NAKED THERAPY, the book about my thoughts as the founder and sole practitioner of this new therapeutic modality, will be published one day. To be notified of its publication, please join my newsletter by entering your email in the form to the right. Below is an excerpt.
If you are interested in taking part in my Naked Therapy practice, visit SarahWhiteTherapy.com.
My name is Sarah White, and I am the Naked Therapist. I founded my Naked Therapy practice in October 2010, and since then I have met with over 1,000 clients – all men – and conducted Naked Therapy sessions with them. As of the publication of this book I believe myself to be the only practicing Naked Therapist on the planet, and almost all the thoughts in this book come from experiences I’ve had while practicing Naked Therapy.
So, before I ask you to read on, it seems only fair that I should answer the question I know to be in the forefront of your mind:
What IS Naked Therapy?
In a sense, it’s simple. Naked Therapy is a therapy done naked. I am naked and/or my client is naked during a talk therapy session. We don’t always start out that way, but one or both of us usually gets there. Almost all my Naked Therapy sessions are done via webcam, though I’ve done a few in-person sessions as well. When done via webcam, three scenarios occur: the client and I can see and hear each other; we can see each other but we are text chatting; the client cannot see me but I can’t see him and we are either voice chatting or text chatting. The first scenario is the most common.
That’s the technical definition, but before I expand on what Naked Therapy really IS in a broader sense, let me say what it is not. It is not sex camming, primarily because a sex cam girl is there to do what her client wants, and if she doesn’t, he probably logs off. I am there to help my client improve, and succeeding at this often involves saying “No” to him. In other words, I am his therapist, not his call girl. The client and I do not ever touch each other, though he often touches himself. I do touch myself, but only lightly, and only upon request. By light touching I mean I will lightly touch my breast or my belly, I will lightly touch my lips or my face, or I will lightly touch my rear end. That’s as far as I go, and, again, I only do it if the client requests it AND I deem it something that would be beneficial to him at that point in his progress of self-discovery. For the record, only about 1/3 of my clients request that I touch myself. And, because I think it bears repeating, let me be clear: Naked Therapy is not merely a “do this, do that” request session for the client, such as sex camming is. Naked Therapy is therapy that involves lots of talking by the client and listening by the therapist, with the occasional moments of chat geared toward basic physical arousal.
Which leads me to what Naked Therapy IS in a broader sense. Naked Therapy is an accepting space, a collaborative performance, an intimate dialogue that my client and I create together so that he can he can experience arousal, insight, fun, frustration, intimacy, trust, freedom, sadness, loss of inhibition, power, confidence, regret, motivation, admiration, awe, vitality, happiness, sadness, ecstasy, bewilderment, and more…all so that he can achieve psychological insight into his life, so he can realize his dreams, so he can be more of what he wants to be, so he can break bad habits and adopt good ones, so he can be more loving with the people he knows, so he can feel better about himself, and so he can lead a happier, healthier, more actualized life.
That’s what Naked Therapy IS, and even as wonderful and helpful as it sounds (and believe me, it is wonderful and helpful), I know that there are plenty of you out there who think it’s a scam and I’m just a stripper, but that’s okay. I accept your feelings. But it is my hope that you will continue to read on, because what you’re going to find out as you make your way through these pages is that my practicing Naked Therapy has brought about some very real discoveries about how men work…discoveries that might not have ever been made had I not started taking it all to help them feel better. And it’s these discoveries that I want to share with you so that, be you a man or a woman, you can have a better understanding of what’s going on with men. And that’s important. Because, let’s face it – if prison records and suicide lists and substance abuse centers and bad marriages and indicators of depression and poor communication efforts and ill-health and resistance to therapy and outright horrid behavior are any indicator – men are having a really hard time of it right now.
After all, consider what I call…
The Man Problem:
Men commit suicide four times as often as women.1
Men are ten times more likely to commit murder or robbery.
Twenty four times more men than women are in prisons and juvenile halls.
The street homeless are ninety percent male.
Forty-three times more men than women are likely to end up in psychiatric hospitals.
More than two-thirds of all alcoholics are men.
Fifty percent more men than women are regular users of illicit drugs.
Seventy-five percent of victims of homicide are male.
