Helping Couples Stay on the Covenant Path
Our primary goal is to help couples stay on the "Covenant Path". The Covenant Path means the course that couples are on for exaltation and eternal life. For couples, the sexual relationship is the most Godly and sacred of acts and has been designed by God for a couple's vitality and eternal progression. It is in large part through this sacred sexual relationship that a couple progresses on the Covenant Path as this relationship is what is required for the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom.
We are on this earth to gain bodies, have experiences, participate in saving ordinances, and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. As stated before, the couple sexual relationship is one such vital piece of the Covenant Path. Throughout the course of this life there are many things that detour us from staying on this path. We note two very significant reasons why couples get off of this Covenant Path. They are out-of-control sexuality/sexual addiction and disconnection from one's sexuality. Satan appears to be focusing his efforts on these two dimensions of the same "coin" which is sexuality. Sexuality in general seems to be the area where he can cause the most confusion and derail couples and therefore families from eternal progression.
There are also many other ways that individuals and couples get sidetracked from the Covenant Path. One that also has to do with sexuality is the lack of appropriate intimacy education. By intimacy the broader sense of the term is meant here and not just sex. Sexuality is very much a part of intimacy, but so are other aspects of intimacy such as emotional intimacy. Individuals and couples struggle developing a healthy intimacy education, or what the world calls sexual education, which consists of sexual anatomy, reproduction, intercourse, outercourse...but also self image, identity development, self expression, wishes and boundaries, emotional connectivity, etc. As a home-centered church the main place for intimacy or sexual education needs to be the home, but this can be augmented elsewhere depending on your personal views. Children, youth, and adults are lacking in healthy intimacy education. This then pulls at the marital relationship and undoubtedly erodes away at the sacred sexual relationship. Anything that can shake the marriage and the most unique feature of their relationship, sexual intimacy, takes a couple off of the Covenant path. There are family implications that also follow.
Individual issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, OCD, etc. have an impact on the marriage and potentially get the couple off of the Covenant Path. That doesn't mean that a couple can't be on the Covenant Path and deal with depression, for example, over the course of their entire earthly experience. Of course they can stay on this path. It does mean that they need to be actively aware of how the depression impacts them individually, as a couple, and as a byproduct trickles into their sexual relationship. They then need to put in the requisite work towards staying on the Covenant Path and maintaining healthy sexual intimacy while simultaneously living with depression. Marital issues such as communication or negative conflict cycles can also have this same impact on the marital intimate and sexual relationship. Anything that gets in the way of a couple's most Godly and sacred interaction, sexuality, needs to be addressed so that the couple can continue on the Covenant Path.
We Use The Sexual Attentiveness and Accountability Model Protocol
We follow a protocol that is individualized for each person and couple. This protocol is called the Sexual Attentiveness and Accountability Model that incorporates systems within (mind, body, emotions, and spirit) and systems without (couple, time, society, culture, friends, religion, safety, context, and family of origin).
There are six stages of change including 1) awareness/attentive, 2) accounting, 3) authoring/re-authoring, 4) action to take, 5) accountability, and 6) actualization.
Some common therapeutic tasks are body image, sex is for women, female-centric view, sex is about pleasure, sexual rights, connection focus, EFT dyadic, mindfulness, include spirituality of marriage, foster positive thinking, self as a sexual being, no longer surrendering sexuality to abuser, vulnerability, sex as a part of God’s plan, connection with body, shift of family of origin or cultural messages, orchestrating arousal, hiking at the slowest hiker’s speed, new narrative on myths, new sexual scripts, anxiety reduction, mood, relaxation training, relationship with sexual anatomy, expectations, and being a sexual person and a good priesthood holder, child of God, and/or member of the LDS church.
A Theory of Change That Fits Your Values
Spiritual, Organic, Authentic, Relational "SOAR" Therapy
Spiritual, Organic, Authentic, Relational (SOAR) theory and therapy was created for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. SOAR was built from the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a theory of change. The core tenants are as follows
Our true nature or self is called our "soul". The soul of each of us is our spirit and our body.
