VIP Interview With Dr. Michael Picucci Co-founder Of The Focalizing Institute & NYC LGBT Community Center

Holistic psychologist

Sexual Healing As Medicine

Dr. Michael Picucci is an award winning holistic psychologist who has over 30 years of professional experience and expert knowledge with an approach that incorporates the mind and the body as a whole. He looks at each individual or couple and tailors the session to fit their personal needs. Dr. Michael Picucci offers online therapy services and you can find him in New York City and Ulster County, N.Y. at his private practice. Online therapy is a great option for people who would like to receive services from the comfort of their own home.

Michael Picucci offers services to people of all sexualities. When Dr. Picucci established his practice in 1988 in New York City; he was one of the very first psychotherapists who practiced openly as a gay man. With a client base comprising of 50% of people from the LGBTQIA+ community and 50% of people who identify as heterosexual. Michael has seen and been an integral part of raising awareness of sexuality within the community.

Dr. Michael Picucci is well known for having a wide range of services including:

  • Intimacy Therapy: Intimacy facilitation which looks into sexual lifestyle and intimacy problems. Intimacy therapy works towards building a long lasting relationship with a loving and trusting connection and with our selves.
  • Couples Therapy: Couples therapy and conflict resolution in an organic process that is unlike traditional therapy. It focuses on the idea that there is no right or wrong. It transforms the dynamics of a relationship and rebuilds it anew.
  • Emotional Issues: Managing the emotional issues brought on by feeling trapped within a situation like being stuck in a sexual rut or traumas of all kinds including sexual.
  • Life Changing Resolutions: Supporting life changing resolutions for people who are healing from trauma and other inner conflicts.

Dr. Michael Picucci has a remarkable list of accomplishments including:

  • Received the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Co-Authoring Focalizing Dynamic Links: A Human Technology For Collectively Engaging Source Energy & Creating A Better Future at The Harvard Club.
  • Honoured by the Villa Veritas Foundation for his dedication in Nurturing Dreams Into Reality.
  • Honoured as the Unsung Hero at the Caron Foundation.
  • Received the President’s Award at the New York State Counselor Association.
  • Received the Outstanding Leadership in Research Award from National Institutes on Health and the National Association of Professional Addiction Counselors.
  • Co-founder of NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Community Center which is one of America’s largest LGBTQIA+ centers.
  • Co-founder of the Focalizing Institute.

This is a VIP interview with Dr. Michael Picucci a holistic psychologist. This VIP Interview looks into how intimacy, sex and sexuality problems develop within a person or in a relationship and how people can work towards resolving them with a holistic approach which may entail counselling, psychology and psychotherapy. The interview also talks about newer methods that can bring couples together like Focalizing, tantra and massage.

Tell me about yourself

My path was mostly a personal one. My history since birth has been one that some might call tragic. I was raised in an exceptionally troubled household where from a very young age I experienced abandonment and volatility on many levels. This culminated in my mother leaving the family and my brothers and I being raised by my enraged father. In my 20s and early 30s I was abusing substances and required rehabilitation to keep going. When the 80s came I was thrust into the cauldron of the AIDS epidemic in New York City. As a gay man living in the city, I attended funerals for friends on a weekly basis for extended periods time. And within that same decade I survived two near death bouts of cancer.

I say all this because somehow I found my way through. And what I’ve found on the other side is a life I could have never imagined when I was a young boy who grew up in blue-collar areas of Long Island. I’m truly blessed to be able serve people and live this life.

The Focalizing process that I use with clients has its roots in the 1990s.  Already a therapist, I had an epiphany healing through an exposure to one of the somatic (body oriented) therapies. I was so impressed and excited that it led me through a double-decade of studying all of the different body and energy healing approaches available to me. I even did my doctorate in this study. This study and fieldwork was honored by the National Institutes on Health (NIH) with the Outstanding Leadership in Research award in the year 2000.