Further, no one needs a set of statistics to know that marriages and relationships around the world are dying or already dead because men look at porn, cheat, refuse to talk openly about their feelings, or have simply “checked out.”
Women are four times more likely than men to seek therapy.
In what the NY Times describes as the “feminization” of therapy, men earn only one in five of all master’s degrees awarded in psychology and account for less than 10 percent of social workers under the age of 34 and 10 percent of the American Counseling Association’s membership.2
While men constitute 37 percent of the total number of patients in therapy, why are they are? “More often than not, the impetus is a woman” in what is referred to as “the wife-mandated referral.”3
More than one in five men in the Therapy in America survey said they didn’t trust therapists and wouldn’t want to be associated with the type of person who receives therapy. Only one in 10 women held these views.
In other words, the people who need therapy the most – men – are getting it the least.
Of course, if you open any psychology/psychotherapy book about men, you’re going to hear that they are resistant to therapy, don’t like to talk about their problems and share their emotions because it shows them to be vulnerable, do not generally possess the social personality type that responds to a helping environment, and therefore they are usually “disinclined to continue in counseling” (The New Handbook, 19), let alone start it at all other than through a wife-mandated referral (going because their partner insists they do).
To me, this sounds like the inflexible parent blaming the inflexible child for being inflexible.
So what should we do? Should we just keep offering men the same staid therapeutic methods and blaming them for not going to therapy? Should we keep declaring that there’s something inherently contradictory between the male personality and therapy? We’ve tried that, and it hasn’t worked. Yet therapy, which is supposed to bring sanity into the world, continues to act textbook crazy by doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
It’s time to admit the obvious: traditional therapy has failed men.
It’s time to try something new, something radical, something that meets men where they are.
It’s time to stop blaming men for not going to therapy and start changing therapy so that it appeals to men.
It’s time to stop saying, “Men should get help,” and start saying, “Help should ‘get’ men.”
I’s time to stop denying and engaging, and start engaging and utilizing, the therapeutic value of men’s natural inclinations.
It’s time to help men overcome the maddening split between desire and thought, instinct and reason, sexuality and mentality.
It’s time to help men learn how to stop “losing their minds” and start “speaking their minds.”
It’s time to help men keep their heads on when faced with an object of desire so they can learn to function rationally in a world that is so arousing and yet so ungiving.
It’s time for two words that have been strictly prohibited from even being in the same room together to sit down together and start talking…
Men need therapy.
Men love naked.
So it’s time to leave the 19th century, get over our prudish fears, start taking our clients for what they are, not what we want them to be, and welcome Naked Therapy into the conversation.
It’s time to do something radical…
It’s time for Naked Therapy, and here’s why:
Naked Therapy gets men into therapy
“I want to make some discoveries about myself, and the chance to do that while also totally ogling you as you undress? Pretty much irresistible.” – David G., Naked Therapy client
Obviously, men enjoy looking at naked women, and with the Internet, they are doing it more than ever, for longer periods of time than ever and in more contexts than ever. They are viewing photos, downloading videos, and even conversing with naked women via chat rooms and sex cams. Naked Therapy accepts this existent male desire and activity as something that is part of their identity; it is something to be encouraged and explored, not discouraged and ignored – that’s why Naked Therapy gets men into therapy. Think of it as the proverbial “spoonful of sugar” that “helps the medicine go down.” The nakedness of Naked Therapy is, at the most basic level, a lure that draws men into seeking the help they so badly need. But it is about more than just getting them in the door; it’s also about getting them back out the door healthier, freer and more powerful than they were when they came in.
Naked Therapy is a peace offering
“I chose Naked Therapy because almost every single person I’ve ever been able to establish a close relationship with has told me that I should see a therapist, but I generally distrust doctors/psychiatrists so I thought this might be a way of getting an independent third-party’s perspective without the inherent distrust I associate with traditional doctor/patient-type relationships.” – Owen F.
Men are highly competitive by nature, and based on sessions that I’ve had with my clients, many of them feel that competitiveness in the therapy room because they feel the all-powerful, concealed therapist is trying to dominate them. By being willing to show my clients my body, I make them a peace offering. I am effectively saying: This is who I am. I know you want to see me naked, and I am not here to hide from or dominate you. I am not competing with you. I want to give you what you want so that you can let your guard down and experience your feelings in a non-defensive way.