Throughout life we have the opportunity to find (discovery) who we really are or our soul and to grow (develop) the soul.
The soul longs for physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, musical, sexual, companionate, health, artistic, creative, playful,
and social discovery and development.
Issues arise when these important dimensions of the soul are not being nurtured. The soul disappears without the ongoing
discovery and development of these.
Sometimes our soul gets hidden or overcrowded by our relationship to and with others and we stop living an authentic life. You
may hear someone say something like "I need to stop caring about what others think" or "I don't know who I am anymore".
We see our higher power and authentic selves (soul) in things like music, art, dance, or nature for example. Because of this,
we are drawn
to these things.
Our spirit has an organic or liv/ng basis. We are social and relational beings as well. Our identity is
formed in part by our relationship to and with others. Because of this we can "take others with us" in a sense.
As organic beings we can derive symbolism and make meaning from a variety of things.
Individual biology is an important component of the experience of each of us.
SOAR therapy is the application of the theory and is practiced at Covenant Sex Therapy.
A SOAR therapist helps with developing a healthy relationship with spirituality. A life in relation to spirituality for the person is vital helping to learn one's spirituality is paramount. Soul discovery and development such as soul care are a critical part of the spiritual dimension of SOAR.
Soul care is at the heart of SOAR therapy. In therapy we work on helping people nurture physical, emotional, mental,
spiritual, musical, sexual, companionate, health, artistic, creative, playful, and social dimensions of the soul and
A SOAR therapist helps develop a healthy relationship with organic components of one's life such as body, physiology, and biology. Often times the therapist works in tandem with a medical doctor or physical treatment team. As we are organic beings, we experience constraints due to our organic nature. The SOAR therapist works with the person to address these constraints and form a healthy relationship to their own unique organic nature. The therapist also works with the relationship that the person has to organic and inorganic objects. The soul also develops identity from the relationship to these organic and inorganic objects. Ensuring that one "holds onto" those relationships, meanings, and symbolism that is helpful and authentic is critical. Symbolism and meaning making are important elements to the organic dimension of SOAR.
A SOAR therapist helps to develop authenticity in the person's life. This means acting, feeling, and relating in a fashion that is authentic to the soul of the person and addressing inauthenticity wherever it may be present. This includes ridding oneself of identity derived from organic and inorganic elements as well as identity derived from relationships that are inauthentic to the soul of the person. Congruence in lived experience is paramount to the authentic dimension of SOAR.
A SOAR therapist helps to develop an identity that is relationally constructed to be helpful and authentic to the soul of the person. This means eliminating relationally derived identity constructs that are at odds with the soul and working to foster relationship identity constructs that enable further authenticity and soul development. Careful soul identity formation in relationship to others is the point of the relationship dimension of SOAR.
A World Wide Approach
Our Exceptional Team
Staff at Covenant Sex Therapy have bolstered their knowledge and clinical skills to meet the vast array of sexual problems that face our Latter-day Saint (LDS) community. Each therapist regularly consults with Dr. Hughes to improve their expertise in sex therapy as well as participates in additional training and education in various formats so that they are at the forefront of sexuality training and skill.
We highly value relational/marital training and experience. Since couple's therapy is an integral part of sex therapy, each therapist at Covenant Sex Therapy is a competent marital therapist that prizes their ability to do work in the couple relationship. Each therapist is a highly skilled couple's therapist.
We have many therapists that are training in various additional therapy modalities such as emotionally focused therapy (EFT), internal family systems (IFS), narrative family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) for example.
Our therapists use the Sexual Attentiveness and Accountability Model and SAAM protocol while giving you a unique therapy experience as they cater the model and protocol to you and your partner and your unique sex therapy needs.
The Therapeutic Alliance, or the relationship and trust that the therapist and client share, has been called the most important part of the therapy process. At Covenant Sex Therapy we pledge to work with you in a respectful, courteous and professional manner.
We understand that sexual and intimate challenges can be difficult to discuss and that therapy is an emotional process. With us, you can rest assured that we will do what all we can to make sure your experience with us is a comfortable one.
Our commitment to these principles is just one of the many things that sets us apart.