and false

“About 30-40 per cent of men will experience impotence,” says Christina Spaccavento, Acting CEO of Impotence Australia, sex therapist and relationship counsellor. Impotence can occur as a result of a medical, psychological or emotional condition, lifelong; or situational, Spaccavento notes. “Younger men will experience a higher level of psychological impotence, although this does tend to pass if they can deal with the emotions surrounding this. Older men tend to be affected for medical reasons, such as prostate, diabetes or heart issues,” she says. If you’re young and have experienced some level of erectile dysfunction make a visit to your doctor who will be able to look at the causes and, if necessary, make referral to sex therapist or specialist. For older men, Spaccavento advices to get a health check, “as it may be a sign of cardiovascular disease,” she says.

For more information call Impotence Australia on 1800 800 614.

Myth 3: Only women get PMT

False

A study by psychologists from the University of Derby, England, found that men suffer cyclical moodiness, discomfort and loss of concentration, just as women may during PMT. However, not all PMT is created equal. “Men’s mood can also be influenced by normal fluctuations or drops in testosterone levels with age,” says psychologist Dr Elizabeth Celi.

“This isn’t necessarily clinical or of concern. Our hormones naturally regulate our reproductive systems as well as our mood, and therefore our information-processing abilities. Men have normal psychological systems with mood fluctuations like anyone else: to reduce it to a PMT-equivalent is somewhat simplistic. Women’s menstrual cycles aren’t the only thing to affect their moods either,” she says.

Myth 4: Only women get the blues

False

“Men tend to be less emotional, but they still experience strong emotions. The difference is, that they’re culturally trained to not identify or express their feelings,” says Paul Martin, Principal Psychologist at Centre for Human Potential, Brisbane. “When we have emotions in the limbic (emotional) area of the brain, these need to travel through the language area [of the brain] and out the mouth through speech, or by writing issues down. This is called processing our emotions. With men, when there are emotions other than anger, they’re unlikely to express them.”

So that joke about grumpy old men has a degree of truth? “If men never process their feelings, this can result in depression, stress or anxiety. Rather than tears, they’ll withdraw into themselves and become less emotionally available or grumpy,” Martin says.

Myth 5: Do men get ‘man flu’?

True and false

“An understanding of masculinity is important when you’re dealing with men,” says Dr Ronald McCoy from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

“Men usually hold the supportive role: we put a lot of responsibility on men to be the provider and to not be ill. Women are used to dealing with their health: pap smears, breast checks, childcare, and pregnancy. So when men get ill, it can be stressful and quite a shock to their emotions. Also, people overestimate how terrible a common cold can make you feel. It’s all about an individual’s response to their illness.” We women may think it’s humorous, but perhaps we should take their temperature before we get dismissive.

Christina Spaccavento: Keeping It Together

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

This week we welcome Christina Spaccavento to the MB Blog – Christina is a wonderful sex therapist and relationship counsellor, and her articles will bring new insights into marriage, relationships and sexuality.

——————-

Marriage is becoming increasingly celebrated in Australia, so this would imply that there are many couples who are happy in their relationships. There is however still a relatively high divorce rate. So what is happening? This article addresses issues pertaining to marriage, limerence and relationships.

Keeping it Together

In 2009 the Australian Bureau of Statistics registered almost 50 000 divorces in Australia. That’s a lot of failed marriages for a country with a relatively small population. In fact Australia is ranked seventh place in the world for countries with the highest divorce rates. The United States comes in at first place (that’s no big surpise) followed by Puerto Rico, Russia, United Kingdom, Denmark and New Zealand. So is it really a game of chance? Or is there more to being a couple than initially meets the eye?

I see it again and again in my clinical practice. Dissatisfied lovers, who twelve to eighteen months after tying the knot watch in horror as it all fizzles down to mundane routine and ultimate relationship unhappiness.