That’s one reason men love being in therapy with me. I open up to men so they open up to me.
Naked Therapy supports arousal
“In real life I’ll be having a great conversation with a woman and at the same time I really want to see her naked. But if I started staring at the V of her blouse, it would be unacceptable. But here it’s encouraged, so it feels very transgressive, and yet very right. That’s what’s so thrilling about it.” – Vivek R.
Men live in a world saturated with arousal. From the scantily clad women walking down the street to the countless naked images on the Internet to the omnipresent stream of eroticized mass media, they are faced with the unattainable and arousing object of desire. Indeed, men don’t just live surrounded by arousal; arousal is the medium through which they think and conceive of their world. To separate arousal from thought and feeling for a man makes no sense, and that’s why traditional therapy has failed to attract them. Asking a man to consider himself while in a state of non-arousal is like asking him to talk without using his tongue. Arousal is the MUSCLE by which he flexes and moves his intellectual and emotional self. So not only is the separation of thought and arousal impossible for a man, it is undesirable; separating it produces false, over-intellectualized, and misplaced insights that are unmoored from their natural basis. This is why men find therapy so ineffective. Its restrictions against arousal make it too abstract, too intellectual, and, to put it crudely, too feminine. Men want therapy, but men aren’t stupid. They know you can’t teach someone to swim by talking to them about swimming. You need to get them in the water.
Yet traditional therapists keep offering men the same old “no go” methods – repressive, out-of-touch talk therapy sessions where arousal is forbidden despite the fact that men live in a world filled with arousal – the very thing that men are trying to successfully navigate in order to avoid running into problems.
In short, the traditional therapist would never get naked in front of his/her patient because the “arousal” that might cause would “obstruct” therapeutic progress. In Naked Therapy, the opposite is the case. The naked therapist uses arousal to enhance therapeutic progress. That’s why Naked Therapy works for men.
Naked Therapy addresses the “focus issue”
“Before I started I didn’t know how I was going to handle seeing you naked AND focusing on my issues…[but] seeing you helps me focus better on my issues. Or, to put it another way, it makes focusing on my issues actually exciting. That is not something I could have said before I met you.” – Troy W.
Our modern world, much of it still in the shadow of Freudianism, has created a split between desire and thought, instinct and reason, sexuality and mentality. This has generated a schizophrenic reality for men. When faced with a naked woman, or, more generally, an object of arousal, they “lose their head.” They can’t think, speak, or feel anything. They just react, crave, obsess. The challenge that every man faces in Naked Therapy – to contemplate and discuss himself while also staring at and interacting with an object of desire – is the same challenge a man faces every day of his adult life. The world arouses men, yet they constantly find it difficult to “keep their head” in this increasingly arousing world.
As a man develops through Naked Therapy, he learns to integrate his desire with his thought, his instincts with his reason, his sexuality with his mentality. This brings about whole new worlds of confidence, happiness, opportunity and, ultimately, self-realization.
Naked Therapy engages men in their comfort zone
“As the naked therapist’s clothes came off, I found myself more concentrated, insightful, thoughtful and excited about exploring [my] life and making positive changes.” – Justin Silverman, TheDaily.com
As any woman knows, it’s hard to get a man off the couch and into the doctor, let alone to see a therapist. Thanks to the innovation of the webcam, Naked Therapy sessions are able to happen between me and my clients, and they can be sitting right in their comfort zone – in their house, office, or bedroom. This is not only convenient, it’s therapeutically valuable for men. They don’t feel the intimidation of someone else’s space. They don’t sense the stiff air of a clinician’s office. Instead they can sit in private and just really let it all hang out. As far as therapeutic environments, it couldn’t be more comfortable. Though it’s obviously about more than just comfort. Naked Therapy actually co-opts the space in which men today are more and more spending their time – online, checking scores, answering emails, trading stocks, swapping jokes, and, of course, looking at naked women. This private, often self-pleasuring space – generally frowned upon as shameful and isolating – is being co-opted by Naked Therapy and turned to beneficial purposes. After all, if men are going to do it, aren’t we obligated as caregivers to help them actually get something valuable out of it? Do you wait for the alcoholic to set up the intervention, or do you go to them? Exactly.
Naked Therapy helps men learn to talk to women
“I have been paralyzed in front of women most of my life, which is why I didn’t want you to remove your clothes in our first few sessions. But I’m getting over that ” – Domnov G.
Many of my clients have a hard time talking to women. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the main ones is just simple “nervousness.” This is largely due to the fact that a man’s communicative abilities are overwhelmed by his desires, consequently he “shuts down.” In this sense, Naked Therapy is a version of exposure therapy. It puts a man face-to-face with what he fears most – the object of desire – and it helps him overcome his feelings of fear. He learns to integrate his desires into his communicative abilities so that he can function and prosper around women.
Naked Therapy performs, rather than discusses, the object of desire
“I think Naked Therapy is such a fresh honest approach in a world where sexuality is kind skewed to say the least. Yer hot, yer idea is hot and you rock.” – Stan Y.
For decades men have been living a split existence. They go into therapy to merely talk about the object of desire, then they leave the couch and they indulge in the object of desire. And never the twain shall meet. Naked Therapy performs, rather than discusses, the object of desire, and as such it is an immersive, genuine and relevant experience.
Some of my clients who have been in traditional therapy have stated that the residual effects of Naked Therapy – the feelings and thoughts they gained in the therapy session that resonate outside the therapy session – are more powerful for them than in traditional therapy. The environment of Naked Therapy is more akin to the environment they live in, so what they think and feel in that environment is more relevant to their life. I think of Naked Therapy as having the same value for men in their lives as flight simulators do for pilots. To train a pilot, you want to teach them to operate the controls under flight conditions, so flight simulators were created to emulate those conditions. Naked Therapy emulates the conditions of life in that it is conducted in a state of arousal, and as such what men learn in their Naked Therapy sessions is more directly relatable to real life, where arousal is a constant.
Naked Therapy can aid in overcoming porn addiction
“What if you’re right, then—that having another object of desire is enough to free you from the objects already unravelling you is the answer? Based on our sessions so far, I think you are. It used to be desire that was killing me. Now it’s desire that’s saving me.” – Joachim O.
Internet pornography is a new and major issue for men, and it’s affecting their lives and their relationships. As Time Magazine reported at the 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two-thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half of such cases. And, as counterintuitive as it may seem, addiction to Internet porn is one of the things that is addressed by Naked Therapy in a unique and effective way.
Many of my clients have said that talking with me via cam has been integral in the process of their weaning themselves off pornography because with the self-discoveries they’re making in their Naked Therapy sessions they are realizing the “emptiness” of porn. Further, in having meaningful conversations with me they realize that the naked women they’re looking at in porn are real people; it alters their ability to view them solely as objects of fantasy and encourages them to seek more meaningful interactions in real life.
Naked Therapy gives men self-confidence
“I have been trying to branch out with how comfortable I am with my body, as well as my sexuality…and our sessions are changing my life because they’re helping me get comfortable with myself.” – Trevor H.
Patient after patient tells me that their self-confidence has increased since entering Naked Therapy. There are many reasons for this, but I believe a primary one is that in general my patients view the act of getting to see me naked as a triumph on their part. Not only has my generosity at showing a client what he wants to see made him feel as if he is worthy of attention, but the interest, enthusiasm and trust that I give to each of my clients make him feel powerful and confident, and he takes this power and confidence into the rest of his life.
Naked Therapy is what men want
“This whole thing is running in my mind like wildfire & cannot stop thinking about you. Your work is so exciting & wish more women could be like you – THIS IS WHAT MEN WANT!!!” – Ricardo S.
Countless patients have told me that one thing they love about Naked Therapy is simply that it’s not as boring as traditional therapy – they actually look forward to it. Though it’s a stereotype, there is certainly some truth in the claim that men get a rush from things that are exciting and thrilling, and in giving them this thrilling experience in a context that is so therapeutically valuable for their greater lives, I am doing them a great service (See the Patient Feedback in the proposal’s appendix).
Naked Therapy intrigues men. It excites men. It informs men. It challenges men. It focuses men. It arouses men. It thrills men. It fulfills men. Naked Therapy makes sense to men. That’s why Naked Therapy is an important part of the solution to the Global MENtal Health Crisis…