Mike Moran is a couples and sex therapist and educator specializing in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. He’s also our clinical supervisor and has helped us navigate many challenging cases, so we have firsthand knowledge of how clinically gifted and wise he is! In this interview, Mike talks to us about the unique experiences gay couples bring to therapy and what straight couples can learn from them. We talk about the impact of growing up in a homophobic culture, embracing sexual fluidity, and helping couples navigate the pain of infidelity. It’s an episode about gay couples, but it’s really a must-listen for straight people!
Finding a therapist can seem like an impossible task. Questions like, is therapy right for me? Where do I begin? Or how long will treatment last may be swarming around your head. In this discussion with each other, Signe and Simone break down what therapy is all about, the different treatment models, whether it's right for you, and how to find a therapist that's a good fit and to avoid the red flags! It's not an easy world to navigate and we're hoping that this episode makes finding a therapist a little bit smoother and more accessible. We could only cover so much in one episode, so feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments!
Dr. Marisa Cohen is a relationship scientist and dating coach who knows a lot about online dating from her personal and professional experience. In this interview Dr. Cohen talks about how online dating has changed the way people meet and connect and provides helpful, scientifically grounded advice about how to optimize your dating profile and dating experiences. We explored a lot of interesting and surprising facts! Among the many topics covered, we learned why Las Vegas is a great place for women to find love and why, for better or worse, your dating pool might be smaller than you think.
Dr. Rich Simon was a psychologist and editor of the award winning magazine, Psychotherapy Networker, a bi-monthly bible for therapists seeking the latest clinical wisdom. In this interview, Rich spoke with Signe (his daughter) and Simone about his long career watching the field of psychotherapy evolve and what he learned about healing. Rich suffered from bipolar disorder and the treatments he received over the past four years did not provide relief. He chose to end his pain on November 10, 2020, two weeks after this interview was recorded. Rich’s spirit, curiosity, and generosity touched the lives of countless people. He will be profoundly missed.
Dr. Tara Brach is a psychologist and meditation teacher who beautifully integrates western psychology with eastern practices into her teachings. Speaking with Dr. Brach is like a meditation unto itself. She calms the spirit and offers hope in a time that feels overwhelming and unpredictable. She talked to us about social activism through self-compassion work and walked us through her powerful tool for mindfulness and self love. A must listen to, now more than ever!
Men in our culture are socialized out of vulnerability, making it difficult to connect intimately with others and connect with emotions. In this interview (with two vulnerable men), psychologist Dr. David Gordon and Evryman co-founder and CEO Lucas Krump, address male competition, male friendship, how men protect themselves from emotional pain and its cost, and the power of opening up. This is recommended listening for any man who’s interested in therapy or curious about how to get in touch with his feelings.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a popular approach to psychotherapy created by our guest Dr. Richard Schwartz. He developed the model when treating eating disorders and realized that his clients would describe various parts within themselves that respond to one another in harmful ways. He discovered that when these different parts accept one another in order to work together harmoniously, a person can live a life with greater curiosity, connectedness, compassion, and calmness. This pod explores ways to develop more insight into how we relate to ourselves and a great intro to IFS for therapists!
Most of us have engaged in or been on the receiving end of playing hard to get, a strategy people have used throughout history to appear more desirable to a potential mate. In this down to earth and informative interview, clinical psychologist and dating researcher, Dr. Kirby Goldin, gives us some straight talk grounded in research about the function of playing hard to get, who plays hard to get, and its consequences. Kirby also shares personal stories and offers up some valuable advice on dating and cultivating authenticity. We could have spent hours talking to Kirby about relationships and highly recommend taking a listen.
Dr. Will Siu is a psychiatrist, speaker, and expert on psychedelics. He has been featured on the Netflix show The Goop Lab and has been trained by MAPS in MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy. In this informative, moving, and existential conversation, we talk about how psychedelics are amplifiers of the unconscious, the research behind them, and Will’s personal experience with depression, loneliness, and his journey towards healing and discovering psychedelics. Let’s face it, psychedelics are becoming progressively more mainstream and are already an integral part of our culture’s search for healing and mental health. This interview helps us understand its power, potential, and risk.
