Intimacy and Sexuality

Relationships and sexual expression can be the source of much pleasure and joy
as well as pain and separation.


Intimacy and Connection

Couples coaching/therapy can help partners learn important communication skills, solve conflict better, shift defeating patterns, and improve attuned respond to create more security, trust, intimacy, and connection.

Important attachment issues can be addressed in how couple’s convey that you’re special, there for each other, and caring.

Helping couples decode negative interactions and the underlying feelings and needs while helping to improve acceptance and empathy for each other’s experience can allow couples find their way  back to a place of respect, love, and connection again.

By creating a safe environment, couples can explore triggers and the pain that underlies them and cultivate awareness of ineffective systems and patterns of relating, tend to past wounds and emotional pain, identify needs and longings, and have more opportunity to experience intimacy, vulnerability, connection, and trust.  By helping to build on personal strengths while appreciating differences, developing new skills for emotional regulation, communication, assertiveness, and problem solving, Valerie helps people to have more joyful and rewarding relationships.

Alternatively, if one partner is leaning out and one is leaning in, relationship therapy/coaching can help discern whether this is the right relationship for you and getting clarity about your commitment and willingness to work on the relationship. For more information on discernment counseling and separation divorce, click here.


disconnected couple in bedDo you find it difficult to:

  • Navigate differences in desire?
  • Talk about what really turns you on?
  • Tet out of your head and into your body?

Are you:

  • Distracted by stresses of the day?
  • Focused on appearances, and performance that take away from what it takes to feel pleasure, slow down, drop into a more sensual space?
  • Lost in resentment, not feeling open, receptive, trusting?

When stress, resentment, unresolved hurts build up, sexual desire diminishes. Trauma, religious/cultural messages and taboos, and other beliefs can contribute to suppression of allowing one to blossom into the full expression of who they are as a sexual being.

Healthy sexual expression and orgasm is healthy and provides a variety of health benefits.

“Orgasms are Mother Nature’s Ambien — without side effects!” – The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, April 2016

Sex therapy can help couples and individuals have difficult conversations about desire, pleasure, intimacy, and the nourishment they want from sex. Looking at what messages you got about sex, what you want from sexual intimacy, and the blocks to pleasure can help to embody yourself fully as a sexual being.

man and woman in shadow

Trained extensively in the field of sexuality, intimacy, and relationships, Valerie takes an eclectic approach to her work in all areas of relationship and sexuality. She has trained in:

  • Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples and Hold Me Tight programs of Sue Johnson
  • A Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) – Level 1 and 2
  • Hakomi for Couples – A Mindfulness Approach to Relationships
  • Somatica for Couples
  • Tantra and Sacred Sexuality
  • Human Awareness Institute (HAI)
  • Couples Communication (and teaching for Kaiser Behavioral Health),
  • Anger Management

Valerie is a member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) and the Northern California Community for Emotionally Focused Therapy (NCCEFT), and The Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT).

Valerie Sher has been a long-time practitioner and activist in the development of healthy relationships, sexuality, and embodiment. She uses a non-judgmental mindfulness-based approach in cultivating self-inquiry and growth and greater mind/body well-being. She gently works to understand the dance between partners that contributes to separation or closeness, connection and autonomy. She sees her work as an offering and cultivation of presence, courage, and compassion to allow others to safely explore and remove blocks to loving and relating more fully and effectively.

Contact Valerie Sher, Ph.D. at or 650-332-4656 to see if couples therapy is right for your partnership.