A dear old friend from the 60’s world recently referred to a photo with my partner Elias Guerrero, M.D. as ‘two crazy dudes.’ I loved Anne’s description. I’ve learned to celebrate all dimensions of myself. I’m gifted to know that I/we are made of similar energy patterns physically manifesting in some larger interconnected universe. This gift allows me, better than most, to be aware that there is an intelligence that comes through this energy and how to befriend it and effectively work with it. This is how I negotiate my physical life by having a body sense that is superior to my typical logical mind.

The latter (logical mind) being a wonderful executor of ideas that comes from my body and mind. Our logical minds help execute the ideas, yet it has severe limitations that we’ve been conditioned to avoid. The logical mind knows nothing of love, feelings, and nuance and is a recorder of the often worse information, often outdated and wrong. Further limiting is that it can only perceive possibilities in a linear binary ‘either-or’ fashion. Often seeming to enjoy itself in arguing and creating anxiety within us. It also has no sense of the future. Conversely the body/heart intelligence speaks in ‘yes-ands’, with much nuance and an inner sense of our best turn, and next choice. To know me I must share that I live much of my time in a different yet very allied part of the stratosphere (what could be seen as the crazy dude part of me), so when asked to talk about myself it makes more sense if you know more about me, how I perceive our world and lives.

What inspired you to become a psychologist and a therapist in New York City?

Like many, the inspiration came from my own first therapist yet the ‘desire to help’ had already been innate looking for a way to express itself. This was one tiny step of this journey. By nature the process of healing totally inspires me to the point that it seems like I have no real sense of time.

I see myself as a NYC seasoned psychologist, therapist and healer with a thirty-year old private practice, an author and a teacher of what I have learned. I have books, honors and the respect of my friends, colleagues and clients. Wow, how did that happen? Next year memoir titled The Blue Collar Healer will be published.

Dad was a butcher and I was even a policeman for six years. Those are some of my roots and I’ve got learning deficiencies to show for the early years. Thank the heavens for the many great editors who have helped me. My profession and my life are inseparable and I like this. I also retain a private life with refuge from dancing with all of life.


What inspires you?

When you ask what inspires me, I don’t know where to start. You inspire me for soliciting my transmission of my story. Anyone who experiences love and beauty inspires me. My life-partner of 26 years inspires me. The beauty he creates with food, plants, and esoteric grounding and wisdom inspires. Healing and awakening the creative spirit with in us inspires most greatly.

Years ago Scott Peck wrote The Road Less Travelled, it was on the New York Times bestseller list for over ten years. On the first page of the book, in the 1st sentence, which was a stand-alone paragraph, he wrote, “Life is difficult”. The rest of the book demonstrates that until we consent to this basic truth, happiness and contentment will elude us. He also included some wonderful wisdom defining adult love. I was inspired by his writing and influenced by all that followed.

I am most inspired by helping others. It is so affirming, and an honor, to teach people how to free up their innate energy and intelligence. I am often amazed by the ways in which these clients actualize this energy in the physical world. They always find more contentment, joy and connection with others and the world around them. This is astounding to watch. Just read some of their stories on my website, I also love to teach Focalizing to groups and therapists at the Focalizing Institute.

What type of problems with intimacy, sex and sexuality do you find people struggle with the most?

Regarding challenges with intimacy and sex, most have to do with what my European colleagues and me refer to as ‘the polarity stage’ of any ongoing romantic relationship. Unfortunately most of us are not aware that after bonding occurs in such a relationship, invisible body sensations begin to surface from hurtful and betrayed earlier experiences (often from the early years) and with great clumsiness, they begin to contaminate the communication and connectivity. Without realizing it we unconsciously fall into self-created similar hurtful patterns that have been left unhealed. Today healing resolution is possible.

Another problem often expressed is what I refer to as interior sexual barriers that hold people back from many dimensions of experiencing full loving connections and alive, primal sexuality. The resolutions are the same for both or all parties who are motivated to move to a better place together; this new place I call The Power of Two.

There is a palpable energy that comes from authentically aligning their energies sans, hierogamy, that exudes the loveliest energetic expressions and they sense it in their own bones and others sense it also. I love that I have clients who now are seeking understanding and resolution early on in their relationships. It can be a healing opportunity for tending to those wounds.

