About Modern Intimacy

About Modern Intimacy

Welcome to Modern Intimacy. If you’re reading this, it means you are curious about something. Whether your curiosity is about yourself, your relationships, new dimensions of sexuality, old hurts, or future joys. We’re here with an inclusive and safe space, that deepens the conversation about the intersection of mental health, relationships, and sexuality, free of judgment, without stigma, and with an intentional fostering of empowerment and enrichment.

The connection between mental health, relationships, and sexuality is interconnected. Within an ever-changing cultural landscape, authentic intimacy remains a primary need. The way people relate to each other is evolving fast, but authentic connection remains a primary need for everyone. At Modern Intimacy, we combine holistic mental health services, with education, inclusivity, sex positivity and philanthropy, in an effort to build community and ensure people stay connected in a meaningful way, in a modern world..

Our goal is to deepening the conversation, providing accessible and expert-driven content, resources, and services for holistic intimacy.

DR. KATE BALESTRIERI

Mental health, relational health, and sexual health are inextricably intertwined in the gestalt of the
human experience.

Let’s Get Intimate

There is no black and white way to be intimate. Intimacy and connection mean different things to different people, but a few common principles are universal. Every person has a need to be seen, valued, and loved. At Modern Intimacy, our goal is to help you find informed resources you can trust, so you can define and thrive in all of your relationships; social, with family, romantic and sexual, professional, and starting with your relationship to yourself.

Holistic Mental Health

It is well understood that mental health is connected to every other aspect of life. At Modern Intimacy, we understand that a holistic and integrated approach is necessary to help people thrive. The quality of your relationships, professional success, physical health, spirituality and sex life, are all related to mental health. Knowing this, we work with you to help you achieve, restore, and maintain balance in your life, so you can live a meaningful, authentic, and empowered life.

Expert-Driven Content

That old saying about how it takes a village is so true. Navigating the information available can be daunting, so Modern Intimacy works with vetted experts from all different disciplines and industries, providing information and resources about the topics that matter to you.

Sexuality

Every person has a relationship to sexuality; even if they are abstinent. Modern Intimacy respects the unique sexual template of every human, and fosters a shame-free space to address questions, preferences, struggles and pleasures for people. Our mission is to help people live in an empowered, embodied, and erotic manner, however each person defines that for themselves.

Accessibility

People are busier than ever, and do not always have the time or resources to commit to therapy. We get it. So we’ve created a platform that offers many different kinds of resources: some low-cost or free, some short-term, some online and some in-person. Online workshops, e-books, trusted articles and videos, and therapy (online and in=person) give you the option of choosing heal that fits with your needs, geography, and budget.

Philanthropy & Community

Passionate about giving back, paying it forward, and staying connected, Modern Intimacy has made a commitment to donate 5% of all e-commerce revenue to a different non-profit organization each month. Without these organizations, many people would be without access to safe, affordable care and resources. Check out the different organizations we support, and learn how you can get involved too!

Inclusivity

Everyone has a right to be seen, represented, and valued. We work hard to ensure content and resourced for everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religious views, political position, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, bodily shape or ableness, or aesthetic choices. Humans are humans, and there is room for us all, without shame, with respect, and with the knowledge that there is always more to learn. Diversity is essential, and we’re here for it.

Years of Experience

Expert Contributors

Social Followers

Meet Our Founder

Dr. Kate Balestrieri, CST, CSAT-S, PACT-II, EMDR, TSY

Modern Intimacy | Founder | Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Kate Balestrieri, Psy.D., CSAT-S, is a Licensed Psychologist (Clinical and Forensic) in CA, FL and IL. She is a Certified Sex Therapist, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist – Supervisor, and PACT II trained couples’ therapist. Dr. Balestrieri earned her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, and completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship though the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine with a concentration in Forensic Psychology. In over 14 years of clinical experience, she has conducted clinical and forensic evaluations, provided expert witness testimony in court, and been a treatment provider in clinical, forensic, and correctional settings.

The Founder of Modern Intimacy and Co-Founder of Triune Therapy Group, Dr. Balestrieri is a passionate advocate for mental health, relational and sexual health and wellness. In her private practice, Dr. Balestrieri works with adults, individuals and couples, primarily around treating trauma, substance abuse and addiction, intimacy disorders (sex/love addiction and sexual dysfunction), eating disorders and body image issues, bipolar disorder, Posttraumatic Stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. She also conducts comprehensive personality assessments, differential diagnosis evaluations, and screenings for the presence of alcohol/drug addiction, compulsive relationship behavior, and other psychosexual evaluations.

