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Meet Modern Intimacy’s Founder & Certified Sex Therapist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri

This is a photo of Dr. Kate Balestrieri in the Design District in Miami.

The Origin Story | Why Dr. Kate Balestrieri created Modern Intimacy

Modern Intimacy was born out of Dr. Kate Balestrieri’s recognition that all humans are social and relational beings. As such, mental health is directly tied to the quality of our relationships and sex life. Driven by her desire to smash stigmas about mental health and sexuality, Dr. Kate Balestrieri built a platform that not only connects clinicians trained in sex therapy with people seeking therapy for sexual issues, but also provides a safe, inclusive space for people to get access to education about sensitive topics that people live with every day, related to trauma, relationships, sexual health, any type of sexual dysfunction, sexual activity, and sexual problems.

Everyone deserves a safe, empowered, and pleasurable relationship to sex. Modern Intimacy helps you achieve that goal with effective sex therapy and counseling services.

Meet the founder of Modern Intimacy, sex therapist and licensed psychologist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri.

A sex positive therapist in Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, Dr. Kate Balestrieri focuses on providing counseling services to help people build resilience and recovery from what ails them. Her mission is to help people move from a position of pain or discomfort to one of holistic, empowered and thriving vitality.

Guided by the synthesis of multiple theoretical approaches, including psychodynamic, affect regulation, interpersonal neurobiological, attachment focused, cognitive behavioral, somatic and systemic principles, Dr. Kate Balestrieri incorporates evidenced-based research in counseling services. She places extra emphasis on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations, to help people integrate a complete mind and body experience.

Dr. Kate 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. Her continued clinical focus is to help people heal from trauma, recovery from addictions, improve their relationships, establish healthy boundaries, build effective communication strategies, and improve their sex lives.

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Dr. Kate Balestrieri’s training, certification, and licensing:

Dr. Kate Balestrieri earned her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, with a concentration in Forensic Psychology. During her Pre-Doctoral Internship, Dr. Balestrieri conducted evaluations and treatment for those committed at the Illinois Department of Human Services – Sexually Violent Persons program. Following, she completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship through the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and conducted parenting capacity evaluations and provided expert witness testimony at the Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic. 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.

Dr. Kate Balestrieri is a Licensed Psychologist (Clinical and Forensic) in CA, FL and IL, and maintains her private practice across all three states. In 2016, Dr. Balestrieri co-founded and was a Founder of Triune Therapy Group, a group practice and Intensive Outpatient Program. Previously, she worked at multiple in-patient, residential and outpatient programs, and treatment centers. Her work in all locations has centered on helping people recover from trauma, addiction, sex and relationship concerns. Before she entered the field of mental health, Dr. Balestrieri put her degree in Marketing to good use in the corporate world. Now, she has synthesized her business experience with her love of psychology. As a female entrepreneur in the field, she has founded and run two successful group practices.

Additional Certifications

Endlessly curious about the human condition, Dr. Balestrieri remains in constant pursuit of additional training and certifications. In 2015, she became a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, and is a supervisor in the community. As such, she provides training, oversight and consultation to other clinicians pursuing the same credential. In 2019, she completed her training as a Certified Sex Therapist, and is completing Level III training as a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) couples’ therapist.

Providing patients with cutting edge and innovative treatment options is tantamount to Dr. Balestrieri’s philosophy. To that end, she has also completed training in the NeuroAffective Touch Model, developed by Dr. Aline LaPierre. In 2015, she was trained in both Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in and Trauma Sensitive Yoga. Understanding the inseparable relationship between body and mind has always played a key role in Dr. Kate Balestrieri’s treatment approach.

Additionally, Dr. Kate 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 American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), PACT Institute, and the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.

Dr. Kate Balestrieri | Outside the Office

Dr. Balestrieri splits her time between Los Angeles and Miami, with her life partner and Mini Goldendoodle, Zenza. In her spare time, Dr. Balestrieri is often making a culinary mess, as cooking and baking are her favorite art and hobbies. She likes to hike, practice yoga, and exercise to stay fit and embodied.

A constant student, Dr. Balestrieri is also working on several books, related to sex after sexual trauma, the weaponization of sex and money in modern society, boundaries, the core of anger, and the long-term impacts of enmeshed parenting on women.

Why certification is so important when it comes to finding a sex therapist?

There is no aspect of the human experience more nuanced, intimate and vulnerable than that of sexuality. A Certified Sex Therapist has completed over 150 additional hours of education, relating to human sexuality, relationships and mental health; a number far beyond what is required in general graduate level psychology programs. In addition, they go through their own bias and sensitivity training, and are supervised for over 18 months, to ensure ethical and clinically indicated application of what they learn. As a result, this certification requires a level of commitment that offers additional confidence in those who have completed the requirements.

Because the title Certified Sex Therapist is not a protected or monitored title in every state, some people may use the title without having done such intensive training. Most of those clinicians are good intentioned and have a passion for the work. However, given the sensitive nature of sexuality, good intentions do not always translate to effective care. It is best to entrust your concerns sex therapy or counseling services with a professional who is diversely trained and credentialed to help you navigate counseling sessions related to sexual function.

Dr. Balestrieri is a member of three professional organizations relevant to the areas of intersection between mental health and sexuality. She believes that the best approach to helping people with their own holistic mental health, relationships, and sexuality, is to consistently look at the same questions, concerns and conditions from different perspectives.

Who can benefit from work with Dr. Kate and the Modern Intimacy team? Is counseling or sex therapy right for you?

Modern Intimacy was designed to help anyone struggling within their relationships, mental health or sexuality, feel comfortable looking for help as individuals or with their significant other. We work with people from all walks of life, racial and ethnic backgrounds, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic standing.

While sex therapy is a big part of the focus at Modern Intimacy, Dr. Kate Balestrieri and the Modern Intimacy team work with individuals and couples regarding other mental health services. In addition to sex therapy, the Modern Intimacy team also focuses on treating trauma, anxiety, depression, addiction, disordered eating, self-esteem, executive stagnation, personality disorders, parenting concerns, substance abuse, group psychotherapy, and anger management services. Schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation to learn more about how Modern Intimacy can help you. Visit our team page to learn more about the Modern Intimacy Team.

Tell me about the Modern Intimacy team. Everyone can’t work with Dr. Kate, who else on the team is qualified to help me?

The entire Beverly Hills therapy team at Modern Intimacy is a premier therapy group. As a result, we are focused on creating the most effective space for clients’ therapy sessions, process, healing and growth. The clinical team at Modern Intimacy is made up of other Licensed Mental Health professionals, Associate Marriage and Family Therapists, and Associate Clinical Social Workers. The administrative team is dedicated to making the process of getting help as seamless as possible. Dr. Kate Balestrieri also offers periodic internship programs to undergraduate students, to help them get non-clinical experience in the field. See our Team page for more information.

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