Brian Cross, Ph.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice in the Washington, D.C. area since 1995. His practice is focused on helping clients achieve deeper connection and fulfillment in their most intimate relationships. Additionally, Dr. Cross works with clients on major life issues and transitions such as marriage/partnership, sexuality, career and employment dilemmas, coping with illness and loss, childrearing, infertility, learning disabilities, and combating loneliness and isolation. He works in Individual, Group, Couples and Family Psychotherapy formats.
Dr. Cross is a Certified Sex Therapist and has earned this certification via the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT.ORG). Sex therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy through which a client can address concerns about feelings of sexual intimacy, confidence, and sexual functioning via individual therapy or in therapy with a partner. The work of sex therapy is usually quite focused but it does have considerable overlap and is contained within the more general realm of psychotherapy. Typical issues that individuals and couples seek treatment for include: low sexual desire, discrepancies in desire, rapid ejaculation, painful sex, fetishes, sexual addictions, polyamory, impact and repair of affairs, erectile dysfunction, asexuality, issues related to aging, and the broad area of sexuality complicated by physical health concerns (autoimmune issues, diabetes, heart disease, cancers, menopause, and man-o-pause).
The advances in mind-body medicine, neuroscience, psycho-immunology, trauma studies, and stress research as well as many forms of alternative approaches to health (such as yoga, tai-chi, meditation, and massage) demonstrate more and more how the stored knowledge of the body affects both physical and emotional health. Most of these body-centered psychotherapies aim to utilize the client’s physical sensations, awareness, and energy field, in addition to their words and thought processes, as a means to deepen their course of personal growth and consciousness. Dr. Cross has received extensive training in various integrative mind-body modalities that assist clients in their psychotherapeutic processes. For example, standing, stretching or movement of the body or ‘parts’ of the body, sometimes subtle and sometimes more vigorously, may be encouraged, supported and integrated with the traditional mediums of speech, voice, meditation, and insight-oriented work to achieve deep change.
Commonly Treated Issues
Major Life Illnesses:
Although a grave or unexpected illness is often fraught with worry and pain for individuals and their families, it can often provide a gateway to healing, growth, and deep life change. These issues are a hall mark of our humanity. I feel a strong work connection and respectful presence with people who are experiencing or who have had a major, life-threatening illness. Often there is a need beyond the medical establishment and close friends/family to find meaning, garner support, and endure without the potential of burdening those with whom we are in frequent connection and contact.
Searching for a Partner:
Romantic relationships present us with some of our greatest life challenges. Culturally, we tend to over-romanticize, but underestimate the amount of emotional work that these relationships require. Because of my own life task, I have worked well with many single individuals in sustaining their efforts to pursue a life partner who emotionally meets their needs. This work entails and is integrated with exploring early family of origin relations, issues of self, vocation, enjoyment in life, and capacity for intimacy.
I work in an informed, helpful, and sensitive manner with individuals and couples who are experiencing difficulty conceiving children. While I keep abreast of current medical procedures in the infertility arena, I bring to my client work an approach that is respectful, direct, and enlivening with a goal of restoring hope and providing a humane presence in a treatment speciality steeped in medical terminology, challenging timelines, and fear. I work especially well with male factor issues and discrepancies in couples surrounding decisions to continue treatment.
Employment / Vocation Issues:
Not happy with what you are doing? Finding meaning in what you are doing? Unfulfilled, under-employed, and looking for a change of career. Been there! And, I routinely sit with many individuals who ask these questions and experience a variety of work related issues that cause stress. I believe I help folks to ask hard questions of themselves and find answers on the way to meaningful work.
Sexual Health & Sex Therapy:
When we are not in ‘good health,’ or in ‘declining health’ the world often becomes a little more gray, more internally cloudy, and less pleasure in life ensues. So much more so when the focus of poor health is a diminished libido and sex life resulting from a variety of issues such aging, unrelenting conflict, discrepancies in desire, sexual anxiety, painful sexual experiences, health concerns, and the overarching themes of repressed sexual feelings resulting from broad societal and religious prohibitions still weighing on you from your youth. I work in a respectful, collaborative, and soulful way with issues of sexuality, sexual expression, orientation, and finding a truer measure of pleasure in life within yourself.
Learning Disabilities, Emotional, and Attention Disorders:
Lastly, I have an in-depth knowledge of learning, emotional, and attention deficit disabilities that impact individuals in the workplace and while enrolled in college or school. While I no longer conduct lengthy psycho-educational evaluations, I still provide practical consultation and documentation to families and individuals with these concerns as they navigate university policies and workplace challenges.