Dr. Arlene Krieger, Ph.D., Marriage & Family Therapist -Board Certified Clinical Sexologist
Dr. Arlene Krieger is triple-boarded with the state of Florida and specializes in relationship and couples therapy. As a Marriage & Family Therapist and Clinical Sexologist her therapeutic focus is on helping you as individuals and couples to achieve greater happiness, a cohesive family environment, intimacy, healthy sexuality and a peaceful co-existence in your relationship. In a safe and neutral setting, you can comfortably identify the issues that are affecting your relationships, and discover new ways to reawaken the sense of wonder & love within one another!
Dr. Krieger's expertise includes 17 years of higher academic graduate training and 13 years of clinical hands on experience in working with individuals, couples, adults, adolescents and children in both Private practice, and Institutional settings. The Clinical training providing for Dr. Krieger's broad pshyotherapeutic background included; Jackson Memorial hospital, Children's Home Society, the Guardian Ad Litem program in the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County juvenile court system, Adult populations in both public and private practice and post graduate internships working with hundreds of patients.
Current and past patients report that Dr. Krieger puts her heart into her work and is warm, caring and interactive during sessions. This environment and work ethic and the doctor's credibility is derived from both years of academic training and real life experience in working and caring for her patients.
I consider it an honor to be allowed into the patient's lives and for entrusting my therapeutic expertise with their marriages and relationships ~Arlene G. Krieger, Ph.D.
Why Relationship Therapy?
Relationship therapy can help you:
- Cultivate new insights into your experiences and your relationships.
- Reconstruct old patterns that are not working in your relationship now.
- Master the skills needed to comfort and nurture yourself during difficult times.
Is Sex Necessary?
Is Sex Necessary? Alan Farnham
Fans of abstinence had better be sitting down. "Saving yourself" before the big game, the big business deal, the big hoedown or the big bakeoff may indeed confer some moral benefit. But corporeally it does absolutely zip. There's no evidence it sharpens your competitive edge. The best that modern science can say for sexual abstinence is that it's harmless when practiced in moderation. Having regular and enthusiastic sex, by contrast, confers a host of measurable physiological advantages, be you male or female. (This assumes that you are engaging in sex without contracting a sexually transmitted disease.)
In one of the most credible studies correlating overall health with sexual frequency, Queens University in Belfast tracked the mortality of about 1,000 middle-aged men over the course of a decade. The study was designed to compare persons of comparable circumstances, age and health. Its findings, published in 1997 in the British Medical Journal, were that men who reported the highest frequency of orgasm enjoyed a death rate half that of the laggards. Other studies (some rigorous, some less so) purport to show that having sex even a few times a week has an associative or causal relationship with the following:
- Improved sense of smell: After sex, production of the hormone prolactin surges. This in turn causes stem cells in the brain to develop new neurons in the brain's olfactory bulb, its smell center.
- Reduced risk of heart disease: In a 2001 follow-on to the Queens University study mentioned above, researchers focused on cardiovascular health. Their finding? That by having sex three or more times a week, men reduced their risk of heart attack or stroke by half. In reporting these results, the co-author of the study, Shah Ebrahim, Ph.D., displayed the well-loved British gift for understatement: "The relationship found between frequency of sexual intercourse and mortality is of considerable public interest."
- Weight loss, overall fitness: Sex, if nothing else, is exercise. A vigorous bout burns some 200 calories--about the same as running 15 minutes on a treadmill or playing a spirited game of squash. The pulse rate, in a person aroused, rises from about 70 beats per minute to 150, the same as that of an athlete putting forth maximum effort. British researchers have determined that the equivalent of six Big Macs can be worked off by having sex three times a week for a year. Muscular contractions during intercourse work the pelvis, thighs, buttocks, arms, neck and thorax. Sex also boosts production of testosterone, which leads to stronger bones and muscles. Men's Health magazine has gone so far as to call the bed the single greatest piece of exercise equipment ever invented.
