Grace Ballard, MA, LPC, CST | AASECT Certified Sex Therapist | New York and Colorado

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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How to Always Please Your Partner

The Good Lover
 
What does it mean to be a good lover?  Have you ever thought about your criteria – I mean, really thought about it?  
 
We’re fed a lot of ideas on how to perform sex.  You know those magazine covers in the checkout line offering “11 Sex Positions to Spice Up the Most Boring Bedroom” and “14 Sex Secrets You’ll Both Lose Your Mind Over.”  While I’m all for playing and experimenting, I’m struck by the underlying message, that you better keep it interesting to

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We Are Not Defined by Our Relationships

We Are Not Defined by Our Relationships
 
You are not defined by the people that you date, nor by the absence of dating, nor by the configuration of your current relationship, nor even by your choice of a long-term partner.  The dynamics of your current relationship do not negate your previous loves.
 
Similar to this question of “Am I Queer Enough?,” I hear people question their own and others’ identities based on who a person is dating.  For instance, someone identifies as queer and finds themselves in love

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What is a Sex Therapist?

What is a Sex Therapist?
You may have wondered what a sex therapist does, as I’ve labeled myself as one on social media and my website.  Not long ago, I would have wondered this myself.  So I thought I would spend a moment telling you what this role means to me.
I help people explore aspects of their sexuality, identity or relationship dynamics.  We talk about desire, connection, and sexual function. People come to me because they are experiencing out of control sexual behavior, sex addiction, or unwanted sexual behavior.   Others show

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3 Myths About Polyamory

Recently, a friend joked that people get into polyamorous relationships because they have a fetish for emotional processing.  We laughed, because we know that while consensual non-monogamy often conjures a fantasy about having lots of sex, in reality it’s often about having some sex and lots of conversations.
Excellent and frequent communication is vital to maintaining poly constellations.  Our needs look different, and we come to relationships with a great deal of assumptions – many that are deeply woven through the unconscious fabric of upbringing and culture.
There’s much to say on

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Why Does Distraction Feel So Good?

 
Why Does Distraction Feel So Good?
 
Have you ever found yourself pulling out your phone to look something up or send a quick email, and then thirty minutes later, you’re wondering what just happened?  How did you just eat up a half hour of your time scrolling through social media or thumbing through clickbait headlines?
 
I have certainly tumbled down the wormhole of enticing articles and spent way more time than intended on my device.  I often feel like I’m researching the work I’m just about to start, or

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Why Eating Whole Foods Makes Me Sad

On January 1st, I began a detox from my hedonistic holiday lifestyle.  It’s been fun and tasty, but I am definitely ready for a reset.  Through this month, I’m giving up some vices and consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods.
Though my meals have been delicious and filling, a chilly breeze blows through my days, and especially my nights.  It’s a sense of craving and emptiness – a sensation of drought, a lack of warmth.  I recognize this feeling from long meditation retreats.  It settles in during the first silent days, and I

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How to Make Good Sex Last

Finding The One
 
“Never before have people invested so much in love, and never before [have they been] so disillusioned by it.” – Esther Perel
 
Passionate lover, best friend, intellectual equal, co-parent, with whom I will never feel alone again, in whose presence I will always feel cared for, beautiful, the person with whom I want to adventure, feel transcendent, and also feel safe and secure.
 
No one can give us all of this.  It’s a setup for frustration and disappointment.  And yet our expectations for romantic

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