Transforming Sexual Dysfunction with MDMA and Ketamine

Sexual dysfunction can manifest in various ways for both men and women. Both men and women can face issues such as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and Sexual Aversion Disorder. For men, some common issues identified in the DSM-5 include Erectile Disorder, Premature Ejaculation, and Delayed Ejaculation. Women may experience Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder or Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder.

Behind these clinical names are real people struggling with distressing symptoms, often resulting in strained relationships, lowered self-esteem, and emotional distress. The root causes of these issues can be multifaceted, ranging from physical health concerns to psychological challenges such as trauma and anxiety.

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy can provide a new approach to addressing these sexual dysfunctions by creating significant shifts in cognitive attitudes toward sex, relationships, and self-perception. Substances such as MDMA and Ketamine, when used responsibly in a therapeutic setting, are known for their capacity to foster introspection, reduce fear and defensive attitudes, and increase empathy. This psychological environment can enable individuals to confront and resolve past traumas, alleviate sexual anxieties, and improve communication within relationships.

Consider a man struggling with erectile disorder, primarily due to performance anxiety. A guided therapy session under the influence of MDMA or Ketamine could help him dismantle his fears and shift his focus from performance to pleasure, helping to reduce anxiety and enhance his sexual experience.

Or consider a woman grappling with Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder, often linked to past sexual trauma. A psychedelic-assisted therapy session might provide her the safety and space to confront her past, understand her body’s response, and heal.

It’s crucial to note that psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy isn’t a standalone solution. It’s a tool that, when combined with other therapeutic interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, or sensate focus exercises, can provide a comprehensive approach to tackling sexual dysfunction.

While we are still in the early days of understanding the full potential of MDMA and Ketamine in treating sexual disorders, early indications suggest that these substances offer a unique therapeutic tool that could potentially revolutionize our approach to sexual wellness. It’s an exciting field to be part of, and I’m eager to see how it continues to evolve.

Your mental health and wellness are worth the best care and attention. These treatments are best administered under the guidance of a trained professional, in a controlled setting, and after a thorough consideration of the potential risks involved. 

As “we” continue exploring these breakthroughs in psychotherapy, it’s important to remember that every journey toward healing is unique, and the path to sexual wellness is no different. As we continue this conversation, let’s remember to extend understanding, compassion, and support to all those finding their way.

Note: As of this writing, MDMA is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States. However, through the efforts of organizations like the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), MDMA is currently in late-stage clinical trials for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Should these trials continue to show positive results, it’s anticipated that the FDA may approve its use for medical purposes in the next several months, potentially in early 2024.

The Power of Imagination

Have you ever stopped to think about the stories we tell ourselves? You know, those little narratives we weave about who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we can achieve. I want to share a fascinating idea that’s been swirling around my head recently. It’s inspired by the incredible Maya Angelou, who once said, “The things we make up about ourselves are made up, so we might as well make up good ones.”

Isn’t that such a mind-blowing thought?

First things first: let’s talk about the power of our minds. It’s no secret that our brains are truly remarkable. They’re responsible for our thoughts, feelings, and actions and constantly create and update our personal narratives. These stories shape our reality, affecting everything from our self-esteem to our relationships and careers.

But here’s the thing: our minds are often our worst enemies. We’re so quick to judge ourselves, to focus on our flaws, and to doubt our abilities. It’s as if we’re hardwired to be our own harshest critics. And unfortunately, these negative thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies, leading us down a path of self-doubt and despair.

That’s where Maya Angelou’s wisdom comes into play. If our self-perceptions are made up anyway, why not make up good ones? By consciously choosing to create positive, empowering stories about ourselves, we can harness the full potential of our minds.

To get started, let’s take a look at a few strategies that can help us rewrite our narratives for the better:

  1. Embrace positive affirmations: Positive affirmations are powerful statements that can help us rewire our brains for success. By repeating phrases like “I am capable,” “I am deserving of love and happiness,” and “I am strong,” we can gradually shift our mindset and start believing in ourselves.
  2. Visualize your ideal self: Take a few moments each day to imagine the best version of yourself. See yourself succeeding, being confident, and achieving your goals. This visualization exercise can help you solidify your new, positive self-perception.
  3. Surround yourself with positivity: It’s crucial to surround ourselves with positive influences, from the books and shows we watch to those we spend time with. The more positivity we consume, the easier it becomes to internalize a more optimistic view of ourselves.
  4. Practice gratitude: Instead of dwelling on our perceived shortcomings, we should focus on what we’re grateful for. By acknowledging our blessings and achievements, we can start to see ourselves in a more favorable light.
  5. Stop comparing yourself to others: Comparison is the thief of joy. When we compare ourselves to others, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. Instead, focus on your unique strengths and strive for self-improvement.

