“Sexual performance problems, such as impotence and frigidity, are 70 to 90 percent changeable.”
– Martin Seligman, psychologist
“He said he still didn’t know why she ended their marriage…”
Ulrik was an IT specialist. He told me he was a trouble shooter and worked on call for some of the larger companies in eastern Canada fixing their systems when they went down unexpectedly. He said he worked hard but made a good living at it…well into six figures annually.
Ulrik was a slender, fit man of forty-two with a large head of curly brown hair that gave him a boyish look. He had a friendly manner and laughed easily and often. But he was in a very serious mood the day he first came to my office.
Ulrik had three children from his first marriage who were all young adults now but one, Ugo, aged 16 years, still lived with him. His first partner, Ursula, had left him quite suddenly two years ago after twenty years of marriage…at least to him it was sudden!
He said he still didn’t know why she ended their marriage but he had eventually decided to move on with his life.The children avoided taking sides for the most part, but still seemed to be confused at times as to what really happened to their parents.
Everything was polite and cordial when they all attended someone’s birthday gathering, but there was so much that seemed left unsaid. Ulrik said, one day Ugo explained it all away as “two people drifting apart and no one noticing soon enough…”
“…if I don’t feel powerful and valued my penis won’t work….?”
Ulrik said he had now started dating again. He had been seeing a woman named, Ulla, who was German by birth but had immigrated to Canada many years ago with her father and siblings. They had been going out for two months now and he felt serious about a future with her.
When I asked Ulrik what had brought him to my office, he replied,
“It is so embarrassing to me to say this… I’m a father of three children…but I’m impotent! I have tried to be intimate with Ulla twice now and been unable to get or maintain an erection!”
“Ulrik have you been check out by your family physician yet?” I said checking the obvious first.
“Yes, I have and received a clean bill of health. It was my doctor who referred me to you, Ken.” he replied.
“Ok! So, that suggests your physician suspects a psychological component is at work here, Ulrik. So first some general information.”
“You body is a functioning system with each part serving the whole system. Your reproductive system is intended for you to, not just reproduce offspring, but also to feel powerful and valued as a person as you do so.” I began.
“Do you mean if I don’t feel powerful and valued my penis won’t work….?” he asked in surprise.
“There are seven forms of impotency and all are tied to a distorted perception of yourself.”
– King Ayles, author
“What is the biggest one around feeling helpless?”
“Yes, that’s basically it! If you carry perceptions of you being defeated, humiliated or unvalued, this can lead to impotency.” I said.
“I didn’t realize that, Ken!”
“Most don’t! And, that would suggest there are parts of your life where you have experienced a powerlessness or perhaps a futility? Would that be true?”
“It sounds like my life story, Ken! I have had those kinds of perceptions about so much of my history that I’m not sure where to begin!” he said his eyes glistening with pent up, unexpressed feelings.
“What is the biggest one around feeling helpless, Ulrik?” I asked, suspecting he had already told me.
“That was when Ursula left me in 2015. I felt totally powerless to do anything about it. She just moved out and all I heard from was her lawyer. All my efforts to contact her were rebuffed. Even Ugo stayed out of it entirely.”
“And, what about when you experience futility?” I asked.
“It was at the same time. But, I really thought our kids would try to mediate the marriage breakdown in some way and maybe soften Ursula’s cold, hard approach. The more I tried to encourage that the more distant they became.”
“Eventually I realized it was all futile…our marriage was really over.” he said his voice cracking slightly as he tried to regain his composure.
“… it was the only way I knew to finance our life style…”
“What about feeling defeated or undervalued? Do you carry memories of that as well, Ulrik?” I asked to get every important illusion on the table so we could set some priorities.
“Ken, that raises the topic of my job and my work.”
“I only make the money I do because I will go anytime they call, 24/7. That meant not being there at times when Ursula or the children wanted me for a variety of events like meals or school events…that kind of thing.” he said, with guilt weighing down his voice and demeanour.
“Are you saying you didn’t feel valued or appreciated by Ursula and your children for the time and energy you spent working to support your family, Ulrik?”
“Exactly…they didn’t seem to understand it was the only way I knew how to finance our lifestyle, to which we had all become very accustomed. It was so disheartening to me that they never showed any appreciation for what I was doing.” he said, his raw hurt, like an open wound, still evident.
“These memories you are carrying around sound very important and stress laden for you. Is that true, Ulrik?”
“As I tell you about them I’m reminded of how defeated I felt and, still feel, much of the time!”
“Our particular problem in America at this point in history is the widespread loss of the sense of individual significance, a loss which is sensed inwardly as impotence.” – Rollo May, psychologist
“… you have an outdated perception of yourself and your past.”
“OK! Ulrik, I can help you as long as you’re willing to learn and do the work required to be able to move forward with your relationship with Ulla. I’m going to outline a plan. And, if it makes sense to you, we will get started right away.” I said.
“First, you have an outdated perception of yourself and your past. We need to update it immediately.”
“How do we do that, Ken?”
“I have cutting edge ideas and tools from the hard sciences for that. Second, we will be focusing on how you think about yourself so you can get control of how you feel about yourself.
“Are you saying how I think determines how I feel about myself?” he asked perceptively.
“Yes, that’s it exactly Ulrik! You have a quick mind. And, third, as you update your perceptions of you, it empowers you to appreciate yourself and everyone else around you. This will be demonstrated in all the systems of your mind and body, including your reproductive system.”
“This sounds both interesting and exciting. Can we begin right now?” he asked with a new enthusiasm.
“Let’s do just that!” I replied.
“Physical impotence source is usually in the domain of self-worth.”
– King Ayles, author
Until Next time…
Now you know, every form of impotency, including most sexual impotency, is a distorted perception about yourself or your life in some very important area. If you are experiencing impotency anywhere, go uncover the truth of your life…no matter what you have done, or not done, you are worthy of love…no exceptions!
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