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Educational Videos



Your Depression Toolkit

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10/23/2016 03:05 PM

I won't lend you my lawnmower, because you'll probably never return it. However, I do have some other tools that I could lend you from my depression toolkit. Depression is difficult. Motivation disappears and the sun is nowhere to be seen, but there can be some light at the end of the tunnel. One of my top three tools for fighting depression is sunshine itself. When the sun shines, go outside, open the drapes, or seek out light therapy.

Check out my podcast for more tools like this for managing depression.


How to Teach Your Teen About Sex

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10/23/2016 02:51 PM

When you tell your teenager to wear a helmet, you aren't advocating for bicycle accidents and head trauma. You want to protect them against possible crashes. Similarly, when you teach your teenagers about safe sex, you are advocating for their safety.

Watch my new video for more tips on how to talk to your teenagers about sex. 

Making a Baby-Your Fertility Guide to Sexual Health

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06/13/2014 12:04 PM

Many couples are in the business of making a baby. This business takes a lot of work for some couples. There are natural ways to try and some helpers that you can use if you are seeing a fertility doctor or your OBGYN. One challenge couples face when making a baby is that sex becomes more of a chore and less fun. In this blog, I will offer some helpful tips for how to make babies in a fun way while still following baby making protocols.

Typically, your doctor will suggest that you find out when you are ovulating. This can easily be done by getting an ovulation tester kit. The tester kit will read positive when you are beginning your ovulation period. Once you get a positive read, it is best to have sex either every day or at least every other day for each day you test positive on your ovulation test kit. The length of time you test positive using the ovulation mit can vary from 3 to 7 days. Most doctors will discourage men from masturbating in between sexual sessions so that all the sperm is being utilized for reproduction.

If couples have used this method for a year to two years and are still not getting pregnant, the next step is usually Clomid. Clomid is a fertility drug that helps ensure that the woman is ovulating. An OBGYN will prescribe its use for around 6 months starting with the lowest dose in the first months and gradually increasing it over the 6 month period. However, there are some side effects to using this drug. Some women report feeling hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and/or dizziness. For a complete list of potential side effects, you can read up about Clomid on their website. For some women, the effects of the medicine are not very fun or condusive for easy sex.

For some couples, planning sex like this can be daunting. You may enjoy sex, but not enjoy it as much when it feels you have to plan ahead or you have to have sex even when you don't want to. A good strategy is to try for a month or two and then take a break and enjoy sex as usual. This helps couples experience sex in the way they most naturally enjoy it.

Another helpful strategy is to try something new and fun each time. One day, a couple may enjoy sex as usual, while the next time they may have sex in the shower. One time you may try a little role play, while another day you may where sexy lingerie or dress real nice for each other. Whatever you do, try to make it more fun and less of a chore.

A final helpful strategy to use is to intentionally put yourselves in the mood for sex. For many couples, they wait until the mood naturally strikes to have sex. However, there are many ways couples can put themselves in the mood for sex intentionally. For example, you can watch a sexy movie together to get sex on your mind. During the day you can send flirty texts or emails back and forth to each other. You can read sexy books and articles or you can just take some time to fantasize. Whatever you do, take some time to intentionally put yourself in the mood and that way sex will be much more fun.

Angela Skurtu, M.Ed., LMFT, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, owns St. Louis Marriage Therapy, a private practice in Ballwin, MO. For more information or to make an appointment, please fill out the contact form or call 314-973-7997.

Want to Reconnect? Great Date Escapes for Couples in St. Louis

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05/09/2014 03:02 PM

One of the most common suggestions I give to couples trying to reconnect is to start dating again. However, many people have been out of the dating game so long they don't know how to start or what to do.

For starters, if you are trying to reconnect, it may be difficult to just do the usual dinner and movie. Many couples will say the date is boring or they have nothing to talk about. They leave the date feeling frustrated and less close than they did before. In order to reconnect, your dates need a few compenents for the date to be successful. 1) Involve some level of risk; 2) Accomplish a task or goal together; 3) Come with a good attitude.

1) Involve some level of risk. There was a recent study done that showed that couples who engaged in something somewhat risky together for their first date felt higher levels of connectivity than couples who engaged in a mundane task. It doesn't take much to be a little risky. You can try a new food or a unique activity you have never done before like tango dancing. The key to risk is just doing something out of the ordinary. This gives you new shared experiences to talk about as a couple.

2) Accomplish a task or goal together. Do something active rather than passive. Couples can go on a hike, learn a new dance, golf, bowl, or do anything else. The key is to pick an activity that so that if the conversation does get dull, you have something to preoccupy that time. Again, new shared experiences will lead to conversations down the road.