So, there you have it! The key takeaway is this: our minds are mighty, and they can either work for or against us. By following Maya Angelou’s advice and consciously choosing to create positive stories about ourselves, we can harness the full potential of our minds – and become the best version of ourselves.

Stay positive, stay inspired, and keep making up those good stories!

The Healing Power of Connection

A Journey Beyond Sobriety

I want to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while now: the idea that the opposite of addiction is connection, not sobriety. This concept has resonated with me with clients I work with, and I think it’s an important message to share.

Psychological evidence has shown that human beings have an innate need for connection. Our brains are wired for social interaction. The renowned psychologist, John Bowlby, developed attachment theory, which explains how crucial it is to form close emotional bonds with others. We’re more likely to struggle with mental health issues and addiction when we don’t have a secure attachment connection with others.

How often have you seen someone struggling with addiction who lacked solid social connections? I’ve seen it many times. But when we surround ourselves with people who genuinely care for us and want the best for us, our chances of overcoming addiction significantly improve.

I want to share a story with you. It’s about a woman named “Sarah,” who struggled with alcoholism for many years. She had tried countless times to quit drinking but always fell back into her old habits. Sarah had lost touch with many of her friends and family members and spent most of her time alone.

One day, Sarah decided to reach out to an old friend, “Emily,” whom she hadn’t spoken to in years. They decided to meet for coffee, and soon enough, they were spending meaningful time together. They reconnected by doing things they loved, like hiking and doing yoga together.

As Sarah spent more and more time with Emily, she started to feel a sense of belonging she hadn’t experienced in years. Emily provided the support Sarah needed, and their friendship began to flourish. As these connections deepened, Sarah found that her cravings for alcohol started to diminish. She no longer needed to drink to numb her pain because she had someone she could turn to when she was struggling.

Over time, Sarah overcame her addiction and credits her recovery to the rekindled connection with her friend, Emily. Sarah’s story is a testament to the power of meaningful connections and their impact on overcoming addiction.

This story shows that sometimes, what we need to heal isn’t sobriety but the love and support of others. Of course, I’m not saying sobriety isn’t important; in many cases, it is. But connection can help us achieve lasting recovery and a more fulfilling life.

Who do you have that supports you?

Stay connected, and stay strong!

Embracing Struggle for Healing and Safety

A sudden epiphany passed over me as I sat with my client in my office. I realized that “safety” wasn’t about the lack of emotional struggle but rather the ability to experience a challenge and use it as a catalyst for healing. This understanding led me on a journey of personal growth, and I would like to share some valuable insights.

The first step for me was remembering the importance of secure attachments with the people around me, such as my partner, family, and friends. I learned that having a robust and supportive network could help me navigate through my emotional pain and grow from it. Connecting with my “Self” and a divine “Source” also played a significant role in feeling grounded and connected.

As I continued to process this thought, I explored the concept of resilience. I recognized that I needed to increase my window of tolerance, that is, my ability to withstand emotional stress and adversity. This involved letting go of things I could not control and focusing on what mattered. Identifying my values and living in unity with them brought a newfound sense of harmony and well-being.

To further support my healing experience, I sought a broad range of support from various professionals and practices. I began working with a massage therapist to help release physical tension, consulted a nutritionist to fuel my body with the proper nutrients, and nurtured my spiritual connection through meditation. I also discovered the power of exercise in boosting my mood and energy levels, something I often neglect.

I learned the importance of immersing myself in activities that renewed and restored my energy. For me, this could be anything from going for a walk in nature to attending an art class or simply spending time with loved ones. I also needed to return to swimming, which has long been my go-to workout. These activities helped me stay grounded and reminded me of the beauty of life.

The human experience, I have come to understand, is about taking adversity and transforming it into healing experiences, not eliminating hardship. We all encounter emotional pain, but how we respond to that pain genuinely defines our path toward healing and fundamental safety.

As I continue my journey, I am reminded that embracing emotional pain and using it to foster personal growth is essential to living a fulfilling life. I encourage you to explore your journey toward healing and safety and remember that it’s not about eliminating discomfort but using it as a catalyst for growth and connection.

Be an Accomplice, Not an Advocate

In a world filled with diverse experiences and challenges, it’s essential to be aware of how we can genuinely support one another. One such approach that has gained traction recently is being an accomplice rather than an advocate. While both roles are well-intentioned, there’s a subtle yet significant difference between the two. Being an accomplice means stepping into someone’s story and experiencing it with them, offering support, healing, and affirmation. On the other hand, advocacy can sometimes feel dismissive or superficial.

