Everyone that visits our Wellbeing centre has a story…
At one of our recent family meetings we were discussing how as therapists and teachers we meet some truly inspiring people everyday. An important part of our roles are to really listen to our clients and their stories they have to share.
Then we thought, how great it would be to share all our stories too!
This week we spoke to Lauren Deighton our resident psychosexual and relationship therapist
What therapy do you provide at PTW
I am a professionally qualified psychosexual and relationship therapist based in central Brighton. I work with individuals and couples of any orientation who are experiencing difficulties in their sexual or relationship life – and offer face-to-face counselling support and treatment for a variety of concerns, including: low desire; erectile difficulties; problems with arousal and orgasm; the impact of ageing and the menopause; pain during sex; conflict and communication issues; the impact of sexual abuse on sex and relationships; and sexual difficulties in relation to illness and medication.
How did you become a sex and relationship therapist?
My background is in psychology and sexual health. After completing my MSc in Health Psychology in 2002, I landed my first job in sexual health promotion – working closely alongside schools and community groups to help raise awareness around sex and relationships. I was particularly interested in the idea of promoting a ‘sex positive’ attitude to sex education because I could see that a lot of young people were learning that sex is associated with negative outcomes – sadly in schools the message is more often about preventing unwanted pregnancy and disease than about love and pleasure and connection. By 2013 I knew that I wanted to work on the frontline with individuals and couples in difficulty and so I put myself through training school to become a specialist in this area.
What do you love about being a sex therapist?
In my line of work, every story is different. This makes for a fascinating and varied daily work life. I love working with people and couples in trying to solve the puzzle that is their sexual or relationship difficulty – and I love witnessing people heal and grow through the process. Often, it is about getting people to reconnect with their bodies and each other – and it is beautiful to see that when it happens.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
Back in 2002 I used to help the university sexual health service promote condom use and I once had to turn up to this health fair in a Captain Condom superhero suit made of lycra, cape and all! This may not be my greatest professional achievement but it certainly is among the funniest moments in my career so far…!
How do you relax?
I’m one of those really embarrassing people who likes to dance it all off – like I just don’t care! Sometimes I will put a really cheesy track on the stereo and thrash around like a whirling dervish until I fall into a giggling heap on the floor. I have also more recently experienced the benefits of mindfulness and meditation – which I sometimes use as a tool in therapy with clients.
What famous person would you most like in your class or treatment room?
I would love it if Betty Dodson dropped by to say hello! She is a truly inspiring woman – an American sex educator and artist who is not afraid of talking about the importance of pleasure and masturbation and whose vulva illustrations are simply divine! I think Betty is a fabulous role model for older women; she’s 87 years old and still doing her Bodysex workshops, teaching women how to overcome negative body image and pleasure anxiety – she’s amazing!!
Tell us a secret about yourself?
I used to have a classic car (an MG 1300 to be precise) and hire it and myself out as a wedding car chauffeuring business! This was a sideline to my day job, a lot of fun and a real privilege to share such precious moments with couples on their special day of matrimony.
For more information or to make a referral for sex and relationship therapy, please contact me on:
Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist
Tel: 07833 394211