ADHD is a condition that makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control impulsive behaviors. While often diagnosed in children, many adults struggle with ADHD without ever realizing they have a disorder. In this interview, Dr. Tuckman draws from his research of over 3000 adults in a couple in which one partner has ADHD, and shares with us the ways ADHD impacts a couple's relationship and sex life. He reveals some surprising outcomes, including that couples with ADHD have more sex! The interview offers some practical strategies to help individuals with ADHD as well as their non-ADHD partner. We also talk about how all couples struggle with inattention, why working ADHD patients are so fun, and how effort no matter the outcome is crucial for a successful relationship.
In our first pod featuring LOVELINK, Dr. Simon and Dr. Humphrey have a casual conversation on the coronavirus. We talk about the social implications, how to emotionally connect while practicing social distancing, and ways to manage anxiety during a time of uncertainty. We also share our own experiences of living with a partner in extremely close quarters and what it's like to collaborate virtually. During this challenging and turbulent moment, we remember that we are all in this together and connection to others is more important now than ever.
Dr. Suzanne Iasenza is like a cool aunt you can talk to about sex without worrying she’ll tell your parents. She’s warm, funny, and non-judgmental. In this highly informative interview, Dr. Iasenza talks to us about the fluidity of sexual preferences and what we can learn about our partner and ourselves when we stop judging and start getting curious. Iasenza provides concrete strategies for helping people get comfortable talking about sex and playful ideas for increasing intimacy. If you’re seeking some inspiration to enhance your sex life or some help talking about sex with your partner, this is a must listen. It’s also a helpful episode for clinicians that are curious about sex therapy.
Dr. Amelia Kaplan Romanowsky is a psychologist, professor, and author. She has co-authored the book Treating Affect Phobia, teaches at Montclair University, and has a private practice in Maplewood, NJ where she specializes in couples therapy. Developing healthy boundaries is a pillar of Dr. Romanowky's clinical work and she teaches this to her clients in both individual and couples therapy. To hold healthy boundaries helps contribute to a positive self regard as well as cultivating open and respectful relationships. In this incredibly informative interview, Dr. Romanowsky describes what it means to be over-boundaried, under-boundaried, and walks us through practical ways of developing healthy psychological boundaries. A must listen!
Women in straight relationships are increasingly making more than their male counterparts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29% of women earned more than their male partners in 2016, up from 18% in the 1980’s (https://nyti.ms/2O6SLXi ). This sounds like good news, yet our culture spins a narrative that breadwinning women spells disaster for couples (https://on.mktw.net/2Xz3exQ). In this interview, Dr. Lina Perl walks us through her research on breadwinner women that debunks current myths and provides a nuanced view of the challenges and strengths of breadwinner women families. But this interview is also about much more including the politics of parental leave, negotiating career and motherhood, and critically – how the success of women in the workplace is an opportunity for men to deepen their relationship with others.
Dirty Lola is a sex educator, storyteller, and creator of Sex Ed A Go-GO, a live sex Q&A talk show performed regularly in NYC and taken around the country. She teaches sex education at conferences, universities, and you can find her behind the counter at Shag, a sex shop in Brooklyn. In this fun and at times provocative interview, Lola teaches us all about kink and BDSM, what it means to experience pleasure through pain, and the potential for empowerment and healing in submission to a partner. She shares with us her personal journey of discovering her sexuality, sex ed growing up in the south, how she cultivated her own body and sex positivity, and her introduction into to kink and polyamory.
Jette Simon is a Danish clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience working with couples from around the world. She is an Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy trainer and Director of the Washington DC Training Institute for Couples Therapy and EFT Institute in Copenhagen. She’s also Signe’s mom! In this personal interview with us from 2017, she shares insights from her past romantic relationships and her clinical work with couples. We talk about what makes for a good relationship, the function of affairs, cultural norms, and starter marriages. Jette also offers up some motherly words of wisdom that can help anyone maintain hope after a break up or improve their current relationship.