I have often asked myself what the cause could possibly be. As a relationship counsellor, the first explanation that comes to mind is the idea of ‘limerence’. For those of you who are not familiar with this notion, ‘limerence’ is a term that was coined by Dr. Dororthy Tennov, an American Psychologist who attempted to describe the enigmatic state of being in love. Many of us have experienced those feelings of intense, almost obsessive and often painful romantic desire for another human. And you may have noticed that these sensations are usually experienced at the beginning of a relationship. A classic example is the call “just to say hi” that never ends because you don’t want to hang up on you lover. And then, as time goes on things tend to peter out . This is the state of limerence coming and going.

So how does it all start to come undone? We all know the amount of time, energy and money that goes into the preparation of a wedding. Retailers exploit the limerent phase to sell products ranging from wedding dresses to kitchen pans. But after it is all over, what skills have couples actually learnt towards maintaining the life-long commitment they have just signed up for? The stressful period before the big day can even bring to the forefront many issues that are affecting couples, but I am often left wondering how many of those hopefuls actually seek help before it is too late when there is such good help available.

Sex therapists can help rekindle and maintain that flame of love and interest in the lifelong union of marriage.

First of all, we need to be pragmatic in our expectations of our relationships. We need to realise that it is unrealistic and unfair to expect to feel the same euphoria that was experienced in the first three months of meeting our mate. If a relationship is to last it requires a lot more foundation than is often laid in the limerent phase. Here are some tips:

Be friends with your partner

Friendship is important in any relationship, so it’s important to nurture it.  Think about the activities that you enjoy doing with your partner, whether it be spending a quiet dinner just the two of you, going to concerts or performances, or walking along the beach. The time you spend doing things together helps to build a strong relationship foundation.

Communication

In my clinical experience what I find is the longer couples stay together, the more they start to think that they are mind readers. It is always good idea to make sure you fully understand what your partner is saying, or not saying and not just assume you know.

Check that you are both heading where you want to in the relationship

We all agree that people change over time. Yet in a relationships clients often express their bewilderment at changes in their partner. They say to me “she said she never wanted…..and now he wants…” Well I’ve got news for those who find themselves in this bind; we all change. It’s important to check in with each other regularly to make sure you’re both heading in the right direction.

Share the Workload

So now you’re a team. Making a a fair contribution of time and resources to the relationship will help build a strong foundation that leads to relationship resilience.

Keep things special

There is nothing cheesy about organising a weekly romantic date with your partner to keep the passion alive. Making a conscious effort to dedicate time and energy to your relationship will bring lasting rewards.

—————–

There is no one concrete formula on how to ensure long term relationship bliss. What we can do, however is learn ways to stay positively connnected to our partner in order to build and maintain a strong union.

Introducing Christina Spaccavento, Sex Therapist.

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Part of the joy of working here at MB is the relationships we have with some of Australia’s best sex therapists and relationships counsellors. This week Christina Spaccavento joins our community network and we can’t wait to tell you all about her…

Christina Spaccavento is a qualified and experienced Sex Therapist and Relationship Counsellor who provides both face-to-face and telephone counselling.  We love that she is friendly and approachable and committed to offering a discreet and understanding experience through her client-centered and solution-focused therapeutic style.
Christina has a Masters of Health Science (Sexual Health) from the University of Sydney (we love a local!) and runs her own clinical practice in Surry Hills and Potts Point, which makes it easy to get to a location near you.
Christina also runs sexuality workshops for health professionals and has made various expert contributions to media publications and television in the area of sexology.
So how can she help? Christina has a huge breadth of knowledge to draw on and can help with many many issues, including:
  • Lesbian and Gay Counselling
  • Relationship and Marriage Counselling
  • Intimacy Issues
  • Couples Communication
  • Female and Male Desire Problems/Issues
  • Orgasm and Related Issues
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Gender Identity
  • Illness and Sexuality
  • Vaginismus
  • Painful Intercourse
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Sex Addiction/Compulsive Sexual Behaviours
  • Premature Ejaculation
  • Delayed Ejaculation
  • Post Prostatectomy Surgery

You can contact Christina through her website: www.sydneysextherapists.com.au or by calling her directly on 0422 088 752.

Look out for future articles and advice from Christina right here on our Blog in 2012.