Empathy isn’t simply advocacy

The Accomplice vs. the Advocate

Advocacy typically involves speaking out on behalf of others, raising awareness about issues, and championing change. While these efforts are crucial, they can sometimes feel detached from the personal experiences of those we aim to help.

An accomplice actively engages in another person’s struggle, offering support and empathy through shared experiences. This approach goes beyond advocating for change—it means truly understanding and empathizing with the individual’s journey, acknowledging their emotions, and validating their experiences.

The Power of Empathy

Empathy is at the core of being a companion. It involves stepping into someone else’s shoes and sharing their emotional experiences. When we practice empathy, we create a safe space for others to be vulnerable, ultimately fostering deeper connections and mutual understanding.

Research has shown that empathy can have a profound impact on both mental and physical well-being. Feeling understood and supported can alleviate stress and anxiety, promote healing, and create a greater sense of self-worth.

Holding Space for Your Partner’s “Parts”

Internal Family Systems is a therapeutic model that posits that every person has multiple internal parts or sub-personalities, and these parts interact with each other to form our personality. The IFS model suggests that we all have different parts that we may not be aware of or may not want to acknowledge, but they still play a significant role in our life experiences.

Internal Family System – Part

When our partner displays behaviors that seem out of character, we can assume that their internal parts are triggered, causing them to act in a way that is not aligned with their true self. In such situations, holding space for our partner and validating their feelings is helpful. Listening to this way means creating a safe emotional space for them to express their emotions without fear of being judged or rejected.

We can hold space for our partner’s broken parts by modeling curiosity and empathy towards their subpersonalities. We can ask questions and actively listen to understand their perspective rather than reacting to their behavior. When we approach our partner’s broken parts with curiosity, we can help them identify the root cause of their behavior, which can help them understand themselves better.

When we validate our partner’s emotions, we can help them feel seen and understood, creating a more profound connection. Holding space for our partner’s broken parts can help them feel heard and validated, which can be incredibly healing. Validating our partner’s emotions can also help them regulate their feelings, leading to a more peaceful and harmonious relationship.

It is crucial to recognize that our defensive responses towards our partner’s behaviors are not necessarily directed towards them but are often defensive responses towards our internal parts activated due to unhealed wounds. By acknowledging our inner parts and working to heal them, we can create differentiation within ourselves, which can help us become more self-aware and more present in our relationships.

The Wounded Healer

As a wounded healer, I understand using my own experiences of pain and healing to connect with and support my clients. I have gone through my struggles and have come out on the other side (and in some cases, things are still a work in progress) with a deep understanding of what it’s like to be in pain.

The Wounded Healer

The idea of the wounded healer is often associated with the work of psychologist Carl Jung, who believed that individuals who have faced their struggles and undergone a healing process could be particularly effective in helping others navigate similar struggles.

Being a wounded healer can be challenging because it requires a careful balance of vulnerability, transparency, and professional boundaries. It’s important to share one’s story to create a deeper level of empathy and understanding, but we must also remember that the therapeutic relationship focuses on the client’s needs.

Additionally, being a wounded healer requires a strong focus on self-care. I know I can only be effective in my work if I prioritize my emotional and physical health. This means setting boundaries and taking time to recharge and replenish my energy.

Despite the challenges, being a wounded healer is incredibly rewarding. By using my experiences to help others, I can create a deeper level of connection and understanding that can be transformative. And by being open and transparent, I can create a safe space for healing and growth.

If you’re a wounded healer like me, remember that experience can be valuable in helping others heal. Take care of yourself, set boundaries, and be open and honest with your clients. Your work can be gratifying, and you have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives, despite being imperfect humans ourselves.

Resistance is Healing

Resistance isn’t a sign of something bad, it’s a sign of healing.

I’ve learned that struggle and resistance are often seen as negative things – signs that we’re on the wrong path or that something is going wrong. But I’ve realized that they can also indicate that things are working.

When we try to make changes in our lives, whether it’s in our relationships, our work, or our society as a whole, there will always be resistance. This is especially true when we’re challenging the status quo or trying to disrupt systems that have existed for a long time.

Resistance can take many forms. It might come from other people who don’t agree with our ideas or who are threatened by the changes we’re proposing. It might come from within ourselves as we struggle to break old habits or overcome self-doubt. It might come from external circumstances that make it difficult to move forward.