3) Come with a good attitude. Ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecy? It basically means that if you think something will be bad, it will turn out bad because you set yourself up to feel that way. Likewise, if you plan to have a good time, you will likely have a good time because you came in with a good attitude. The tip is to say to yourself, "No matter what happens, I am going to enjoy myself." Some partners will even take turns planning their date nights. The person who plans chooses everything that happens during the night, gets the babysitter, and chooses things they would like to try. The person who doesn't plan gets to enjoy it. The only way to do so is to come with a good attitude.

If you aren't sure what there is to do, here are a few Great Date Escapes right here in St. Louis:

1) Go dancing at Dance Pizazz in St. Charles, Club Viva in Central West End, Wild Country across the river in Illinois, Ritz Carlton Lounge in Clayton, or Casaloma Ballroom in St. Louis. Each of these dance establishments offers a variety of dance styles including ballroom, salsa, line dancing, swing, and many other styles. Some also offer classes that teach you how to do the dances.

2) Go hiking, biking, swimming, horseback riding and/or picnic at one of the many State Parks including Babler State Park, Castlewood State Park, Busch Wildlife, Creve Coeur Park, Tower Grove Park and Forest Park.

3) Go listen to live music or see a performance at the St. Charles Riverfront, the Muny, the Funny Bone, the Improv Shop, Powell Symphony Hall, or various local bars. You can also perform the music yourself at a Karaoke Bar.

4) Try a unique restaurant and eat foods that you would never typically eat including Bosnian, Korean, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Indian, or any other ethnicity you have never tried. If you like the idea of cookinh, several spots allow customers to join an evening cooking class date night such as Schnucks and Dierbergs. You can also try cooking a unique dish at home as a project together.

5) Visit a unique part of town and explore everything that neighborhood has to offer. St. Louis is known for having unique carved out neighborhoods that each have their own character, history and architectural style. A few neighborhoods to explore include Kirkwood, Lafayette Square, Webster Groves, the Loop, Central West End, Soulard, Maplewood, Washington Blvd., Dogtown, the Hill, and many others. Take a day and explore the shops, the restaurants, and the local architecture. I like to go from restaurant to restaurant and order a small dish at multiple places.

Finally, no matter what you do, just make it priority. There are too many excuses couples have for skipping out on dates. If you really want to reconnect with your partner, stop giving excuses, and start making your love life a priority.

Top Tips for Successful Online Dating

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04/29/2014 02:35 PM

Many clients tell me that their online dating ventures go awry. When asked what they did wrong, they each have similar challenges the faced. The truth is there is a good way to date online and there is a bad way. Here are a few tips for how to make the most of your own online dating experience.

1) Don't spend too much time online chatting before meeting. Online dating is meant to an avenue for you to meet a potential partner. While clients begin to experience feelings about a person prior to meeting them, you can never truly know if you have real feelings until you meet that person. You may connect with who they portray themselves to be, but you still have to fall in love with their mannerisms, the way they communicate face to face, and you have to know if there is any real spark.

The way people act in person can be completely different than who they are online. Writing gives people an easy way to filter their thoughts and really think about what they want to say. In person, that same filter is not there. A good rule is to limit your online and phone chatting to no longer than one to two weeks. This way you don't waste too much of your time or your heart with the wrong person.

2) Always meet in a public space for the first date. Since you are meeting a complete stranger, meeting in a public place ensures you are safe. While many individuals are going to be perfectly fine, it's better to be safe than sorry.

3) Pick a fun, active thing to do in your first date. Many individuals think of a typical dinner and a movie as a good first date. The trouble with this date is that you are meeting a stranger. Dinner leaves many opportunities for lulls in conversation. The movie prevents almost any opportunity to talk. Instead, opt for a fun active date such as mini-golf, hiking at a popular park, bowling, a dance lesson, etc. By choosing something active, you can fill lulls in conversation with the activity. Also, if you choose to do dinner after, then you already have a shared experience you can talk about.

4) Plan to have a good time no matter what you do. Attitidude is everything. If you go on a date with a plan to enjoy whatever comes your way, you'll always have a good date. You may not end up with the person you meet, but at least you have a good time. This accomplishes two things. First, you attract good partners by being a good person yourself. It is important to find ways to make your life fun and be present in the moment whatever the moment may be.

The second thing this accomplishes is that you don't feel like you wasted your time. I know of one client who made every date something very cool she wanted to do. One date, she went zip lining! The next date she went Scuba Diving! The next date, someone flew her out to the cornfields of Iowa! Don't assuming you will just waste your time if the date doesn't go anywhere. Instead, make it a worthwhile experience.

5) Come prepared with a few questions that are conversation starters. Do a little research and find questions or topics that will help the conversation keep going. You can ask them questions about themselves, questions about life goals, politics, or anything you can think of. Keep these questions around for any of your dates. This way, you will have more fun things to talk about.

Finally, recognize that dating is a process. You may meet "the one" the first date, but most people have to date around before they find "the one." Take it easy on yourself, and don't forget to take days that are just about you and your own self care. 

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