VIP Interview With Hypnotherapist Dr Janet Hall About Painful Sex

Hypnotherapist Dr Janet Hall

Getting professional help is one important step you can take to improve your sexuality lifestyle and relationships.  With guidance from a sex expert, you will be able to develop a better understanding on how psychology impacts sexual performance in the bedroom.

Aside from gaining information, there are various techniques which work that include motivation and hypnotherapy. With the advancements of technology, these techniques can be used in the comfort of your home.

Hypnotherapy is commonly used to encourage and empower people to make constructive changes, in a step to develop new styles of behaviour in attempt to change how thoughts have been networked together. It is often used for people who have phobias, ingrained negative thinking patterns, illogical worries, stress related problems and overwhelming feelings which may bring on feelings of pain.

Within people’s sexual lifestyles these topics may include problems with erection problems, achieving astounding orgasms, become sexually empowered, manage painful sex and the prevention of premature ejaculation.

Dr Janet Hall specialises in hypnotherapy which helps people who experience the symptoms of painful sex.

Website Banner For Dr Janet Hall
Website: Dr Janet Hall Banner Clinical Psychologist & Hypnotherapist

Health conditions where people experience pain during sex include:

  • Vaginismus: Vaginismus is the uncontrollable spasms of the vaginal muscles which can cause intense levels of pain for varying lengths of time and which can stop penetration during intercourse. The male partner often says :It feels like my penis is hitting a brick wall”.
  • Vulvodynia: Vulvodynia is a chronic illness where a women experiences pain in her external organs including the clitoris, labia and vaginal opening. Medical professionals are often able to explain what causes it. It may be nerve damage under the skin as often it all looks healthy. However it is super sensitive and the best test of it is to hold a cotton bud to the skin. If this causes pain – it’s vulvadynia!
  • Dyspareunia: Dyspareunia is painful sex which is caused by medical and psychological reasons. Some people who have Dyspareunia experience the pain on the genitlia and some may experience the pain deeper in the pelvic area.
  • Menopause: Menopause is a natural stage in a women’s life where her estrogen levels lowers to the point where menstruation stops completely. It is often experienced by women aged between 40 to 61 but can also happen to women in their 20s and 30s. During Menopause the vaginal tissue may thin out which can women more prone to experience irritation and pain during penetrative sex.

In hypnotherapy, the hypnotist will induce an altered state of deep relaxation (it is not a state of deep sleep) through talking to the person with a soothing voice. During this time the person’s breathing and pulse rate slows down.

They may still be mindful of what is happening around them and are in complete control of their body, so they will not do anything they don’t want to do.

Whilst they are in this state the trained professional provides suggestions which are tailored to their needs. The method uses psychological and communication techniques so it works on a deep subconscious level. It will only work if the hypnotised person has consented to accept them. You cannot be placed into hypnosis against your will which is why it is often called self-hypnosis. Hypnosis is most likely to work on you have a decent imagination, enjoy reading a book or watching movies and you have sturdy attention levels.

We have spoken to Dr Janet Hall, a Clinical Psychologist and Hypnotherapist about how her work impacts people’s sexual lifestyles especially people who experience painful sex.

Tell me about yourself

Dr. Janet Hall: My work in private practice, writing, media, work-shops and public speaking is always aimed at helping people to learn user-friendly ways of understanding how to change behaviour to achieve happy, resilient lives as individuals, partners and families.

I became interested in the challenge of working with adults and teens about sexual behaviour and healthy partnering and have recorded seventeen audios and written two paperback books and fifteen ebooks on sexuality (Sex-Wise Teens and Sex-Life Solutions). These all sell online at amazon and audible as well as my own online shop at www.drjanethall.com.

In my book – Sex-life Solutions (Finch Publishing, 2004) – I explain that sexual difficulties in couple relationships are common, however they can be readily overcome.

Often, the difficult part for couples is talking about them together. This needs to happen, as all too often these problems can lead to the breakdown of the relationship or limit a person’s ability to have intimate relations at all.

Sex-Life Solutions discusses ways to overcome common anxieties, problems with performance or rejection, and patterns from the past that can be a block to a happier relationship.  The book addresses the differences between men and women in terms of how they behave, think and feel about such personal issues.