- Reduced depression: Such was the implication of a 2002 study of 293 women. American psychologist Gordon Gallup reported that sexually active participants whose male partners did not use condoms were less subject to depression than those whose partners did. One theory of causality: Prostoglandin, a hormone found only in semen, may be absorbed in the female genital tract, thus modulating female hormones.
- Pain-relief: Immediately before orgasm, levels of the hormone oxytocin surge to five times their normal level. This in turn releases endorphins, which alleviate the pain of everything from headache to arthritis to even migraine. In women, sex also prompts production of estrogen, which can reduce the pain of PMS.
- Less-frequent colds and flu: Wilkes University in Pennsylvania says individuals who have sex once or twice a week show 30% higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which is known to boost the immune system.
- Better bladder control: Heard of Kegel exercises? You do them, whether you know it or not, every time you stem your flow of urine. The same set of muscles is worked during sex.
- Better teeth: Seminal plasma contains zinc, calcium and other minerals shown to retard tooth decay. Since this is a family Web site, we will omit discussion of the mineral delivery system. Suffice it to say that it could be a far richer, more complex and more satisfying experience than squeezing a tube of Crest--even Tartar Control Crest. Researchers have noted, parenthetically, that sexual etiquette usually demands the brushing of one's teeth before and/or after intimacy, which, by itself, would help promote better oral hygiene.
- A happier prostate? Some urologists believe they see a relationship between infrequency of ejaculation and cancer of the prostate. The causal argument goes like this: To produce seminal fluid, the prostate and the seminal vesicles take such substances from the blood as zinc, citric acid and potassium, then concentrate them up to 600 times. Any carcinogens present in the blood likewise would be concentrated. Rather than have concentrated carcinogens hanging around causing trouble, it's better to evict them. Regular old sex could do the job. But if the flushing of the prostate were your only objective, masturbation might be a better way to go, especially for the non-monogamous male. Having sex with multiple partners can, all by itself, raise a man's risk of cancer by up to 40%. That's because he runs an increased risk of contracting sexual infections. So, if you want the all the purported benefits of flushing with none of the attendant risk, go digital. A study recently published by the British Journal of Urology International asserts that men in their 20s can reduce by a third their chance of getting prostate cancer by ejaculating more than five times a week.
While possession of a robust appetite for sex--and the physical ability to gratify it--may not always be the cynosure of perfect health, a reluctance to engage can be a sign that something is seriously on the fritz, especially where the culprit is an infirm erection.
Dr. J. Francois Eid, a urologist with Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York Presbyterian Hospital, observes that erectile dysfunction is extension of vascular system. A lethargic member may be telling you that you have diseased blood vessels elsewhere in your body. "It could be a first sign of hypertension or diabetes or increased cholesterol levels. It's a red flag that you should see your doctor." Treatment and exercise, says Dr. Eid, can have things looking up again: "Men who exercise and have a good heart and low heart rate, and who are cardio-fit, have firmer erections. There very definitely is a relationship."
But is there such a thing as too much sex?
The answer, in purely physiological terms, is this: If you're female, probably not. If you're male? You betcha.
Dr. Claire Bailey of the University of Bristol says there is little or no risk of a woman's overdosing on sex. In fact, she says, regular sessions can not only firm a woman's tummy and buttocks but also improve her posture.
Dr. George Winch Jr., an obstetrician/gynecologist in Elko, Nev., concurs. If a woman is pre-menopausal and otherwise healthy, says Dr. Winch, her having an extraordinary amount of intercourse ought not to pose a problem. "I don't think women can have too much intercourse," he says, "so long as no sexually transmitted disease is introduced and there's not an inadvertent pregnancy. Sometimes you can have a lubrication problem. If you have that, there can be vaginal excoriation--vaginal scrape."
Women who abstain from sex run some risks. In postmenopausal women, these include vaginal atrophy. Dr. Winch has a middle-aged patient of whom he says: "She hasn't had intercourse in three years. Just isn't interested. The opening of her vagina is narrowing from disuse. It's a condition that can lead to dysparenia, or pain associated with intercourse. I told her, 'Look, you'd better buy a vibrator or you're going to lose function there.'"
