Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sex therapist: Four relationship trends in Charlotte

Every person has had a problem with a relationship, and if you haven’t, brace yourself because it’s bound to happen.

I was curious about what problems tend to affect Charlotte couples, so I sought out the advice of Lisa Terrell, a certified sex therapist, marital counselor and owner of Lydia’s Loom Counseling in Charlotte.

She has noted, below, four relational trends she’s encountered most often through her practice.

They’re quite interesting; two of them are almost a "no-duh" (Banker syndrome and affluent-za) while one surprises me a little (International flavor) because Charlotte doesn't feel like it's as diverse as Washington, D.C., or Atlanta.

Here's Terrell's four relational trends:

Banker syndrome
Individuals who work for one of the banks and are working so hard to facilitate their career that their personal relationships suffer. This could be singles, newly marrieds, and couples with children of all ages.

This may not just be special to Charlotte, but it's when a couple "has everything:" money, solid career, bright future, and yet they are unhappy together as a couple and with their lives as a whole. They think, "maybe we should split because we aren’t feeling it together; maybe there’s another person who will feel more exciting, etc."

The International Lifestyle Association asserts that 15 percent of couples in the U.S. have at some point incorporated swinging in their marriage. I have tried to find specific stats for Charlotte, but although there are many Web sites and groups for swingers I could not find hard data. I have seen a steady increase in couples or individuals seeking help. I moved here in 1999, and I did not get a swinging-related inquiry until 2003. Most recently, I am fielding one to two inquiries a month. This isn’t necessarily a scientific statistic, but it’s an indicator for me. Of course, I don’t come in contact with "swingers" seeking my services until something goes wrong.

20-30’s singles scene has a diverse international flavor
Young professionals are working here from all over the world.
CHOA (Charlotte Outdoor Adventures) is the place that people usually try at least once to check out the singles scene. Most singles or people who have recently been single have taken a trip through the CHOA activities.

Now and are becoming mainstream with my single clients.


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