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Sexual problems and vaginismus help reviews
Genuine reviews from women who were helped with vaginismus and other sexual problems. Names have been changed to preserve confidentiality
Testimonial from London-based doctor
I had contacted Cara as I had vaginismus, and was getting increasingly frustrated as I did not feel I was making any progress with it, despite regular reviews with a (very good, very kind and very patient) gynaecologist and trying to regularly use dilators. I felt I had reached a roadblock and I genuinely did not know whether it would be something I would be able to overcome. I knew no matter how supportive my husband was, this would inevitably have ramifications upon our relationship and marriage. In fact, it already had.
As a GP, I had spent a long time thinking that perhaps there was a physical cause for this. However I also felt like this was a ‘catch 22’ situation because I did not feel comfortable enough to go for an examination. After reading a lot about vaginismus, other people’s experiences, I had to accept that my symptoms mirrored others, and that this was a psychosexual condition which I would need to overcome. After an initial review with a gynaecologist, I tried to use dilators as explained, however I felt I was making little progress. 8 months had passed and I still had not progressed to the third dilator.
I then decided to try other options, and contacted Cara regarding the Thrive programme. This was difficult for me – as a medic I try to be pragmatic about things, and dilating made more sense to me than thinking about other cognitive therapies which could help. I could understand that if we were able to gradually insert wider objects, our brain would process pain pathways differently and muscles would relax. However, I was not convinced having regular ‘talking’ sessions with someone could help.
My outlook changed after my first consultation with Cara. I realised not only would this programme likely help me with vaginismus, but with other aspects of my life.
‘Thrive’ enabled me to look at myself, my strengths, my weaknesses, my self-confidence, and my perceptions of things. I realised how much I had avoided addressing vaginismus previously -I had initially pretended there was not an issue, then I was too worried to order any dilators, then to book an appointment with a gynaecologist. I would look for excuses to avoid dilating or to dilate for less time. It was also something that I thought about as a ‘chore’ rather than a positive step forwards to having successful penetrative sex. I realised the importance of reinforcing to myself any positive steps (or even thoughts) I had taken, rather than putting myself down if I did not feel I had made progress.
Six months later, my husband and I were able to have successful penetrative sex, and we still are!
The programme also helped me in lots of other aspects -my work, friendships and my general outlook in things. I would highly recommended this programme. Cara was absolutely fantastic – very patient, enthusiastic, and also questioned me whenever she felt my thought processes may be deleterious!
Cara you changed my life and the way I think. Before I met Cara I went to see my doctor and they referred me to a councilor who basically blamed my past on why I had Vaginismus. From my first session with Cara I could tell it wasn’t my past but my present and the way think on a day to day basis.
With me, I didn’t know my body at all, I wasn’t even able locate my hole at all, and I was so scared of the pain to even insert an ear bud inside me let alone trying to let a penis in. I did all the exercises which was set by Cara on a daily basis to help me get used to something instead inside me. As I worked my way up to the next sizes of the vaginal trainers I could see that its was all in my head and the way I think which was causing the fear and I was getting worked up. Don’t get me wrong its wasn’t easy as I am unable to relax, but every time I inserted the trainer I was super proud of myself, and Cara also was proud as she was pleased for me every time which helped me want to love myself.
I am now able to insert all the trainers and vibrators and I’m enjoying it. I am still yet to have sexual intercourse, but I am now fully ready to have sexual intercourse when the right person comes along. Thank you soooo much Cara. Anyone who is finding it hard with vaginismus, please contact Cara. I know its hard to speak about it and how embarrassing it is, however she’s a life saver. Its not just Vaginism Cara helps with but also how to love yourself and feel about yourself. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner, my past relationships wouldn’t have ended if I did.
Rebecca S, USA
Realizing the anxiety I had always thought I could deal with alone had manifested into vaginismus caused me to hit rock bottom, and for my anxiety and emotions to feel desperately uncontrollable. I’m a healthy 30-something that doesn’t have hang-ups about sex from religion or trauma as many vaginismus resources focus on. I wanted to find a therapist who could help me address the underlying issues of vaginismus – my anxiety.
Cara guided me through building my self-esteem which was crucial for finally getting in control of anxiety. My advice for completing the Thrive course? Put in all the work that Cara gives you (and then some); even if you don’t feel like you can accomplish changing your anxiety and the personality traits you’ve always identified with, trust that doing the work will get you there (it will!); and don’t put yourself on the back burner, I wish I had found and done Thrive with Cara earlier because it changed my life.
Gone is the emotional roller coaster I was always on, the critical mean-spirited way I would talk to myself that I would never say to another person and the feeling of complete uncontrol over my emotions. You won’t come out perfect, but the change in the quality of your life increases exponentially. For me Thrive was fighting for the life I wanted and not settling for what I thought I deserved or was capable of.
