Meet Dr. Milspaw
Alex has been practicing counseling and education for over 8 years. She is available for professional consultations and trainings, specifically around chronic pain, trauma, & sexual and genital pain disorders.
Alex is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Pennsylvania. She received her Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology and Human Services from Lehigh University. Alex received her PhD in the clinical practice of Human Sexuality from Widener University. Alex is a Certified Master NLP Practitioner, Certified Consulting Hypnotist and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Trainer and Consultant. She specializes in relaxation and stress management as well as chronic pain and trauma. Alex is a professional presenter for sexuality and reproductive health education for local colleges, community agencies, and national conferences. She works with a variety of clients, including those coping with chronic pelvic and sexual pain in an effort to reduce pain and associated emotional and psychological stressors. She also has experience working with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender population, including those in transition. S
exuality encompasses all that you are and how you relate to the world around you. Please click here for a handout on the 5 Circles of Sexuality, which outlines all of the areas "sexuality" entails.
Dr. Milspaw was the Executive Director of the Institute for Women In Pain from 2011-2013 - a group of independent, like-minded health care practitioners who are available for consultation for women seeking help for a variety of chronic pain disorders. Alex is a co-founder of the Alliance for Pelvic Pain (www.allianceforpelvicpain.com) and co-facilitates the Pelvic Messenger blogtalk radio. Alex is also a sex therapist within the 4-D Wheel Network (www.expandingsextherapy.org). See the Wheel below, created by sex therapist Dr. Gina Ogden.
Professional Memberships include: American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists; American Counseling Association; International Pelvic Pain Society; National Guild of Hypnotists; National Federation of Neurolinguistic Programming.
My Counseling Style
What sets my counseling practice apart from many others is that I specialize in incorporating specific techniques of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), including mindfulness and relaxation. I also utilize the 4-D Wheel by Dr. Gina Ogden in my therapeutic approach. This is a four-dimensional approach included in my therapeutic work with clients by exploring a deeper sense of the present moment. Together we determine your goals and work towards those goals.
I am the Lehigh Valley's only Master NLP Practitioner specializing in Sexual Health!
I have attended trainings by the Neuro Orthopaedic Institute in Australia (www.noigroup.au.com) on the neurobiology of pain at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C. Their training program, "Explain Pain", offers the most recent research on how to reduce pain through specific techniques focused on the nervous system and brain responses. Please contact me for further details!
Counseling, Education, & Consultation Topics include:
- Relaxation and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Anxiety, Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Pain
- Pain Management using NLP & Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
- Sexual Trauma and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention
- Sexual Dysfunctions, Illnesses, Difficulties
- Parent-child communication on sexuality-related topics
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (and transitioning), "Dressing" populations
- Swinging and Polyamorous relationships
- Sexual Health
- Tips for Sexual Creativity and Pleasure
- Reproductive Health and Unplanned Pregnancy
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Infections
- Communication skills
- Intimacy and Sensuality
- Chronic pain and illness
What is Sexuality?
Sexuality is all that you are and how you relate to the world around you. There are 5 Circles of Sexuality: 1) Sensuality: an awareness, acceptance of, and comfort with one's own body; physiological and psychological enjoyment of one's own body and the bodies of others; 2) Intimacy: the ability and need to experience emotional closeness to another human being and have it returned; 3) Sexual Identity: the development of a sense of who one is sexually, including a sense of maleness and femaleness; 4) Sexual Health and Reproduction: attitudes and behaviors related to producing children, care and maintenance of the sex and reproductive organs, and health consequences of sexual behavior; 5) Sexualization: the use of sexuality to influence, control, or manipulate others. Please click here for a handout on the 5 Circles of Sexuality.
Counseling & NLP
Each day provides an opportunity to heal ourselves, to learn from our experiences, and to grow into greater beings. When we are out of touch with our inner spirit the daily trials of life take their toll on our bodies and we become ill in one way or another. If we do not learn to heal our own wounds, expecting others to heal them for us, the healing is only temporary. Counseling through NLP techniques opens the hearts and minds of individuals to the possibility of self-healing, offering support along the way, through open dialogue and activities.
