Grace Ballard, MA, LPC, CST | AASECT Certified Sex Therapist | Colorado, Denver, Boulder

Sailing the Wild Seas of Tinder

Swipe Dating
Since getting vaccinated, I’ve been going on dates.  This means swiping through apps then meeting strangers IRL.  (Side note: if we work together therapeutically, and you spot me on the apps, I recommend you swipe left and I’ll do the same.  Then let’s talk about it in session.)  
What a tremendous resource we have at our fingertips!  And, wow, there are a lot of people at this party.  It can feel daunting to find the right connections.
Dating online has offered me tremendous insight into the varied mindsets of

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Join My Contemplative and Interpersonal Training Group

I’m a big fan of groups, with their potential to amplify what we are up to in our relationships.  If you are curious about how you relate to others, how people perceive you, why interpersonal patterns show up again and again in your life, consider exploring these questions in my upcoming group.  This group will take place online, and is available to people in any location.
 

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How to COVID with Friends and Lovers

This is Awkward
 
We’ve been navigating the new art of social distancing and connection.  We each decide what that means to us –  ranging from whether we even believe precaution is necessary to the stakes being so high that we choose not to see anyone at all.  Then we collaborate with others, bumping against our differences, while trying to maintain social norms of yore.  It can get weird quick.  
 
I know we’re not supposed to shake hands, but you’re holding yours out.
 
I’m thrilled you invited me to

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Black Lives Matter

Facing our History in the Present
Growing up in Louisville, KY as a young, full-throttled activist, anti-racist work threaded itself through the fabric of my life.  I spent much of my time protesting, organizing, publishing, and discussing power and oppression.  And yet, even with decades of probing my own racism and systemic oppression, I continue to discover that this is a process of waking up only to fall asleep once again.
The video showing the brutal lynching of George Floyd woke me up.
Combating racism and white supremacy requires ongoing work,

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How to Apologize

A Good Apology is an Acknowledgement
“I’m afraid if I tell him I’m sorry, then it will confirm what he already thinks – that I’m a bad person.”  
 
This came from a woman who had recently disclosed her affairs to her partner, and was now dealing with the aftermath.  The partner raged and despaired, felt impotent and useless, and above all was deeply hurt.  He desperately needed to hear something from her, but neither of them knew how to proceed.  
 
He first asked for all the details – who,

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Please Wear Your Face Condom

Opening Up
Am I the only one comparing “opening up” social spaces to the process of connecting with new partners?
As we talk about opening our businesses and homes to more people, I keep thinking about my experience in consensual nonmonogamy and how those skills have prepared me for this moment.
For instance, when I’m in a relationship and I want to add sexual and/or emotional intimacy with new people, I discuss it with my current partners.  We assess levels of risk for various forms of contact, who is more vulnerable,

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It’s Okay to Feel Like Sh!t!

In these turbulent waters, I am sometimes riding the wave, feeling resilient in the chaos – clear and ready for what’s to come.  Other times, I am tumbling under, doing my best to avoid the rocks and get enough air to keep churning through it.  Perhaps you know what I mean.
 
I’ve struggled to write a consistent message about caring for mental health during this pandemic.  Should I normalize how crazy and terrible this might feel?  Should I talk about how to get out of the amygdala response of fight

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Love and Hate in the Time of Teletherapy

Since we will be meeting by telehealth until this coronavirus pandemic cools down, I’d like to share some tips to facilitate our best experience together.

Phone
I truly appreciate therapy by phone.  It provides a sense of personal space and privacy, and you may feel more able to relax and speak freely.  I have utilized it for years, both as a client and as a therapist.  I have witnessed clients going deeper and accessing new breakthroughs when we met by phone.  We
all relate differently to proximity to others,

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Grace Ballard: Sex Machina

A funny thing happened the other week. Grace Ballard, famous for her lead role in “Sex Machina,” popped into existence as a character in the movie “Murder Mystery.” Consequently, Grace Ballard the Sex Therapist (that’s me), has received some unusual attention. While I appreciate a lazy layout on a yacht and high speed chases through Italy, I must confess I am not the envious heiress suspected of murder.
If you are seeking a moderately paced ramble through the workings of your mind, you have come to the

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6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Therapy

Therapy can feel confusing, and sometimes we get stuck, not knowing where to go next.  Here are few tips for what you can do in your session, and how to make the most of this unique opportunity.
 
 

Fluff the Hour.  Build in time before and after your session to journal or take a few notes.  We only spend 50 minutes together, but a lot can happen during that time. Show up early and allow time to notice what’s percolating in you, or take notes throughout the week about thoughts

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