I initially contacted Cara for help with managing pain. I’ve always felt myself to be a strong person with plenty of self esteem and self confidence but through talking to Cara and working through the Thrive programme I quickly realised that I didn’t really know or understand the real me. A few skeletons in my closet came out that I have kept locked away for ten years and I found myself in front of the most amazing lady that allowed me to talk to someone in a way I had never talked to anyone before. Cara has completely destressed me, sometimes going about my day I could be so overwhelmed I would just cry.
My perfectionist , black and white, brooding tendencies were very evident and I cannot believe the difference in me now. I feel so much happier physically and mentally now I have learnt how to deal with these traits so they impact less on my life. The one thing I am so grateful to Cara for, is that my relationship with my husband, on ice now for ten years due to my vaginismus and fear of painful sex post menapause, is back on path and she gave me the tools to fully understand why this had happened and what I could do to get over it. I had searched for help before more than once but achieved nothing. I thought I was beyond help I didn’t want to go there.
Communicating with Cara becomes – as you know her and you begin to know yourself – something you will ever be grateful for. The Thrive course will improve anyone’s life for the better, you do not need to think you have a problem to benefit and I could not recommend it more highly.
Riya, 26. To read her ‘Overcoming Vaginismus Diary’, Click here
We finally did it!!! I’m so so grateful to you for all your help and support. I feel stronger in all areas of my life and I can now finally say I’ve overcome vaginismus. Thank you so much to Cara for all your help and support over the past couple of months. You helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you told me a few months ago that I would have overcome my vaginismus, I would not have believed you. Now, I know that I can do it and it will get easier and more enjoyable each time.
The Thrive sessions have not only helped me with my Vaginismus but also helped me as a whole to understand, reflect and challenge my thoughts and beliefs. I feel stronger as an individual, empowered and full of positivity. Knowing that I am in control of my thoughts and what happens to me has been one of the most valuable lessons that I have learnt. I cannot thank you enough. Cara, I am so grateful for what you have helped me to achieve.
Client in New Zealand who had issues around sex and her body
I had been suffering in my relationship with sexual hang ups from a past abusive relationship. This really affected my ability to feel confident in myself and also enjoy my partner physically. I had a great deal of shame about my body and my sexuality.
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I found Cara very easy to talk to and she put me at ease quickly , throughout our sessions I began improving and was able to be more in control of my negative thinking towards myself and my situation, my self esteem has improved and I no longer feel the shame that had been with me for years, I feel much more peaceful and less stressed now. It was great that I wasn’t required to drag up my past and talk through it in detail to sort the issue out, I learned about myself and gained skills to help me achieve being the person I want to be.
Email from Helen, received February 2016
Hi Cara, I don’t know if you remember me, I saw for the treatment of vaginismus in 2013. I wanted to thank you so much for everything you did as I am now pregnant! For 10 years I didn’t think that would ever be a possibility. I found out on Xmas eve that we are expecting and had our 12 week scan yesterday. I just had to tell you and say thank you. I often think about you. Hope you are well x
Sunita, 25, Thrive Programme for vaginismus
I had suffered with the thought that there was something wrong with me in regards to having sex. I’d been to the doctors and had a few examinations to be told that I needed to see a gynaecologist. My fear of having sex had over taken my life to the point where I couldn’t overcome it for 8 years until I met Cara.
I thought I had a medical condition which actually turned out to be a state of mind that only Cara made me realise. I went through the Thrive programme and initially thought I have tried everything else let’s give it one last go. In my mind I felt like if a doctor cant help me how is talking about it going to. This is where I went wrong. Week by week I got that step further in being able to have sex and within 7 weeks I had sex properly for the first time!
Each time I embraced my achievements rather than focus on the negative and now I able to have sex enjoyably. All thanks to Cara! Thank you so much.
Lisa, 22, Thrive Programme for vaginismus
This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you want to overcome vaginismus in a simple logical way this is the way….it really is so simple. Before I started working with Cara and during the programme it felt like the most craziest complex problem to overcome and I now know how simple and logical it is to overcome and can apply the same process to anything I want to achieve in life and that fills me with confidence.
Zara, 23, Thrive Programme for vaginismus
I have been married for 2 years and after trying dilators, and seeking help from a psychosexual clinic via the NHS, I was still not able to have intercourse. I went to see Cara apprehensively. I had no faith whatsoever that she could help my condition using Thrive. Thrive sounded completely unrelated to vaginismus, like a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and I struggled to see how anyone could cure me by simply having a chat.
But within just 4 sessions with Cara I was able to have intercourse! What made me most apprehensive about Thrive has now become what I love about it the most. It’s holistic. It doesn’t just deal with vaginismus but every aspect of our thinking. It’s now helping me with other aspects of my life and has made me a more positive and happier person.
