Introducing the Mindful Model of Sexual Health
Gretchen Blycker, LMHC, LMT, CYT
Changes occurring over the last century have opened up opportunities and freedoms that have transformed the landscape of culture and different systems in many ways. As a result of these ongoing changes, our out-dated maps for navigating sexual health and relationships are not necessarily as helpful as they may have been because they were developed to address past realities and norms. We need new ways of accessing direction for navigating our lives in a manner that promotes health and balance within ourselves, in the setting of our rapidly and continuously changing world. We need navigational systems and tools that are both inclusive of all people and that allow for the complexities and individual differences of supporting the multiplicity of expressions of our personal individualized authentic sexual selves.
This new model provides a structure for organizing the unique and dynamic information from an individual’s body and mind. Health requires that we are connected to our whole selves. The Mindful Model of Sexual Health acknowledges our inherent wholeness and our interconnectivity as well as the complexity of myriad factors that influence sexual health, subjective satisfaction, and contentment. This model provides a map to navigate the intricacies of the many influencing factors that create a balance towards, or barriers to, sexual health. This model also serves to increase awareness and understanding of oneself in order to actively integrate mental health, sexual health, and relational health.
There are many benefits of mindfully managing sexual health. Mindful management is empowering and proactive by developing and practicing skills that identify what specifically promotes balance and health for each individual, as well as what leads to imbalance. It is an integrative approach that includes a holistic perspective of including body and mind in identifying and cultivating the development of an individual’s authentic sexual self. There are simple tools to use to access information in order to make informed decisions for more immediate course correction that is advantageous for long-term contentment and well-being.