Gretchen Blycker, LMHC - Therapist in Jamestown, RI

Gretchen Blycker

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, LMHC

Accepting new clients


 
 

Clientele

Young adults / college students (18 - 24)
Adults
Couples

Specialties & expertise

  • Sexual and relational health
  • Sexual trauma treatment
  • Compulsive sexual behaviors
  • Problematic pornography use

Professional statement

Gretchen Blycker, LMHC, LMT, RYT, has been a professional in the health and wellness field for the last 20+ years. As a licensed massage therapist, registered yoga teacher, licensed mental health counselor specializing in mindfulness-based therapy and sexual and relational health, and part-time faculty member of a university teaching Human Sexuality, she is in a unique position of being able to integrate an expert’s knowledge from four distinct professions in the health field. Her unique range of trainings and professional experiences serve to benefit an evolution in thinking and understanding of what promotes balance and health in a comprehensive and truly holistic way (mind/body/energy). In her therapeutic work with clients, Gretchen draws from a mindful process that investigates and explores core beliefs as well as sexual behaviors and practices with a view of how they affect outcomes of mental and relational health.

Gretchen has developed a Mindful Model of Sexual Health that she uses in her work. This model is a framework to organize the distinctive and dynamic information from an individual’s body and mind, it serves as a navigational system, and it offers integrative mindful tools that are beneficial in providing personalized guidance in her work with clients. This mindful way of working is both inclusive of all people, while also allowing for the complexities and individual differences that are supportive of the multiplicity of expressions of our individualized authentic sexual selves. Health requires that we are connected to our whole selves. The Mindful Model of Sexual Health acknowledges our inherent wholeness and our interconnectivity as well as the complexity of myriad factors that influence sexual health and subjective satisfaction and contentment. This model provides a map to navigate the intricacies of the many influencing factors that create a balance towards, or barriers to, sexual health.


Specialties

Sexual and relational health – Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy addressing concerns about sexual functioning, sexual behavior and feelings, as well as intimacy and relationship issues. Concerns addressed in sex therapy may include: desire, arousal, erectile functioning, rapid ejaculation, anorgasmia, painful intercourse (vaginismus, dyspareunia), compulsive sexual behavior, history of sexual abuse, infidelity, sexual boundaries, communication, sexual orientation, gender expression, and trust and safety.
Sexual trauma treatment – In sexual healing and recovery, creating safety, healing trauma, establishing trust, repairing relationships, and creating healthy connections are essential. Sexual recovery is a process of evolving the meaning of sexuality. The goal is the integration of sex and love, body and mind. The pathway to integration is through intimacy rather than intensity.
Compulsive sexual behaviors, Problematic pornography use –  Although there is no single behavior pattern that defines compulsive sexuality or sex addiction, the common themes are problems with intimacy. In addition, there may be a relationship/attachment disorder or a history of trauma or abuse. Possible indicators involved with offline/online sex and love addiction include: loss of control, compulsive behavior, efforts to stop, loss of time; preoccupation, inability to fulfill obligations, continuation despite negative consequences, escalation, losses, withdrawal. People with attachment and intimacy disorders may experience a disconnection between love and sex. Because there is a disconnect, the risk is that sex is not used in the service of love, but rather in the service of medicating. People who have a compulsive relationship with sexuality use sexual behavior to produce a charge of gratification and to escape internal discomfort. Some people might not be available for connected sex because the always accessible fantasy images of pornography, hooking up with others, or the escape in romantic stories feel “safer” than being in an intimate relationship.  Opening one’s heart and being vulnerable to sexually connect authentically with another requires tremendous courage, safety, and trust.


Insurances

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Brown University Student Health Insurance
  • Johnson & Wales University (United Health)
  • Providence College (United Health)
  • United Health
  • RISD Student Insurance (United Health)
  • URI / University of Rhode Island Student Insurance (United Health)

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual and couples sessions: $150/session (50min)

Sliding scale: A sliding scale of $80 - $150 is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy. 

Therapist's note: Gretchen can provide you with paperwork for reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network sessions.


Message to clients

"There are many ongoing benefits of mindfully managing sexual health. Mindful management is empowering and proactive by developing and practicing skills that identify what specifically promotes balance and health for each individual, as well as what leads to imbalance. It is an integrative approach that includes a holistic perspective of including body and mind in identifying and cultivating the development of an individual’s authentic sexual self. Practicing mindfulness-based basic tools, for use in accessing information, supports individuals to make informed decisions for more immediate course correction, that is advantageous for short and long-term contentment and well-being. 