Easy Ways To Solve Everyday Sexual Problems
Book: Sex Life Solutions

The book is a practical guide that offers step-by-step directions for talking together and solving sexual difficulties. With the help of case studies it examines:

  • How to deal with the difficulties created by different perceptions and anxieties – which include misunderstandings about sex and negative judgements of masturbation.
  • How women can deal with specific anxieties about sex, problems with orgasms, and the fear of painful sex.
  • How men can deal with their specific anxieties about sex, erection and ejaculation difficulties.
  • How to overcome mismatched libido (desire discrepancy), the problems couples experience due to limiting beliefs about sex, and difficulties caused by our busy or stressful lifestyles.

I aim to give people confidence to confront problems in this intimate area, deal with any anxieties and learn how to feel safe with their sexuality.

What is your inspiration for becoming a clinical psychology and hypnotherapist?

Psychology fascinates me because it facilitates discovery of ways to understand learning, behaviour and how to help people prevent, manage and solve problems with their lives.

I love to use hypnosis as an adjunctive tool where it greatly assists time-valued outcomes.  You can program for success without having to get out into the real world and make mistakes! Sometimes hypnosis is like a magic wand!

What did you study?

I have a Masters Degree in Psychology and a PhD.

What are your favourite quotes that inspire you?

“What will you do with this one and only precious life?” Mary Oliver

“Every day’s a new day – a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again.”

“Positive thinking may not work every time, but negative thinking does.”

My favorite quote is my signature on my emails:

“You’ve got to sing as if you don’t need the money

You’ve got to love as if you’ll never get hurt

You’ve got to dance as if there’s nobody watching

It’s got to come from the heart if you want it to work!”

I like quotes which help me move forward with excitement for positive living.

Is Hypnotherapy what you see in the movies? For example, the hypnotist waving a pocket watch in front of the patients face saying “You are getting very sleepy”.

That is stage hypnosis where there is smoke and mirrors and not at all like medical hypnosis which is what qualified professionals use.

Explain what is in your hypnotherapy?

Dr Jan’s Hypnosis Benefits

  1. Dr Jan’s sex-therapy tips help “prime” and endorse the conscious mind with healthy sex facts.
  2. Hypnosis then helps the unconscious mind heal any past inaccurate or painful programming and then reprogram for a successful sex-life.
  3. The body is then free to be relaxed and ready for arousal and experience sensational sex.

Too often we have been conditioned to view our sexual bodies as less than perfect. Because of this we have to use corrective imagery and sensory awakening to restore proper feeling and functions. Hypnosis trains you to change your inner view and explore your real feeling. Negative memories, no matter how distant in the past, have a tendency to be the cause of reduced pleasurable sensations because of the extreme vulnerability of sexuality to negative thinking.

What does hypnotherapy feel like to the patient?

It feels like a state of relaxation where the body is so comfortable the mind can begin to imagine just about anything the hypnotist suggests.

What types of suggestions will you make to help women who experience painful sex?

Sex should be a pleasurable experience which you anticipate with delight.

Hypnosis can help you to focus on the pleasure and relax to enjoy the intimate connection with your partner that you deserve.

Hypnosis can help reduce painful sex by distracting you from fear.

Patients with anxiety disorders frequently become absorbed in the fear state. Their anxiety responses generate further thoughts concerning the danger posed by the symptoms and their inability to cope.

Hypnosis can provide an adaptive and useful method of reducing this reactivity to the anxiety-producing situation and to the symptoms that may follow.

In my audio recording called  How to have Pain Free Sex through Hypnosis there is a beautiful scene where I take you into a forest where you come to a lovely leafy glade and bathe beneath a waterfall to take away all your upset about discomfort in sex.

You wait for your lover to come and then you enjoy pleasurable love-making with satisfaction.

How many sessions of hypnotherapy do you need for it to begin working? Do you need to do maintenance sessions?

The number of sessions varies and the hypnotherapist can never really predict how many someone will need. However hypnosis can often make positive changes in 2 or 3 sessions if the person is motivated.

The hypnotherapist will often make a recording for the person so they can continue to listen to the positive suggestions on a daily basis –just before going to sleep can be a great time to listen.

Personal motivation can be a strong impacting factor on people’s sexual lifestyles.

What types of thoughts would you recommend people tell themselves?

I am a good person. I do the best I can in all situations. I deserve to enjoy life and experience the sexual pleasure which is my birthright.

I am good enough. I don’t have to compare myself with others because always there will be someone who is better and someone who is worse than me.

Does telling ourselves positive thoughts on a daily basis change our thinking pattern?