Throughout her work, Dr. Balestrieri focuses on helping people build resilience and recovery from what ails them to move from a position of pain or discomfort to one of thriving, holistically in their lives. In that effort, Dr. Balestrieri works with individuals astutely to help mitigate anger management concerns, establish healthy boundaries, build effective communication strategies, and improve relationship patterns.

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Guided by the synthesis of psychodynamic, interpersonal neurobiological, attachment focused, cognitive behavioral, somatic and systemic principles, Dr. Balestrieri incorporates evidenced-based research on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations, to help people integrate a complete mind and body experience. Dr. Balestrieri establishes an individualized treatment plan with each person or couple, and works with them collaboratively to maximize their strengths throughout the process of therapy

Currently, Dr. Balestrieri maintains her role as the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Triune Therapy Group in Los Angeles, CA, as well as a small concierge and online practice in Chicago, IL and Miami, FL. An enthusiastic educator, Dr. Balestrieri has taught multiple graduate level courses, including the treatment of Sexual Abuse and Human Trafficking, Projective Personality Assessment, Group Psychotherapy, Research Methods, and others. She hosted a popular talk radio show entitled Behind Closed Doors with Dr. Kate & Lauren, on Talk Radio 790 KABC dedicated to the dissemination of topical information associated with sex, relationships, addiction, mental health, and related social issues in 2018. Dr. Balestrieri is currently writing several books, including one titled F*ck You, F*ck Me: Rage, Sex and Money in Relationships and Modern Society. This book investigates the relationships people maintain with anger, money and sexuality as a primary defense against relational pain, and how their attempts to stay safe in relationships end up ultimately thwarting their bids for intimacy.

Historically, Dr. Balestrieri has worked in various prisons, in-patient and out-patient treatment centers, helping people to address co-occurring addiction and psychiatric issues. She previously served as a board member for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), the volunteer Clinical Director for the Los Angeles chapter of A Home Within, and now channels her philanthropic efforts into giving back 5% of all sales on Modern Intimacy products to a different charitable organization monthly.

Prior to relocating to CA in 2014, Dr. Balestrieri had a successful private practice in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, and worked at the Illinois Department of Corrections, the Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic, the Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, where she treated incarcerated adults and adjudicated youth with myriad needs, while exploring the intersection of mental illness, trauma, and addiction and the legal system. Additionally, Dr. Balestrieri is also trained in alternative dispute resolution, and is a member of the American Psychological Association, American Psychology Law Society, Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, California Psychological Association, the PACT Institute, and the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.

Meet Our Team

Heather Mazzei, ASW

Modern Intimacy | Clinical Associate

Heather Mazzei earned her Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from California State University Long Beach (CSULB), focused on integrated health. She is passionate about helping individuals transform into their most authentic selves, through the therapeutic process.

Heather believes human relationships are the central aspect of a healthy fulfilled life and wants to help each client she works with reach their fullest potential. She is an advocate for sexual discovery, women’s empowerment and believes all individuals can experience positive sexual expression, which she describes as positive sexpression.
Her training at CSULB emphasized Humanistic Psychology and the consideration of all systems in an individual’s life, when treating dysfunction. As an Associate Social Worker, Heather is committed to honoring the dignity and worth of all individuals and to offering services that respect each person’s unique differences.

Prior to beginning her journey as a psychotherapist, Heather worked for a non-profit organization providing recovery support services to those with substance use disorders. Having witnessed personally, the benefits of psychotherapy, Heather firmly believes in the power and privilege of the therapeutic relationship and carries with her a passion to help each client get the most out of the therapeutic experience.

Heather is supervised by Dr. Kate Balestrieri, Licensed Psychologist, in Los Angeles, CA.

Kayla Tricaso

Modern Intimacy | Office Manager & Patient Intake Specialist

Kayla Tricaso is an Ohio native and graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelors in Marketing Communications and a concentration in Public Relations. She moved to Los Angeles in 2016 where she started a career in Public Relations. With a passion for communication and human connection, Kayla transitioned to administrative and patient intake work within the Mental Health space and has been happily situated in that field for 3 years. Kayla is an advocate for mental health awareness and destigmatizing any shame around mental health/illness and therapy.