This is the second episode in our series on women, sex, and tech. We are strong supporters of female entrepreneurs, as ones ourselves, and it’s been so exciting to pick the brains of like minded women who are dedicated to spreading sex education and promoting sexual wellness. Our guest today is the cofounder of Allbodies (formerly Cycles and Sex), an education platform to teach people about their bodies. With an emphasis on the reproductive cycle and sexual wellness, Allbodies is a company whose mission is provide accessible information that is often taboo or shaming. It is a sex positive, body affirming platform that covers topics from pregnancy, birth control, hormones, sex-ed, and menstruation. All the questions that many of us have and we’re not often told.
In this engaging interview, polyamory expert and coach, Effy Blue, talks to us about what makes for successful poly relationships and how to decide whether a polyamorous lifestyle is right for you. Effy shares her personal journey from monogamy to polyamory and offers up lots of practical advice about everything from talking to your monogamous partner about polyamory, how to think about scheduling poly relationships, and effective communication skills. Even if you're monogamous, you might be surprised by how much there is to be learned from poly relationships.
Dr. Jacob Ham is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with couples and trauma. He is the director of the Center for Child Trauma and Resilience and assistant clinical professor and supervisor at Mount Sinai in New York City. This episode is a sequel to our first interview with Dr. Ham (Ep 8 - Haunted By History: Love After Trauma), where we are introduced to a couple struggling with connection in the face of jealousy. This time, we listen to segments of a subsequent therapy session and hear how their relationship unfolds, while shedding light on the ways attachment styles evolve from childhood to adult romance as well as the destructive and constructive power of anger in relationships.
This episode is part one of a series on women, sex, and tech. We interviewed founders, Gina Gutierrez and Faye Keegan, founders of their company Dipsea, a tech company that offers audio stories for a new platform to foster sexual wellbeing. The stories range in genre, perspective, and mood, and are designed to turn their listeners on and help them to feel sexy. We picked their brains on female sexuality and how the mind is such a crucial and often neglected form of foreplay, the excitement and challenges of starting a company, and their vision of the future of sexual wellness. This episode is not a paid sponsorship.
Dr. Sue Johnson is a clinical psychologist, researcher, and the developer of Emotionally Focused Couples and Family Therapy (EFT), a powerful model that helps couples tune into their emotions to reconnect. She is the author of the bestselling book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, an evidenced based program to help couples build safety. Among her many accomplishments, Sue has been appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada and was named Psychologist of the Year by APA 2016. In this engaging interview on Sue's 30th wedding anniversary, she takes us on an educational journey through the science of attachment and emotion, the foundation for our romantic relationship needs.
Mark Epstein, M.D., is a psychiatrist, speaker, and author of numerous books integrating concepts from Buddhism and psychotherapy, including Thoughts Without A Thinker, Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, and his most recent book Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself. In this insightful interview, Mark describes the ego, the ways we need it, how it gets in our way, and it’s role in romantic relationships. The goal is to change our relationship to our egos, rather than get rid of it. He discusses ways to accomplish this by applying Buddhist and psychoanalytic methods with his patients and in his personal life. We live in an era with so many distractions that fuel our anxieties, and Mark’s interview grounds us by reminding us to tap into that part of ourselves that has always been there; from birth until death.
World renowned love guru and couples psychotherapist, Esther Perel, poignantly describes the realities of romance, including infidelity and complacency in relationships. Why do we cheat even when we're in happy relationships? Can relationships be repaired after an affair? How do we maintain romantic excitement in the face of familiarity? Esther shares with us thoughtful and seductive solutions to tackle these eternal dilemmas.
Simone's cousin Rachel and her girlfriend Ada visit LOVELINK to talk about how their relationship evolved following Ada’s gender transition. With great humor and wisdom, Rachel and Ada open up about what they’ve learned about themselves and each other through Ada’s transition, including changes in the way they connect emotionally and sexually. Regardless of how you identify, there’s a lot to be learned about love and the healing power of personal liberation from this inspiring couple.
Dr. Bill Doherty, professor and director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project at the University of Minnesota, gives us some solid Midwestern relationship advice. He’s worked with thousands of couples and been married 40 + years, so he knows a thing or two about what it takes to sustain long-term commitment. In this interview, he shares how he helps couples working through the often wrenching decision about whether to end a relationship. Dr. Doherty also walks us through his list of red flags to look for when dating and what people should probably stop stressing about. If you’re single or thinking about taking your relationship to the next level of commitment, this is a must listen episode!
