Articles

Dr. Mike published in Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity journal

Dr. Sytsma and one of his student's - Jenna Riemersma - had an article on rapid onset sexual addiction and the impact to a new generation published in a recent issue of Sexual Addictions & Compulsivity, a professional peer reviewed journal.
In the article, Riemersma & Sytsma argue that due to the Three C's of chronicity, content, and culture, we are seeing the rise of a new subset of sex addicts. While a "classic" sex addict developed over time with a typical foundation of trauma and/or abuse, a "contemporary" sub-type of sex addict is different. Largely due to the intensity of stimulation available online, some, especially young people, are developing a rapid onset sexual addiction without the foundation of classic types of trauma. The trauma for them is the exposure and fall-out of their rapidly developing addiction.
While the published article is only available by subscription or purchase (click image or here), as an author, Dr. Sytsma is allowed to post a copy of the final accepted version. You can read the submitted article by clicking on this link.

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Your Move

by G. Corey Carlisle, MDiv, LMFT, CST

It’s been a long war. In the beginning, daily routines were managed with a fair amount of civility, and the pretenses could be maintained amidst family and friends. Eventually, as things heated up, there no longer existed a moment of peace between them. Now, every interaction is steeped with criticism, contempt, and defensiveness.

They both want things to be different, they want the fighting to end, and to find their way towards a better marriage. However, their mutual suspicion leads to continued mistrust, and the risk of letting their guard down seems too great. They feel stuck, and wonder if they can ever truly trust each other again. Is the death of the relationship (i.e., divorce) the only way to end the fighting and find peace?

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Igniting the Spark of Sexual Passion

by G. Corey Carlisle, MDiv, LMFT, CST

Photo by Sara Renee

They are best friends, great parents, and it is clear they love each other deeply. Still, they are confused at their lack of sexual energy. The infrequent sexual encounters tend to be routine and mechanical, and they find themselves more as good roommates than passionate lovers. They long to reignite the spark of sexual energy in their marriage. This scenario is not uncommon for many marriages, and the answer may be found in understanding and enhancing sexual polarity.

The basic law of polarity is that opposite-charged objects attract and like-charged objects repel. This is seen with the north and south poles of magnetic energy, as well as the positive to negative flow of electrical energy. While more complicated, author David Deida observes that polarity also explains the flow of sexual energy between two individuals. In the dance of the sexes, the two poles are the Masculine and the Feminine. This observation reminds us that God created us male and female (Genesis 1:27).

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Thanksgiving Ideas

 

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Rockwell pict
I have great memories of spending the holidays with extended family as a kid. Sitting around two ping-pong tables in my grandparents basement with a host of Uncles, Aunts, and cousins eating lots of great food. If your family get togethers are enjoyable, relax and revel in it, but be sure to make time to nurture your marriage this weekend. The best way to do this might be to set aside time to spend ONLY with each other. It doesn't have to be a lot of time, but make it sacred to just the two of you.

A couple ideas:

  • Go for a walk together. Be sure to hold hands as you take an active retreat from the family.
  • Reminisce about a couple of your favorite Thanksgiving memories. Pick at least two from before you and your spouse met, and at least two from your time together as a couple.
  • Carve out some time to cuddle up on the couch and watch a favorite holiday movie together.

 

When it's not good.

Not all family gatherings are positive though. Because getting with family can be stressful, plan ahead. Ask your spouse how you can help. Stay curious and explore how you can help each other. Common requests I hear in my office?

  • "Don't leave me alone with them."
  • "Always talk of me with honor, don't pick on me in front of your/my family."
  • "Ignore (pick a family member) when they (pick an irritating behavior)."
  • "Pretend like you like my family."
  • "Let me handle it when someone in my family...."

Remember, your spouse knows the unspoken rules in their family better than you. Allow them to set the pace. Don't try to tell them how to treat their own family. Just do the best job you can in being a support for your spouse. Extend grace for how your spouse might revert a bit when around their family.

Most of all, commit to being supportive of each other. Stay on the same team. Don't let anyone in extended family get between you and your spouse.

Help for women experiencing sexual problems from their antidepressant


Jennifer’s complaint was that the antidepressant her doctor prescribed seemed to be causing problems in her sexual relationship. As many as 96% of women taking an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor - e.g., Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc.) or SNRI (Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor - e.g., Effexor, Pristiq, Cymbalta, etc.) experience negative sexual side effects from the medication.

Complaints include:

  1. A lack of sexual desire,
  2. Problems with arousal (i.e., difficulty feeling aroused or becoming physically aroused evidenced by swelling and/or lubrication), or
  3. Difficulty achieving orgasm.

These sexual side effects tend to antagonize the depression by lowering overall life satisfaction, increasing feelings of being broken or abnormal, and increasing marital discord and dissatisfaction. If you and your husband are fighting more because you have lost interest in sex and he’s suggesting you’re “broken”, you definitely haven’t lightened the depression load.

Unfortunately, many of the interventions designed to combat the sexual side effects work poorly, making the antidepressant less effective, or causing additional side effects and problems. The result tends to be ongoing sexual frustration or a decrease in medication compliance.

Click here to read about the interventions that worked...

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