Positive thinking is wonderful to lift our spirits and help us

“turn lemons into lemonade”.

We may need to write positive thoughts down and memorize them and say them over and over for them to really change our thinking. That’s why a hypnotherapist’s recording can be so useful.

Adultsmart also recommends that, you buy high quality adult lifestyle products like personal lubricant from a sex toy shop.Save

Save

Helpful Lessons About Vaginismus

Unhappy Couple Photo

Vaginismus is a condition you may not have heard of, but which will affect up to 20% of women at some point in their life. In short it is best described as the involuntary spasm of the vaginal muscles, which prevents penetration of the vaginal opening and can occur in varying degrees. If you suffer from vaginismus it may feel like you are ‘too tight’ for comfortable penetration, or even like there is basically a brick wall there and nothing is getting in, no matter how small. Some women suffering from this condition are able to use tampons but find penetrative sex too painful or just impossible, others may not even be able to have a pap smear.

Scientists have categorised the condition into two main experiences – primary and secondary vaginismus:

  • Primary vaginismus is when a woman has never been able to experience penetration, and often she discovers this when she first tries to use tampons, or enjoy manual penetration or sexual intercourse.
  • Secondary vaginismus occurs when a woman has previously been able to experience penetration but is now experiencing difficulty or is completely unable to.

For most women, the cause seems to be at least partly psychological in nature, or at least there is a correlation and psychological therapy has been very helpful for many women, but don’t let that lead you to believe that it is therefore her choice, or something ‘wrong’ with her thinking. Much like men’s sexual dysfunction, there are many factors both internal and external which can contribute, and believe me no one suffers by choice.

Unfortunately, as with many women’s medical issues, vaginismus has a long history of misunderstanding, dismissal, misdiagnosis and attempts at treatment that can lean toward the extreme. Even many (especially, though not exclusively, male) gynaecologists today show a lack of understanding and compassion for sufferers of vaginismus, and can I just say – if your doctor doesn’t listen to you, tells you it’s ‘all in your head’, your ‘hips are too narrow for sex’, you ‘just don’t like sex’, or that ‘you will always be like this’, or dismisses the existence of vaginismus altogether — please remember you can always get a second, third or fourth opinion! It is so, so important to have a doctor who doesn’t dismiss women’s or sexual issues as unimportant or overreacting, and to have a good doctor-patient relationship.

There is still much we don’t know about vaginismus, such as which muscle in particular is responsible for the spasms which do not allow penetration, but the most common hypothesis is that it’s the PC muscle. Now all this sounds like pretty bad news, doesn’t it? But don’t despair, because what we do know is that for most women this condition can and does improve over time, and there are treatments available which have shown success.

I am not a doctor and nothing I say here is professional medical advice. I personally have suffered from secondary vaginismus at one point in my life and I just wish to share what I have found out and found to be helpful for me.

The most important thing, in my opinion, is firstly to know that you are not alone and you are not broken, or letting anyone down, that it is not your fault and that if you so desire, you can still enjoy a rich sexual and sensual life. And although treatment is aimed towards the goal of eventually being able to enjoy penetration, can I just also say that penetration is not the be-all and end-all of sex? In fact, for most women, foreplay and clitoral stimulation (not to mention mental stimulation) are by far the most enjoyable aspects of sex. I will get back to penetration in a moment, but I feel that this is an important point which can be overlooked in the search for a ‘cure’, wherein penetration is even overly lauded as everyone’s obvious sexual goal.

Now if you and your partner/s both/all have vaginas – and I apologise for the cis-centric language in this article, I am using it for expedience but can I just acknowledge that trans guys and NB people can and do also suffer from vaginismus – penetration may already be considered of lesser importance in your sex life, however if your partner has a penis, you may be worried that they are left wanting, if you are unable to have penetrative sex. Please remember, there are many, many other ways to get your guy off and for your guy to get off. Blow jobs are the most obvious option, and there is a wealth of ideas and instruction out there if you are a little unsure about your oral abilities or wish to expand your repertoir. Most guys LOVE head, in fact many prefer it to penetration, and you don’t have to be a deep-throat expert or contortionist to be able to share a mind blowing experience. There are also a wealth of guy’s sex toys that can help to keep your sex life interesting and satisfying without ever needing to have vaginal (or anal) penetration. Not to mention the absolute gold mine of women’s external toys out there too which can ensure you both have a satisfying experience!