Terry Real, psychotherapist and founder of Relational Life Therapy, specializes in working with men, particularly narcissistic, or what he calls “grandiose” men. In this deeply informative and timely interview, Terry talks to us about the different forms of narcissism, how narcissism develops, and the ways it emerges in relationships. In an era with Donald Trump as our leader, male narcissism rears its toxic head societally as well as within relationships, resulting in painful psychic and emotional consequences. We find out how narcissism expresses itself emotionally and sexually and ways that we can begin to deconstruct patriarchy by helping men to be more relational.
We went into the mind and psychotherapy session of Dr. Jacob Ham, a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of trauma. He is the director of the Center for Child Trauma and Resilience and assistant clinical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. In our interview, he described how pain from the past affects our current relationships and ways that he helps hurt people heal interpersonal wounds and build trust and love again. To help us understand, he shared with us a recording from a real couples session that is a moving demonstration of his work and the power of couples therapy to build back healthy connection.
Follow the couple's therapeutic journey and learn more about loving through hurt on Dr. Ham's YouTube channel:
Nell is a 34-year-old designer who has extensive experience exploring online dating. Through her dating adventures, experience of numerous dating apps, and understanding texting rapport, she has guided many friends through navigating the often daunting cyber world of love. In this interview, Nell candidly opens up about the realities of online dating. Nell shares what she has learned about tolerating anxieties that get stirred up and offers practical advice for women seeking love online.
Dr. Alexandra Solomon is a clinical psychologist at The Family Institute and professor at Northwestern university where she teaches the famous undergraduate course “Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101.” She is the author of the book Loving Bravely: Twenty Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want. As the title suggests, Dr. Solomon explained to us in this illuminating interview how to expand your relational self-awareness so you can make healthy and conscious choices around love. She delves into the key aspects of romantic relationships including attraction, long term relational success, conflict, sex, and how to balance the choices between yourself and your partner. While this interview is particularly helpful for young adults, anyone can learn from her pearls of wisdom!
Carina Ho is a survivor of a tragic car accident that killed her mother, caused her stepfather to suffer from a traumatic brain injury, and left her paralyzed from the chest down. Three years later, and wheelchair bound, our guest is a full time modern dancer at Axis Dance Company, has released her EP album Onikho, and is the most recent recipient of the Fullbright Scholarship. Several months before the accident, our guest began dating a young man whom she had met at work. Through the transition from pre accident to post accident, able bodied to disabled, our guest and her boyfriend have remained together. In our interview, Carina speaks candidly about her experience of love and sex after becoming paralyzed and how she is rediscovering her mojo.
Helen Fisher, PhD, is a biological anthropologist and the chief scientific advisor to Match.com. In this illuminating interview, Dr. Fisher explains to us what happens to our brain on love or after rejection, the biological underpinnings of how we pick our partners, and takes an anthropological perspective on the ways in which online dating has formed our way of experiencing relationships. Dr. Fisher got us thinking, "Maybe love isn't such a mystery after all."
Emily Nagoski, PhD, is the author of New York Times best-seller “Come As You Are: The Suprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life.” Emily’s message is powerful to women exploring and understanding their sexuality: you are NORMAL, just as you are! As a professor at Smith College and sex educator around the country with a popular TedTalk, her mission is to help women feel confident and joy inside their bodies and with their sexuality. In our interview, Emily demystifies our sexual biology, explains the accelerators and brakes of sexual desire, what fetishes are all about, and how to come into your “authentic sexual wellbeing.
Columbia researcher, teacher, and therapist Aaron Breslow explains the many ways to have an open relationship, why we want them, and how heteronormative couples are starting to learn from the gay community. Aaron brings humor to the episode and his own personal experience of entering a monogamous relationship for the first time. Whether you’re already in an open relationship, are curious, or just like the fantasy of one, Aaron provides us with some thoughtful insights into making the decision to opening up a dyad.
Dr. Ian Kerner, psychologist, sex therapist, and author of New York Times bestseller “She Comes First,” speaks with us about the challenges couples face regarding desire and preserving sexual satisfaction in long term relationships. Dr. Kerner discusses why it’s so difficult for couples to talk about sex, what contributes to a lower libido, and the importance of erotic fantasies.