It might be a sign that we’re doing something right. But here’s the thing: resistance doesn’t mean we’re doing something wrong. When we push against resistance, we’re testing the limits of what’s possible. We’re challenging ourselves and others to think differently and to consider new perspectives. We’re creating space for growth and change.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we should always ignore the resistance and plow ahead. Sometimes resistance is a warning sign that we can adjust our approach or reconsider our goals. But when we’re confident in our vision and committed to our values, we can use resistance to help us stay on track.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of following external suggestions from others, especially when those suggestions seem to come from sources of authority or expertise. But we can remember that those sources may have agendas and biases and that our experiences and perspectives are just as valid or far better. The key is to stay focused on our intentions and make choices rooted in our values rather than getting derailed by externalities.

So if you’re facing resistance or struggling to change your life, take heart. Keep pushing, keep learning, and keep growing. The resistance will eventually give way, and you’ll emerge more robust and resilient on the other side. It might not be easy, but it’s a sign that you’re on the right track.


I have recently started doing a small amount of work with Meomind, a mental health startup, and a top 10 therapy app on app stores. Meomind aims to create a library of simulated audio therapy sessions for individuals who may be interested in receiving psychotherapy but are unsure of where to begin. Many individuals face difficulties accessing proper therapy due to cost, stigma, or low provider availability. Meomind offers listeners the chance to be matched to the most relevant sessions in their library based on their self-identified mental health needs. Their library contains sessions where listeners can hear the client (either actual or played by an actor) and the therapist, providing insight, comfort, and strategies they can implement. Meomind’s advisory board includes esteemed clinical psychologists such as John C. Norcross and Bruce Wampold.

Working with Meomind has been a unique experience for me as a psychotherapist. Creating a psychotherapeutic session with a client where rapport wasn’t built can be challenging. The client-actor often brings their real-life experiences into the session, making the sessions very real, even when the typical clinical groundwork hasn’t been established. These conditions add a layer of authenticity to the sessions, making them a valuable option for those who may be apprehensive about seeking traditional psychotherapy.

One of the small struggles I experience with the Meomind platform as a “clinician” is navigating through just one or maybe two sessions when with real clients, there is an arc of treatment that often spans 3 to 10 sessions. Typically, there is a goal-oriented treatment plan in traditional psychotherapy, and it can be less than ideal to conduct a session without that trajectory and format.

The future of telehealth or online therapy environments is rapidly evolving. Technology is providing us with new tools to augment traditional “talk therapy.” Meomind is pioneering a unique aspect of this, and I’m excited to have a “toe in the water” as part of my involvement in the mental health community.

Overall, I’m very excited about what the future brings. The Meomind platform provides a unique way to offer psychotherapy to individuals who may be apprehensive about seeking traditional psychotherapy. As a psychotherapist, I believe that these platforms have enormous potential to augment and provide innovative ways to deliver mental health services.

See more about Meomind here

Being a Dad at 50

Dad at 50

Being a dad at 50 is a unique experience. As a dad in my 50s with a second marriage, I have a small handful of adult children from my first marriage and a young child in my current marriage. It’s a journey full of ups and downs, but one that I’m both committed to and enjoying.

One of the unique challenges as a dad in my 50s is the lack of sleep. Raising a young child requires a lot of energy, and I often feel drained. Despite this, I wouldn’t trade these precious moments for anything. I cherish every moment with my child, no matter how exhausted I may be.

The grief associated with raising a child at this stage of life is another challenge. I am constantly reminded of what it was like when my other children were young, and it is difficult not to compare. I try to remain present and embrace this new chapter in my life, but the memories are always there and come back frequently.

Wisdom is a helpful tool for raising a child, but it also promotes my anxiety. I constantly second-guess my decisions and worry about whether I am doing the right thing for my child with the information in my head. But I remind myself that I am doing the best I can and that every parent goes through this. The phrase “ignorance is bliss” has merit.

This experience is not just a new chapter in life. It’s a whole new book. The world is so different today than it was 20 years ago. The rapid pace of technological advancements and the media’s influence has changed how we raise our children. Even parenting styles have changed, and staying informed and up-to-date on the latest trends, and best practices have been helpful for me.

Another significant difference I’ve noticed is the economic pressures that parents face today. The cost of living has increased, and it has been challenging to provide for my family and make ends meet. But, I am grateful for the opportunity to be a dad at this stage of life and to be able to provide for my family. My changing careers didn’t make this any easier.

It’s interesting to see my young child associated with her half-siblings, who are a generation apart. I watch as she interacts with them and learns from them. I wish they all lived closer. It’s also interesting to see her associate with her older half-siblings’ children, who are around the same age; she is a younger aunt. It’s a unique family dynamic that I never thought I would experience, but I am grateful for it. It’s a unique perspective on the diversity of family systems.

Being a dad at 50 is a unique experience with its own challenges and rewards. Despite the lack of sleep, the grief, and the anxieties, I wouldn’t exchange this journey for anything in the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a dad at this phase of life and, most of the time, embrace the unique challenges.