As for men, urologist Eid says it's definitely possible to get too much of a good thing, now that drugs such as Viagra and Levitra have given men far more staying power than may actually be good for them.
The penis, says Eid, is wonderfully resilient. But everything has its limits. Penile tissues, if given too roistering or prolonged a pummeling, can sustain damage. In cases you'd just as soon not hear about, permanent damage.
"Yes," says Dr. Eid, "It is possible for a young man who is very forceful and who likes rough sex, to damage his erectile tissue." The drugs increase rigidity; moreover, they make it possible for a man to have second and third orgasms without having to wait out intermission.
"I see it in pro football players," says Eid. "They use Viagra because they're so sexually active. What they demand of their body is unreasonable. It's part of playing football: you play through the pain." This type of guy doesn't listen to his body. He takes a shot of cortisone, and keeps on going. And they have sex in similar fashion."
There's a reason the penis, in its natural state, undergoes a period of flaccidity: That's when it takes a breather. The blood within it is replenished with oxygen. "During an erection," explains Eid, "very little blood flows to the penis. During thrusting, pressure can go as high as 200 mil of water. Zero blood flows into penis at that time." To absorb oxygen, the tissue must become relaxed. "If you do not allow the penis to rest, then the muscle tissue does not get enough oxygen. The individual gets prolonged erections, gets decreased oxygen to tissue, and could potentially suffer priapism." (We recommend you get a medical encyclopedia and look it up.) "The muscle becomes so engorged, it's painful. Pressure inside starts to increase. Cells start dying. More pressure and less blood flow. Eventually the muscle dies. Then there's scarring. That's why it's considered an emergency."
10 Ways to Stay Positive During Tough Times
Quit being a victim. It’s easier to assume the role of a victim during tough times than taking responsibilities for yourself. But doing so will only prolong your suffering and put off people who may be able to help you out. Letting go of the victim label also frees you from resentment and bitterness which will only jam up the creative energies you need to get out of the mess.
Take stock with meditation. Meditate on what really happened and your response to the crisis. Learn to see the crisis for what it really is. Begin by practicing breathing meditation, and then ask yourself: “What has really happened in spite of what have been reported? Are my fears and worries real or imaginary? If they are real, what can I do about them?” Contemplate also on the nature of the crises you’ve experienced in the past. Understand that each one has a distinct start and end, and may even exhibit a cyclical trend.
Focus on the positives. No matter how dire a situation may be, there are always some positives you can find in it. It’s our unwillingness to look at them that blind us to the brighter sides. In the book, Prisoners Of Our Thoughts, the author Alex Pattakos recounted how he managed to pull a female driver to safety when he saw her school van crashed into a parked car. Then in an attempt to calm down the distraught woman, he asked her to list ten positive things about this accident. You probably thought he was insane, but they managed to list the positives which included the fact that the van and the car which she crashed into were both empty at the point of the accident. The attempt may seem absurd but it worked. The driver was calm enough to break into a smile and had probably saved herself from going into a shock. Now it’s your turn, think of ten positive things that would happen from this crisis.
Give thanks. Having listed the positives you can think of, give thanks for the current situation as well as the things that you already have. For one, things could be a lot more worse! It won’t be easy to be thankful in the face of harsh challenges, but focusing on what you do have, instead of what you’ve lost, will put you in a better position to solve problems on hands than being in a self-pity and sorrowful state.
Reach out to others. Do you know of people who might be badly affected by the crisis? Some may have lost their jobs because their companies were put out of business, while others have suffered huge losses due to stock market crash. Talk to them, listen, and if it’s within your means, offer your help, however small it may be. Helping others who are less fortunate than you also helps you to put things in perspective. And who knows, they may be the ones who lend you a helping hand when the table is turned the next time.
Get enough sleep. During stressful time, we’re likely to skip on sleep, either voluntarily or not. But in reality, you’ll need more quality sleep during stressful times than ever so that you can remain energetic, clear-headed and focused to figure out your next steps.
Limit bad news intake. Being constantly fed with gloomy news is enough to make even a dog panic for no reason. Hearing bad news once is enough, not ten times of the same news in different versions from every gadget that you own.
