//Hannah Liska in her home in Denver. on Nov. 8. Liska conducts counseling sessions with clients out of her home. Photo by Esteban Fernandez | email@example.com
Working through pain and insecurity can be a raw and intense process. So, why not do it in a way that brings pleasure to your body? Hannah Liska, a virtual sex, love and relationship coach based in Denver, helps teach her clients how to do this using holistic and tantric practices.
According to Liska, everyone is affected by social conditioning. Many people hold onto narratives that cause shame around their bodies, their sexuality and their personal expression. This shame can impact all areas of someone’s life; she guides her clients through understanding how this affects them as an individual.
Liska works with people to foster a sense of self-empowerment through a variety of coaching and therapeutic techniques. She believes that when her clients learn to release their shame, they can rewrite the narratives governing their lives.
This Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.
How long have you been a sexuality coach, and what led you to this profession?
Officially, this is something that I’ve been working on all year, so it’s brand new to me. But I have been in a 500-hour training certification all of 2021. Before starting this, I worked in clinical and behavioral research. So, I would work with both men and women who are at high risk of heart disease and diabetes, people who have something called metabolic syndrome. And I would assess them over the course of a two-year intervention to really see how they improve when we teach them mindfulness practices and how to improve their lifestyle.
During that role, I realized that I didn’t want to just be someone who’s collecting the data along the way as a researcher; I want to be one of the people who are part of the intervention that changes people’s lives. I would say that I chose to go into sexuality, personal freedom and embodiment because I see that as a journey that so many women need to be on in order to let themselves grow into something bigger, to take up more space, to feel more comfortable, to feel freer.
As stigma against therapy and coaching ebbs, the types of support offered are multiplying. What does your unique style of coaching offer them?
What makes my work different from other practices is the way I teach people how to get in touch with the sensations in their bodies. What I do isn’t just talk therapy. I intuitively guide my clients through different embodiment practices each session.
Sometimes, this can look like breathwork, guided meditation or inner child practices, or, a little bit of talking about what stories that they have in their current mindset, and what needs to be shifted in order for them to pick a more empowering identity.
My purpose is to help women and men learn how to reduce their shame, get in touch with their bodies and really feel free with their sexuality. Each session provides clients with new tools they can use again on their own so they have the resources to truly empower themselves to achieve their deepest desires and greatest goals.
This can look like understanding what conditioning we have as children around sex, around relationships, around our bodies and then having women really heal that past part of themselves. That releases the story that no longer serves them and helps them find what narrative they’d like to live their lives in.
In order to achieve your desires around relationships, pleasure and intimacy, it’s important to get closely familiar with yourself and your body. Where are you feeling resistance? Where are you feeling pleasure? And from these questions, I guide clients through practices that help them to better understand these parts of their body and mind.
How do you think sexuality and love coaching benefits women more than other forms of coaching?
Many of us have blocks around sex, love and relationships that were formed during childhood.
Before you can directly focus on pleasure, which I focus on using a mixture of holistic techniques combined with tantric practices, it’s first important that we uncover what messages about pleasure and sexuality were learned during childhood. I take all of my clients through a process of identifying what messages they learned about pleasure and sexuality at a young age and help guide them to choose more empowering narratives for their life.
We don’t need the nagging voices of shame or disapproval around our sexuality to show up all these years later, getting in the way of having a thriving sex and love life. In order to thrive, we need to show up with love and compassion for our inner child and heal what pain still lingers from those formative years of our lives.
I think that both men and women have been told so many confusing stories about what is good and bad. We have a lot of shame around our sexual selves and that can start from a young age. You’re supposed to cover up, but also you’re not supposed to be a prude. You’re supposed to be able to please someone sexually, but also you’re not supposed to share yourself sexually in any way. It’s these back-and-forth stories that create so much dissonance in us.
When it comes to connecting with the body, you can focus on healing places where you’re feeling numbness or pain when you should be feeling pleasure. There are many different modalities to improving our lives. Why not work on one that can bring you endless pleasure? That’s the fun way to do it.
Why do you offer your services virtually, as opposed to a traditional in-office visit?
I do most of my sessions over Zoom, which provides people the opportunity to be in their own space and feel like they’re not in someone else’s environment. It can help people dive deeper into some of our practices, and it also provides them the opportunity to say, “I’m gonna put myself on mute so I can release sound, breathe through this and cry through this.” So, it provides a beautiful level of comfort. I work with people in Denver, but I also work with anyone around the world as long as it fits into my schedule.
You don’t need to do things alone, and having support can help you accelerate the process of your own transformation. When you learn to befriend your body and find safety in your body, you can find endless amounts of pleasure.
What sort of exercises or methods do you walk through with your clients?
One of my favorite practices is to guide women through visualizing their goal using all five senses. I ask them to imagine themselves having already attained what they desire. When they imagine this, what to they see? What do they hear? What do they feel, touch, taste and smell? I walk them through a meditation where they can truly use all the senses available to them to imagine them having what they want.
Most of the time when doing this practice, a part of the body feels resistant to this goal. Maybe a voice comes up that starts doubting this can actually be achieved. From here, we get to get curious about this resistance and learn more about it. When you get in touch with what parts of you are holding yourself back, you can learn to understand, love and accept those parts of yourself so you can more freely work towards your goals.
Everyone has a different reason that they decide to work with me. I am able to support clients healing from sexual fear, shame, guilt, and pain as well as connect to a state of sexual wholeness. I address issues such as challenges with orgasm, as well as helping women feel deep amounts of self-love so they can enter into conscious dating from a place of personal power.
Those interested in learning more can access Liska’s services on Instagram or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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