“Swoon” Show Notes: Episode #38 – What if my partner has experienced trauma?

Jeff Guenther, MS, LPC on Dec 01, 2019 in Swoon

This week on Swoon Julie and Gina continue the conversation about trauma and how it can affect your sex life. This episode focuses on the partners of people who've inexperienced trauma. How can you be supportive while also exploring emotional and erotic connection?

This episode covers:

  • How you might know your partner has experienced trauma
  • How to talk with your partner about their trauma
  • Tools to help you avoid activating your partner's trauma
  • How to support your partner and how to get your own support
  • Different ways a trauma history might show up in your sex life
  • How to create a strategy for when things come up during sex

                      Memorable Quotes

                      “Just because someone doesn't like something doesn't mean they have trauma in relationship to it.”

                      “Other forms of trauma can show up during sex.”

                      “I can be really important to remember that someone who has been through trauma may have had their voice diminished, minimized or taken away. So I want to be careful about how I approach my partner with questions about their trauma.”

                      “Lay out a welcome mat, but they get to decide when they are ready to share.”

                      “It's lovely you want to know more, it's coming from a place of compassion usually, and if you are trying to drive the conversation too much, it can feel like pressure.”

                      “We're not obligated to tell our partners every single thing about us.”

                      “The more we can do this work outside of the bedroom the better.”

                      “Control can be really big for people. If it felt like I didn't have control because of an experience, I'm going to try to be in control in as many ways as I can, especially around sex.”

                      “Don't take it personally – your partner's trauma may have an impact on your connection, that has nothing to do with you, what does have to do with you is your reaction to it.”

                          Resouces from the Podcast

                          Emily Nagoski TED Talk

                          Trauma History Checklist

                          The Body Keeps Score, Bessel VanderKolk

                          Consent Worksheet

                          Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma by Staci Haines

                          Secret Bad Girl: A Sexual Trauma Memoir and Resolution Guide

                          by Rachael Maddox
                          The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Wendy Maltz

                          Action Steps

                          Have a conversation with your partner

                          Read a book from our resource list

                          Get professional support

                          You can find a therapist at TherapyDen.

                              Your Swoon hosts

                              Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
                              Connect with Gina

                              Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
                              Connect with Julie

                              Jeff Guenther is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR.

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