What is Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is a unique and specialized form of professional counseling designed to help women and men address their concerns about sexuality, sexual function, and sexual expression. While other issues may arise during therapy, these may include problems with:
Like any therapeutic experience, sex therapy involves talking, listening and education.
- Desire or frequency discrepancies
- Arousal or inability to reach orgasm
- Sexual anxieties and inhibitions
- Painful intercourse
- Sexual identity or orientation issues
- Premature ejaculations (rapid ejaculation)
- Erection problems
- Medical problems affecting sex
- Unusual sexual desires or behaviors
- Issues related to sexual expression or function
A trained therapist works with the client in a private and confidential setting to clarify their particular issues. During therapy, the therapist provides education about pertinent sexual issues, including anatomy, physical response, and healthy sexual behavior.Therapy will never involve any form of sexual or inappropriate physical contact between therapist and client, nor will the performance of any sexual activity be part of any therapy session.
What Happens During an Appointment?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. During therapy sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions. Sometimes individuals who are going through a particularly difficult challenge may request more time per session or more than one session per week. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. Between sessions it is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions.
What is NLP?
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a hands-on learning experience. NLP is a unique model of how people learn, motivate themselves, and change their behavior to achieve excellence in any endeavor. NLP is valuable wherever human communication skills can enhance results - in education, counseling, relationships, parenting, public speaking, sports performance, pain management, and many other areas. NLP uses language and activities to help restructure brain response, which is particularly helpful with chronic pain and suffering. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is one of the core techniques Alex utilizes in her work with all clients. This method involves the client tapping on certain natural stress-reduction points on their body while identifying core beliefs, emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations that are causing distress. For more information on EFT and the tapping method, visit www.acepnow.com and www.energypsych.org.
Is NLP a therapy?
Although NLP can be used as a method of therapy, the applications are much broader. Even when used as a therapy, it is basically a process of teaching people how to use their minds to enhance their life. Most therapies are remedial; that is, directed towards solving problems from the past. NLP goes much further in teaching the skills that promote positive change, which in turn generates new possibilities and opportunities.
What is Hypnosis?
The term "hypnosis" comes from the Greek word “hypnos” meaning "sleep." Hypnotherapists use inductions that bring about deep relaxation, also known as alpha or theta state or trance. A person in this deeply focused state is unusually responsive to an idea or image, but this does not mean that a hypnotist can control the person's mind and free will. On the contrary, one would never do anything under hypnosis that they would not do under ordinary consciousness. Hypnosis is not brain-washing or mind control, rather one is in full control and can come out of trance at will. Hypnosis can teach people how to master their own states of awareness.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
During hypnosis, your body and mind relax and your subconscious mind becomes open to suggestion. Like other relaxation techniques, hypnosis lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and changes certain types of brain wave activity. In this relaxed state, you will feel at ease physically yet fully awake mentally and may be highly responsive to suggestions (that we negotiate during the pre-induction portion of the session). If you are trying to quit smoking, for example, the therapist's suggestion may help convince you that you will not like the taste of cigarettes in the future. Smokers undergoing hypnosis can actually re-experience how awful they felt after their very first cigarette.
Hypnosis and NLP appointments
During your first visit, we will clarify your goals, and identify any challenges you face in achieving them. I may explain NLP and hypnosis and how it is helpful. You may then be directed through relaxation techniques, using a series of mental images and suggestions. For example, people who have a fear of flying may be given the suggestion that, in the future, they will be able to relax whenever they want. I may also collapse the fear using NLP techniques, teach you the basics of self-hypnosis as well as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). During the first session, you may experience a personalized relaxation that will be recorded on a CD you can take home with you! This CD is a valuable tool for use every day to increase your results and personal well-being.
Everybody passes through a natural state of hypnosis many times a day - while falling asleep and waking up, getting caught up in a movie or book, spacing out at a traffic light. In fact, that little breaks your mind wants you to take every 60-90 minutes where you feel a little sleepy and want to poke your head out the door for some fresh air is a natural brief state of hypnosis called the "ultradian rhythm." Hypnotherapy feels wonderful...it's like falling asleep while someone is reciting relaxing, peaceful words to you Upon emerging from a session, people typically make comments like "wow" and "that's the most relaxed I've ever been."
Please feel free to e-mail Dr. Milspaw with any questions or concerns.