Join forces with others. When bad things happen, it’s easy to become close-minded. But chances are, you’re not alone during difficult times. There are likely to be many people who feel the same way as you do even though they may not voice out loud. For instance, if you’re worried about job security, recruit the help of your boss by discussing the implications of the crisis on your job and what you can best do to keep it. Your boss will appreciate your proactive approach and may even be glad that there’s someone who shares the same sentiment. If you’re unemployed, besides making trips to recruitment and government agencies to cast your employment net, connect with others who are in the same boat as you. Take this lull period to expand your network. The many talented friends that you’ll make during hard times could become lifetime friendships, and even turn into unexpected help in the future. And if you’re an employer, this is a great time to boost your business with skillful and experienced people to help you ride out the crisis.
Get close to nature. Finnish researchers found that spending time in your favorite outdoor area and woodlands are more relaxing and restorative than time spent in your favorite urban settings or city parks (Korpela KM et al. 2010). Taking a mindful walk through the woods is also a great way to clear the mind and regain mental balance.
Re-evaluate the meaning of your life. Tough times present hard but valuable lessons that force us to re-evaluate the meanings we’ve been attaching to our lives. Ask yourself: “Do the meanings and goals I’ve been living by before the crisis really worthwhile? Through this crisis, what are the things that I’ve found to be really important? And what are those that are not as precious as what I once thought to be?”
“Man is not free from conditions. But he is free to take a stand in regard to them. The conditions do not completely condition him. Within limits it is up to him whether or not he succumbs and surrenders to the conditions. He may as well rise above them and by so doing open up and enter the human dimension…Ultimately, man is not subject to the conditions that confront him; rather, these conditions are subject to his decision. Wittingly or unwittingly, he decides whether he will face up or give in, whether or not he will let himself be determined by the conditions.” — An excerpt from Psychotherapy and Existentialism
May your spirit grow stronger in the face of crisis!
“Face it, most women want marriage, and they want to have children,” says Susan Heitler, Ph.D., author of The Power of Two. “If you’re withholding either or both, you’re inviting the risk of her turning to someone else who can make that commitment and give her children.”
The plan: Make it clear that you’re thinking of living together as a starting point. Talk about the future. Talk about her in your future.
She Thinks You’ve Cheated
Revenge affairs are common. Women have them in an attempt to restore self-esteem and feel desirable again.
“It comes down to human nature,” Heitler says. “She’ll want to get even.” She won’t necessarily go out looking to hook up, but when she’s tempted, the fact that you’ve done it may weaken her self-control.
The plan: If you are cheating or have cheated before, confess and apologize. A survey conducted by Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monogamy Myth, showed that 86 percent of couples who discussed one partner’s affair were still married, compared with 59 percent of couples who barely talked about it.
If you’re not cheating, you have one paranoid woman on your hands. She probably has low self-confidence. Your job: Compliment her, sincerely, specifically, and often.
“You can make her feel better about herself so she won’t become vulnerable to these unfounded suspicions,” Fischoff says.
She’s Not Getting Enough
Oxytocin, a hormone that plays a central role in our urge to bond, spikes to levels three to five times higher than usual just before orgasm. The hormone is more intense in females than in males, so women develop a stronger sense of bonding through sex.
“If the two of you are not having as much sex as you used to, she might interpret this as a sign that you don’t find her attractive and that you don’t love her,” Fischoff says. “She may seek someone outside the relationship to validate that she’s still sexually attractive.”
A so-so sex life could also mean you have unresolved problems between you. Research conducted by Shirley Glass, Ph.D., author of Not Just Friends, found that 79 percent of cheating women cited dissatisfaction in the marriage as the cause.
The plan: Have more sex. If she’s the one who doesn’t want sex, investigate why. Fix it. Get naked.
She’s Ready to Bolt
One more reason a woman might cheat: She wants to dump you. Infidelity can break up couples, so she might cheat on purpose as an easy out.
David Buss, a Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The Evolution of Desire, asked 100 men and women which tactic they would use to get out of a bad relationship. One of the most common answers: Start an affair.