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Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, PhD, LCPC, on the topic of how to best handle a pornography disclosure within a couple system. This would be applicable for a couple where pornography viewing and/or masturbation was/is taking place by one spouse/partner in secret from the other. And now the behavior has come to light either through a voluntary disclosure (“confession” per se) or has been “found out.” This often creates a marital or relational crisis that needs to be navigated -especially in the context of a religious construct where high standards of sexual conduct have been developed. How can a couple take this type of catalyst and use it as an opportunity to develop not only the relationship, but the self? How do the ways we teach and talk about pornography keep us from healthy integration of sexuality and sensual pleasure? How do we navigate such things as our religious/spiritual values, the relationship we do or do not want with pornography, and our desire to be empathic lovers? How do we stand up for the type of sexuality we want in our relationships – in ways that honor and respect what our partners want?
Dr. Finlayson-Fife grew up in Burlington, Vermont as one of eight children. She studied Psychology and Women’s Studies at Brigham Young University, and went on to receive her Masters and PhD in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. She has a private practice in Chicago, IL where she works primarily with LDS couples on relational and sexual issues. She is a frequent guest on LDS-themed podcasts, and has written articles for LDS-themed magazines and blogs on the subjects of sexuality, modesty, relationships, mental health and faith. She is married to John Finlayson-Fife and has three wonderful children.
Resources mentioned during podcast:
LDS Female Sexuality with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife: Mormon Mental Health Podcast
Mormon Mental Health Association Position on Sex Addiction
Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity
David Schnarch, author of Passionate Marriage
Thank you to Jeff Meyers for the intro and Peter & Mary Danzig of Otter Creek Duo for the concluding bumper music.
Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST can be reached at natashaparker.org and runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex Info Podcasts, is the current past president of the Mormon Mental Health Association and runs a sex education program, Sex Talk with Natasha. She has over 20 years of experience working with primarily an LDS/Mormon clientele.