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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.



Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.


When I first started therapy, I experienced sexual dysfunction for the first time ever, presumably as a result of things (non-sexual things) from my past that came up in therapy. It was quite worrying, and it eventually led to this huge weird transference moment, where I jumped off the bed shouting and crying at my therapist (she wasn't there, but my reaction manifested itself as though she was really present) to get out of my bedroom and leave me alone, and I was really yelling and pointing finger to "get out, get out now! you have access to every single area of my life and interfere in everything, and you're not having this, you're not having access to my sex life, it's the only thing I have left for myself, it's the only thing that is still mine, so get out!" I was too freaked out and embarrassed to tell my therapist about it, but in the coming weeks I realised that it was really directed at my mother, as it's true, she has always tried to control every aspect of my life, and once I understood it, I was able to tell my therapist about it. One thing it brought home to me, was that my sex life was the only place I was able to truly be myself, and so a lot of work has gone into examining that and trying to transfer the qualities of my sex life into my daily life (If anyone's interested, then I'm quite happy to post about it, just ask). I would urge you all, when you're ready to delve into your sexuality - it's so revealing! Besides for the positive aspect I described above. I have been able to explore some of the less positive aspects too. I've never, until now, been able to reconcile love & sex - in my head they didn't go together - from my upbringing: love = good and sex = bad I can relate my masochistic preferences (I don't depend on them, but do enjoy them), to that "sex = bad" thing that was drummed into me as a child/teenager, and therefore if liking sex is bad, I deserve to be punished, so if I take the punishment (my parents always punished physically, and my dad was very violent/agressive) and get it out of the way first, then I can enjoy the sex I also realised that I treated men in 2 ways: 1.) I liked to seduce them, it gave me a feeling of power & control - a feeling I couldn't acquire about any other part of my life, and 2.) I used to use them just for sex...and regard it as playing them at their own game, never allowing a relationship to form properly...but the reality of that was that I feared that once they started to get to know me, that they would see just how inadequate and dislikeable I really was - it was my fear of rejection, and a feeling that if I allowed myself to like them I'd end up getting hurt. Sorry, I've rambled on, but I wanted to try to illustrate how beneficial it is, to allow yourself to look at your sexual side.

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