Kayla is highly organized, optimistic, and compassionate. She enjoys spending her free time traveling, writing, reading, and learning how to cook.

Brooke Schwartzman

Modern Intimacy | Intern

Brooke Schwartzman is a sophomore at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychological and Brain Sciences. She is eager to learn and experience all facets of the field of psychology.

Brooke’s previous experience includes orchestrating patient files for a concierge internal medicine practice, and as a workshop director at a therapy centers youth summer camp. Originally from Maryland, Brooke now resides in Los Angeles, where she enjoys hip hop dance and loves California sunsets.

Emma Boles

Modern Intimacy | Intern

Emma is an enthusiastic intern for the 2020 Psychotherapy Internship Program with the intention of fostering education, insight, and experience involved with running a successful practice. Emma is working towards obtaining a BA in Psychology at the University of South Alabama, with the overall goal of becoming a Clinical Psychologist and owning her own practice.
Emma wants to help others recognize and express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a safe nonjudgmental space, so they can reconnect with their authenticity and create the life they want. Emma is interested in the field of Psychology because it is constantly developing and presenting new approaches and strategies to help oneself and others. Emma notes, “I am excited to learn the clinical and business aspects of psychotherapy while gaining real-world experience interning for Dr. Kate Balestrieri at Modern Intimacy.”

Outside of work Emma enjoys spending time outdoors, kayaking, yoga and connecting with loved ones. She has a soft spot for the spontaneity of travel and the experiences it provides to learn on a deeper level.

Zenza

Modern Intimacy | Therapy Dog

Zenza is a Mini Goldendoodle, whose sweetness is only usurped by her no-nonsense hairstyle. Bringing a unique blend of snuggles and humor, Zenza knows just when to offer comfort and well-timed distraction in sessions and in general.

In her free time, Zenza can be found chasing balls at the park, carefully carrying her favorite toys on long walks around the block, dining out at local dog-friendly spots and stealing a few truffle fries when no one is looking.

Featured In

Dr. Kate Balestrieri and the Modern Intimacy team have been featured, quoted, and written in many of the leading and well-respected media publications in the sex therapy and relationship industry! Check out some of the notable places we have been featured in!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I work with a therapist?
Working with a therapist can offer you a space that is just for you, without judgment, without agenda, and within which you can work through the goals you set for yourself. Your world does not have to be falling apart to benefit from therapy. In fact, working with a therapist proactively can help you maintain an advantage in your life. Whether you’re struggling with a crisis or want to improve the quality of your life in more subtle ways, working with a therapist to achieve your goals can be a solid investment in yourself and your future.
How do I schedule a consultation with a clinician at Modern Intimacy?
We are happy to schedule a free 20-minute consultation with you, to help you assess your needs and see if working with a member of our team could be a good fit. Click here (Calendly link) to schedule a time that works for you, or email [email protected] .
Can I work with a therapist online?
Yes. Dr. Balestrieri is licensed to provide individual and couples’ therapy services in person and online to people who live in California, Florida and Illinois. Modern Intimacy offers additional online coaching services and online workshops to individuals and couples across the US and worldwide.
Can I use my insurance?
Dr. Balestrieri and the other clinicians at Modern Intimacy do not work with any insurance companies on an in-network basis. However, we can provide you with a super bill, which you can provide to your insurance company to receive any out of network reimbursements that may exist within your insurance plan.
What are the costs of therapy?
We offer a range of services, and the cost varies based on the type of service and provider, and we do offer some sliding scale and partial scholarship programs to assist those with financial hardship. Please email [email protected] for more information on pricing.
What is sex therapy?
Sex therapy is a model of therapy that never involves sex, nudity or physical touch. Rather, sex therapy is designed to help pope address the overlapping issues and concerns between mental health and sexuality, so people can focus on living sexually fulfilled lives.
What happens if I need to cancel an appointment?
Life sometimes gets in the way of even the best laid plans. Cancellations made more than 48 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment do not result in any fees. However, cancellations made within 48-hours of your appointment, or missed appointments are charged the equivalent of one session fee.
I am a provider or work for a non-profit organization. How can I get involved?
If you are a professional or provider, and wish to collaborate with us, email [email protected] We’d love to hear about your work and see how we can join forces!
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