Sophie, Thrive Programme for vaginismus
Hi Cara, I hope you remember me – I completed the thrive programme with you around a year ago. I was seeing you for vaginismus.I wanted to let you know that I am completely cured of vaginismus. It didn’t happen straight away after completing the programme but I built up to it over about a month, just gradually pushing my boundaries and tolerating the uncomfortable feelings.
I am soooo much happier in all aspects of my life now. I feel more confident and comfortable in myself, have a much more internal locus of control, higher self esteem and lower (though this one still needs work!) social anxiety. So, I just wanted to let you know that you really helped me. Thrive really was the turning point for me and I recommend it to everyone I speak to in and outside of work who wants to make any kind of change in their lives. Thank you!
Millie, 28, vaginismus helped with Thrive
Having had vaginismus for 10 years I was beginning to give up on the idea of ever being able to have sex. I’d tried counselling and psychosexual therapy for years with very little progress, but all I’d needed was 6 sessions of Thrive. Cara really helped me see that sex was possible and all that was stopping me was me!
Through the programme and my sessions with Cara, I have been able to understand and manage my thoughts an feelings in other situations too and am able to worry less about always being in control. I really do feel now that anything is possible. Cara, I cannot thank you enough- my life has changed so much and I can now really look forward to my future.
Hannah, 21, treated for vaginismus and OCD with Thrive
For 3 years I have suffered with vaginismus and I thought it was a problem with me, an unsolvable problem. Until I met Cara! That sounds corny, I know but its true. I come across Cara’s website through simply searching the term vaginismus online & was suddenly filled with hope that there was a cure! – THRIVE.
I battled with vaginismus to the point where sex was not possible at all, I had been told by Doctor’s and gynaecologists that this condition was very difficult to treat and required physical treatment, examinations – you name it! Anybody experiencing this condition will understand what I mean when it feels like your hitting a brick wall followed by feeling very down after each failure.
After seeing Cara I am able to have sex and actually enjoy it! I initially consulted with Cara for just this issue however I also was battling with anxiety, OCD and panic attacks. The THRIVE programme and Cara’s brilliant consultations helped me overcome all of these issues I have been experiencing for a very long time. I feel like a different person now & I cannot thank Cara enough for everything she has done for me or should I say everything she has helped me do for myself!
Her genuine care through the entire programme was amazing and I could not help but feel teary when she hugged me goodbye. Every penny spent and every minute spent was worth it and I will continue referring to Thrive for the rest of my life. Meeting with Cara and taking part in the THRIVE programme has really made me learn much more about myself, things I never knew before. I now feel like I can overcome anything.
Thank you SO much for all of your help Cara, feel like a little butterfly let loose!
Sara, 29, treated for vaginismus
I battled with vaginismus for several years and was convinced I was abnormal and incapable of having a sexual relationship with my husband. I tried psychosexual therapy, couple therapy and every self help tool you can imagine – to no avail. Then I met Cara who helped me through a journey of self discovery. It was tough, very emotional and even quite daunting at times but I was determined to get through it.
I did. And you know what? Sex is great!! This therapy saved my marriage and has helped me feel like me again.
I have never been happier! I thank you Cara with all my heart.
Sara, 40, Thrive client, treated for vaginismus
So do I just want to say thank you to you?? NOT really, I want to big you a big big sisterly HUG! For your kindness and compassion, for your support and care, for your commitment and understanding, for being so non judgemental, for being patient, for being sweet, for being the person there for me at a difficult time, for being my confidente ,who listened to me, heard me and helped me find my way, my shining star !!!!!!
You have truly been inspiring to me in a lot of ways, and you have touched my life in a way that I will cherish and hold forever. I am feeling more confident and my self esteem has improved tremendously and I can honestly say I feel ‘really content’…
Things are changing for the better, I am the one who is changing and I am enjoying it. I am more aware of myself and my control over ‘me’, which feels really good…. so thank you for making me smile 🙂
Farrah, 40, treated for low libido and social anxiety
When i first came to see cara I had been suffering from social phobia for many years and low labido that i thought was part me. I was not happy with myself i wanted to change and tried many forms of therapies namely, reflexology, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, etc, but none of them helped to get to the root of the problem.
I think i came to see cara at the right time and i am glad i did as i had no energy to do anything even everyday things like house work, shopping, picking kids up from school seemed a great effort until i came to see cara, she was warm and approachable and made me feel at ease, and after four sessions i began to notice the difference and felt great and had energy. I am no longer nervous and rigid around people, i dont fear social situations like i used to. i no longer feel overwhelmed with tasks, i just get on with things now. My labido is also much better now.
Vaginismus help Testimonials from the Thrive Programme in Rickmansworth and Aylesbury and near to Amersham, Harefield, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and Slough