Are you afraid of intimacy? If so you’re not alone. There are actually many people who have fears about getting intimate with the person they have a relationship with. To help understand why some people are afraid of intimacy and how someone can eliminate their fears of intimacy, I have interviewed Sex Therapist Jay Tow, LMHC.
Tell me a little bit about yourself?
“I have been a Psychotherapist, Addictions Counselor, and Sex Therapist for over 15 yrs in Southeastern Florida. I have worked with clients all over the country via the internet and have worked with hundreds of individuals and couples living every conceivable lifestyle and most issues involving intimacy, sex, and sexuality. My approach to finding solutions to intimacy and sexual issues is very different from what you would expect. But, I have been very effective in helping people resolve their issues.”
Why are there some people who are afraid of intimacy?
“A large number of people are afraid of intimacy due to a variety of factors. Most of us have experienced emotional pain after being open and vulnerable in relationships. These relationships can include those with friends, family, and romantic involvements. Many people react to these emotionally painful experiences by avoiding emotional risks and avoiding becoming emotionally intimate with others. If we are unwilling or unable to reveal our thoughts and feelings to others, we are unable to have the close and intimate relationships we desire.”
“We may not have had a family who could teach us how to have emotionally intimate relationships with others. Those people who have been raised in homes with addiction or who were taught to keep family secrets will likely have a fear of intimacy. Individuals who have self esteem or shame issues will likely find it difficulty with intimacy. It is important to know yourself in order to develop intimacy with others.”
What can someone do to eliminate his or her fears of intimacy?
“Working with a therapist would probably help. It is important to learn how to change thinking and improve self-esteem. Whether a person seeks the help of a therapist or attempts to change on their own, they need to have a more positive view of themselves and the world.”
How can their partner help reduce some of their fears of intimacy?
“Building trust is a very important part of developing emotional intimacy. We must feel safe with our partners in order to share our thoughts and feelings honestly. It is important to avoid judging our partners. Don’t avoid conflicts or deny that differences exist within the relationship. Communicate honestly and work on resolving conflicts. Expressing needs and encouraging our partners to do the same helps to increase intimacy. Find ways to meet your partner’s needs.”
What type of help is available for someone who has fears of being intimate?
“Individual and couples counseling may help to resolve intimacy issues. The internet is a valuable source of information. There are hundreds of books and articles dedicated to this topic.”
What last advice do you have for someone who is afraid of intimacy?
“Overcoming intimacy issues takes effort and requires working on changing a way of thinking. People seeking to increase intimacy must be willing to take risks and be uncomfortable. If people don’t risk the possibility of rejection or being hurt emotionally, they have little chance of having emotionally intimate relationships. Poor self-esteem must be overcome. Either seek professional help or work on these changes on your own. I feel working on this issue is well worth the effort.”
Thank you Jay for doing the article on tips for satisfying sexual intimacy. For more information on Jay Tow you can check out his website on www.alttherapist.com.
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