Usually, some variations of such divisive dynamics will follow us into any loving relationship. Until we disarm the conditioned thinking inherent in our own version of the Polarity Stage, new freer experiences will elude you. Simple and effective methods that can help this process include Focalizing and Tantra.

In this new human technology we reframe the meaning of sex to transcend conditioned thinking. A branding of this experience is Soul Energy eXchange (S.E.X.). S.E.X. can transport you to creative and communal primitive and tender healthy eroticism. If we drop our old concepts of sex (whatever they were) we can explore soulful experiences (even in one-time encounters). I learned a lot about the collective energetic experience of the lingam/yoni (often considered male/female) vortexes within – we double the pleasure. In sexual healing my experience is governed learning that the soulful energy (inner stir) is very different contextually from much of our outdated conditioned thinking.

Can people seek intimacy facilitation to help them with sexual problems?

Yes, if you have two motivated partners. Also many suffer with what they perceive as unwanted or unacceptable (or unlawful) fantasies. A new exploration of theses is extremely expansive and welcomes fuller connection with others. Self-loving (pleasuring) Eros can also be quite liberating

Is Tantra the main method that helps solve intimacy issues?

Tantra is one great technology that helps us human beings remember who we are and also shifts the concept of sex, in a similar way to Focalizing.

What is the importance of looking at your sexual experiences of the past?

None, except reference points with no shame or blame. Yes, we all have histories, some like mine, feeling not a moment’s experience of loving connections as a young person. No judgment, no shame, only right here, right now access to that innate intelligence and it’s direct line (through our old brain) to be able to resolve historic traumas that effect you every day and live in your body. These are physiological barriers out of our conscious control, and they can be resolved in the here and now.

Can two people gain a feeling of transcendence, which brings them to a higher level of consciousness?

YES, that’s what it’s all about. Once this is experienced, there is no going back. It is natural and our body and being are nourished by it.

How would you suggest people become involved with sexual healing?

This website is a good place to start. Research and follow what calls them to the next unimaginable ‘place’ that helps them to feel better all the time. It might be Tantra, Focalizing, or any other method that shares the same healing intention. I encourage people to explore and then follow their ‘inner compass’ as what would work best for them at this time.

You co-founded NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Community Center. It is one of America’s first and largest LGBTQIA+ centers that offers a large range of services and information. You have had an amazing impact on so many people’s lives, what important moments have you been a part of or have seen?

I have been blessed (some might say cursed) by having my own form of an extraordinary life. I also was born on the cusp of the baby boom. This meant anything edgy I explored I soon discovered, that a huge tribe would be smoking pot or whatever after school. This is also true with sex.

One of the many waves of changing collective energies was being part of co-founding the NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Community Center. Coming from a time when love for another same sex person was thought to be a mental illness. We sensed that something and/or someplace was required so none of us ever have to hide ourselves (unless desired). I could never explain what it was like riding the edge of gay/sexual liberation.

Organically, a group of us gathered and created the intention of buying an old abandoned high school from NYC. Around 1980, we quickly gathered the down-payment of $200,000 by inviting ourselves and friends to donate $2000 each. The story of the center is very long and fascinating.

What is enduring is that I will always get a good, warm feeling in my heart with any reference to the Center. There was so much healing going on there every minute of the day, and that continues. A crushed segment of our population found a place where they were welcomed and tended to. I’m not sure if anything will ever move me, or affirm me more than being a small part of that sanctuary existing, and it being a world model whenever called upon. Wow, was I part of that? It is both humbling and affirming. I was a happy crazy dude.

I’ve been astonished that with my background, life experiences and learning disabilities that such a wonder could occur. I do believe in miracles!

New York LGBRQIA+ community centre
Image: NYC Pride Centre

What would you say to people who are currently struggling with their sexuality?

Get help – the tools do not exist within our selves to help resolve your suffering. Find seasoned guides to help light the new path ahead. Google me, or a few words in this interview, and see if any of the offerings call to you.