 

Happy Couple Photo
Photo: Happy Couple

 

And one more thing before I go on, although I work in an adult store and love sex, something I also want to put out there is that some people are asexual (or ace, which is a term commonly used) and that is totally ok too. If you have no interest in sex, penetrative or otherwise, you are also not alone and not broken, and you do not have to make enjoying sex one of your life goals. If you suspect this may be you, I recommend you do some googling and find out that there is an amazing ace community out there, that ‘ace’ comes in a variety of degrees (maybe you have only a small interest in sex, but are not lacking interest altogether, perhaps you only experience sexual attraction when strong romantic feelings are involved, or have experienced attraction in the past but currently feel that you have no sexual desire and can’t see that changing anytime soon… however you feel, it may help to know that there are other out there just like you and you don’t need to feel out of place, or pressured to do something you don’t enjoy.)

OK, now I have made those points, I will also say that there are times when you may not only wish to experience penetration, but that it may be advantageous to your health to do so – eg pap smears. Don’t panic. Probably the best place to begin, after finding a doctor who listens and is on your wavelength, is to have a good chat to them about the condition.

Now to talk about some of your treatment options.

Firstly, counseling, as mentioned above, has been very helpful for many women suffering from vaginismus. Sometimes societal and moral views about women and sex can contribute and if you have been raised in an environment that views sex negatively this may contribute to your body having an involuntary negative reaction to penetration. In fact any concerns or negative experiences around sex can contribute. And the very fact of suffering from vaginismus can compound any negative associations and only make things more difficult. Begin by being gentle with yourself.

Talking honestly with your partner can help too. They may have no idea about the existence of vaginismus, may be blaming themselves, or just not understanding where you are coming from. If you are in a relationship, the more comfortable you both are, the better for both of you. Talking may help alleviate any stresses or fears you both have. Having your partner come along for a visit to your doctor may be helpful too so they can ask any questions they may have and have their mind put at ease by a professional.

Kegel exercises can also help to relax those muscles. This may seem counter-intuitive, as most people know kegel, or pelvic floor, exercises as something people do to keep their vaginas tight, not help them to loosen up! But the nature of kegel exercises – squeezing as though you were trying to ‘stop the flow’ in the middle of peeing, then releasing the squeeze – can help you to become more conscious of those muscles altogether, and you can learn to consciously relax them like you do when you release from the squeeze. Identify the feelings of being tense and relaxed in that area and you may be able to employ these skills in your sex life.

Taking control of your sexual pleasure is a great way to ease yourself along. Try something you know you enjoy, or try something new and interesting. Try reading some erotica, find out if there are fantasies that tickle your desire, try pleasuring yourself, either with the aid of toys or without. Masturbation is a wonderful thing. If you have never tried it, begin by ensuring you won’t be disturbed. Create a relaxing atmosphere – dim the lights, put on some nice music, have a relaxing bath. If you enjoy a glass of wine this can also help. Don’t get blotto. The idea is just to be a little more relaxed, and have that warm glow kind of feeling. Even if you already masturbate or enjoy foreplay with a partner, there is still a world of desires to explore, and finding things you didn’t know you liked can be a big turn on. Focus on pleasurable sensations and stay in the moment, rather than focusing on an end goal of enjoying penetration. You don’t need to attempt penetration unless you wish to and it may be a good idea not to try to begin with. Over time you may be able to insert a finger or two, or a small toy. Don’t rush things, take your time.

Take care of your body and mind. If you are tired, run down, sick, experiencing trying times or troubles in your relationships, these things can contribute to the issue.

For those experiencing long term vaginismus and for whom milder interventions have not proved helpful, some doctors treat vaginismus with Botox injections (yes, like the anti-wrinkle treatment.) Botox works by physically relaxing the muscles involved, and a dilator may be used to dilate the opening of your vagina. This is a progressive process and a mild anesthetic is involved. Now as you probably know, there are always some risks involved with Botox, so many people recommend you do not use this idea as a ‘first resort’. However if you are not having any improvement with other treatment methods this may be presented as an option and may be a solution for you.

Your doctor should be able to keep you informed with the most up-to-date information on treatments, so do try to find that doctor that is great for you and keep in contact.

I hope this has been informative and perhaps helpful. Most importantly please remember there is hope and your condition will likely improve. Be kind to yourselves, my loves, and thanks for reading!

 

About the Author: By Jade a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres