In a recent post I discussed what values are and how Valued Sexual Living can help your clients develop greater psychological flexibility and get unstuck from sexual ruts.
In this post I want to focus on Commitment, the next AC Coaching process you can use to help your clients get unstuck. Commitment builds upon Valued Sexual Living by taking the sexual values clients identify in that process and using them to set values-based personal and relationship sexual goals.
When your clients’ sexual actions are connected to their sexual values they have a clear purpose and direction. The thing that makes any action purposeful is the notion of intent. When clients do something on purpose, they do it intentionally, not by chance, or on a whim. When clients engage in purposeful living they intentionally live their lives according to their values, goals, and plans.
In a sexual sense, purpose could include things such as strengthening sexual relationships with partners, exploring gender identity and gender roles, or expanding their repertoire of sexual behaviors. Finding purpose in their sexuality is central to helping clients unleash the power of their sexual minds.
By including AC Coaching principles and practices into your sex coaching, clients automatically begin finding their purpose. Through mindfulness, clients notice their sexual thoughts, personal scripts, mental images and emotions and assess how they contribute to getting stuck. Acceptance shows clients the reality and what can and cannot be changed helps refine their purpose. Valued living helps clients clarify their sexual values and sets the stage for commitment. These tools and techniques help clients become more intentional in their actions and gives their sexual relationships purpose and direction.
Commitment is the process of engaging in values-congruent behavior while co-existing with troubling thoughts and painful emotions.
Acceptance and Commitment work together:
- Acceptance is the cognitive component
- Commitment is the action component
Commitment training involves showing clients how to coexist with troubling thoughts, painful emotions etc. associated with taking action. Rather than trying to control, avoid, or eliminate all pain and suffering before taking any action, clients learn how to commitment involves embrace it and carrying it along for the ride.
To help understand this you can use this phrase:
“In the service of ____ goal (cite the goal) I am willing to accept____ (describe the pain and suffering) while doing _____ (specify the behavior).”
This phrase helps clients connect their acceptance of their pain in suffering connected to taking action with the value it supports.
“In the service of pleasing my wife, I am willing to accept my anxiety and disgust related to her request to watch x-rated films with her before having sexual intercourse.”
This example shows how the clients is willing to accept and co-exist with his pain and suffering (feeling anxious and disgusted) related to watching x-rated films with his wife before having sex with her because he values their sexual relationship and is willing to do this to please her (another value).
Values are the motivational link for between acceptance and committing to take action. Clients commit to co-exist with their pain and suffering because they value what they need to do more than they value being stuck in the sexual rut they are in.
Setting Values-Congruent Sexual and Relationship Goals
Goals and objectives go hand-in-hand. I tell clients to think of the relationship as having your head in the clouds and your feet planted firmly on the ground. Goals are the head in the clouds part and objectives are the feet planted firmly on the ground part.
Goals are broad statements that are not necessarily measurable such as; “I want to have a great sex life with my partner,” “I want to have a happy marriage,” or “I want to have a more adventurous sex life.”
Measurable objectives are action-oriented. They are based on behavioral outcomes that can be quantified. Objectives are tightly written statements that answer the question; “Who, will do how much, of what, by when?”
- “By the end of next month I will try out two new intercourse positions with my partner.”
- “By the end of the year I plan to have sex with three new partners.”
- ” For our 20th wedding anniversary my wife and I will go on a romantic Caribbean cruise without the children.”
Clients could go back and easily measure any of these objectives because they all answer the who will do how much of what by when question.
Find out more about Commitment and other AC Coaching Principles and Practices
My new training course, Acceptance and Commitment (AC ) Coaching: Sexual Relationship Coaching for Committed Couples has been approved for 10 CEU Coaching Credits by CCE, the nation’s premiere coach credentialing organization.
Find out more by getting a copy of my Free Training Session; This 30 minute training session (a $79.00 value) introduces my Acceptance and Commitment (AC ) Coaching: Sexual Relationship Coaching for Committed Couples course and is yours free for the asking.