In therapy, we identify and follow an individual’s personal values and beliefs. We practice mindful exploration of the sexual self and individuals learn about skillful management of personal erotic energy. The experiencing, experimenting, and deepening understanding of one’s authentic sexual self is a conscious and self- respecting process that assesses for health, harm and safety. This process is starkly different from mindlessly and carelessly repeating past expressions of sexuality that might have had included some short-term pleasures, leading to longer-term adverse consequences. Examples of some ways that one’s sexuality can be negatively influenced include; operating from an arousal template that is informed by past trauma, acting out sexual behaviors that induce shame or create disconnection, engaging in sexual experiences that are in conflict with one’s values, or by acting out problematic or compulsive expressions of sexuality."



Education and work experience

Private practice, Psychotherapist, 2009 - Present
University of Rhode Island, Instructor for Human Sexuality course, 2009 - Present
Center for Sexual Health, 2008 - 2012

International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, 2012
Hakomi Experiential Psychotherapy Training, Advanced graduate training in mindfulness-based psychotherapy, 2006
Salve Regina University, Masters in Holistic Counseling, 2003
Seattle Massage School, Licensed Massage Therapist, 1994


Languages

English


Client testimonials

I return to Gretchen, not just because she knows my story, but because she’s attuned to what I need. She challenges without pushing, encourages me to take risks while being supported, and gently shines light on old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve me. She is deeply present, and can sit and hold a space where I can lean into my own vulnerabilities and imperfections while feeling seen, heard, and validated. Her kindness and compassion that I experience in session will continue to echo throughout my life.

Over my time in therapy with Gretchen, I always traveled over one bridge or another to arrive at her office. It’s strongly symbolic, as I have crossed so many personal bridges with her guidance. She’s been my sounding board, my cheerleader, and my safest of spaces. Therapy with Gretchen has been playful, and heartbreaking, and at times profound. All of it has been one of the best gifts I have ever given myself.
— Anonymous client (2017)
Gretchen, so much of the good that presently fills my life flows from the time I have spent with you. In the course of our working together, you have listened, informed, educated, encouraged, consoled, comforted, challenged, supported, guided, affirmed, inspired- and much more! You take counseling to a new level by infusing your practice with empathy, caring and kindness in a way that has “heart” and models the energy and light about which you so often speak.

Thank you for listening; for creating a space that is safe; for respectfully divining the circumstances central to each individual’s development and learning their unique language; for creating an atmosphere in which to explore without judgment while adhering to certain inviolable truths; for holding a space for the best in us even when we are not ready to occupy it; and for doing it all with extraordinary grace and humor. It is in this environment that my partner and I continue to find our way towards one another and perhaps more importantly toward ourselves.
— Anonymous client (2017)
When I came into therapy with Gretchen I was unable to trust or be vulnerable to anyone.

Gretchen provides a mind-full based therapy. Her guidance and therapy took the traumatic horrors and gently put them in their final resting place. At the end of each session she guided me into meditation that would calm my biophysical state which was usually extremely shaken. This practice provided closure for so many of my traumatic experiences. To get through this work I began to trust and allowed myself to be vulnerable. There were times that my Bipolar Disorder would hijack me but Gretchen always grounded me in reality with truthful insight. Gretchen brought awareness to distortion that lay within my thoughts, values, beliefs and relationships. I learned that my distortions perpetuated my false negative self. In our earlier work she was teaching me how to clear the racing thoughts by means of meditation which quieted the mind. This skill proved very helpful when I was experiencing mania.

I have learned many life skills from Gretchen. She taught me ways to be in the present moment, she taught me to take care of myself with kindness and compassion. She showed me how to recognize what was going on and how not to attach myself to it. Letting go and letting be are two skills I use a lot. Being in therapy with Gretchen gave me many things to implement in my life. Knowing these skills did not change my life but practicing them has. There is still a lot of work to be brought into my life

So who am I now? I am a 57 year old man with a healthy self-image. I am no longer isolated and I rejoined my family, found a spiritual connection and I am reconnecting with my life. I am more trusting and receptive. My life is not a panacea by no means, I still live with Bipolar buts it no longer throws my life into chaos. I continue council with Gretchen because I am living the results of our work together. My life has become mine and I expect it to keep improving.
— Anonymous client (2017)
My fiancé and I first made an appointment with Gretchen because we were having problems with sex. Specifically, we wanted to increase the frequency of sex in our relationship. She felt like I was withholding sex from her I I did not understand why. This lack of intimacy was beginning to affect other parts of our relationship. Disagreements about trivial things were turning into arguments. Worst of all, her self esteem was suffering and I was in complete denial.

Gretchen helped me to understand that passion is actually a very finite emotion and how it is used and where it is directed matters and has an impact on me and others. In my case, I was wasting passion on masturbation. I was using masturbation as a stress reliever after work when I should have been using that passion to show my fiancé how attracted to her I am. Gretchen helped me to be honest with myself and to see the problems, causes, and effects clearly. Our relationship is a success because of this.
— Anonymous client (2017)