Welcome! Thank you for stepping into my corner of the internet world. I am happy you are here. New to blogging and writing for myself (not some last minute 10 page academic paper), I initially struggled on nailing down a focus. I love everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Found my senior yearbook cleaning out the garage and had to chuckle when I saw what I’d declared as my profession of choice back in 1999: An Artist of Life. And so I am, a true artist of life.

I’ve been dreaming up poems, lyrics and storylines since as far back as I can remember, and yet it took getting almost to 40 to muster up the courage to write from my heart.

I am dedicating this blog as my sacred space to share with you all that catches my eye as I walk through life as a woman, wife, mother, couples and sex therapist, spiritual being, daughter, sister and friend. The vibrant moments of my own life, wisdom gleaned from two masters, a PhD and working in private practice, and the many ways in which the people I work with touch my heart.

As a couple’s therapist in a smallish, somewhat conservative town, I noticed an increase in “pull asides”, or “Hey Julie, can I talk to you for a minute” when I started advertising as a sex therapist two years ago. Interestingly, people started asking about my instagram posts (@dr.julie.estrella.mft) and it hit me one day in between breastfeeding my then newborn, doing laundry and prepping for work the next day—who are they talking to about sex and intimacy??? Where is it safe enough to explore your sexual and emotional identity in respect to intimacy in our world? How are they tuning into what they need?

Being married takes work! Being mutually satisfied emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually AND sexually takes a whole other level of reinventing yourself on the daily!

We’re inundated with quick fixes or distractions, and often find ourselves withholding our deepest fears and desires from our partners. Some common scenarios I come across in therapy include: You may not have had a healthy model for intimacy in your family system. You may not know how to speak up about your needs, or really tune into you what your partner is wanting and needing. You may be a fellow therapist or person in leadership that doesn’t want others to know you’re struggling. I totally get that.

As a former pastor’s and program director’s kid, who grew up and joined her mother’s private practice, I am well aware of what it feels like living in a bubble. In fact, this is in large part why it took so long to write a blog!

I love building bridges through sharing knowledge, resources and one’s own heart and often find myself up late at night wishing I could share it with someone else. One of my favorite books, by Carl Whittaker called Midnight Musings of a Therapist, is a compilation of his lectures and un-published essays, taken from his 40 years of practice as a psychiatrist and family therapist. He talks about families, including his own, and the events that shaped the family therapy field. In his own way, he shares his heart.

This is what I intend to use this blog for—to share what speaks to me personally, what ignites and helps keep my own passions alive, as well as what others like yourself might find helpful in your own journey.