In many ways, I have lived a second life. The first was one of predictability and simplicity. I lived how I’d been taught, by playing it safe and fitting in. I went to school, got a job, got married, and was well on my way to the house with a white picket fence. Not that there was anything wrong with that; it just wasn’t “me”. Something was missing. I did not feel the sense of accomplishment I thought I would have for meeting my goals. Instead, I felt a bit empty inside. I had a successful career in marketing, but did not find the sense of fulfillment I had hoped for.
When I finally took the time to stop and take a good, hard look at my life, I came to realize that my goals were more reflections of other people’s expectations than of my own desires. I thought to myself, “Hey! How did I get here?”
Well, as the saying goes, “nothing changes if nothing changes.”
More than re-examining my life, I began living it, doing ⎯ and not doing ⎯ the things I wanted, going to emotional and spiritual places I had only heard about. And it was this personal journey that led me to pursue a career in therapy.
As a part of my own path to self-discovery, I began attending adult sex education workshops and seminars. The lectures I attended covered various topics about human sexuality, relationships, dating, and intimacy geared toward a variety of gender and sexual orientations. These meetings piqued my curious mind enough that, after a great deal of soul-searching, I decided to pursue a career in Sexology. In 2008, I was accepted into the graduate program in Human Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University.
As I progressed through the program and after attending several sexology conferences, I became more aware of my interest in providing counseling and therapy services, especially to couples and individuals seeking to improve their relationships and intimacy. I always had a strong desire to help people on a personal level. I am most passionate about normalizing sexual behaviors, encouraging people to pursue and explore their own sexualities, creating stronger and more meaningful relationships, and fostering an understanding that “different” is not necessarily “wrong”.
After earning my MA in Human Sexuality Studies from SFSU, I continue to present my thesis research at various scientific conferences and have published an article in the Archives of Sexual Behavior based on my thesis research. (See my Education and Credentials page for details.) My hope is that the information gained from my study of more than 1,500 women will be used to better understand women’s sexual desires and reasons for participating in a variety of sexual behaviors.
The MA program at SFSU was heavily based on research and theory, and I sought to gain the practical skills and training necessary to practice therapy. So I went back to school (yes, again) and earned a second Master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. I combine both of these Master’s degrees by specializing my practice in issues pertaining to relationships, sexual health, and intimacy.
Change takes time and energy. For me, the journey was worth it.