Love is All Around Us: An Interview with Dr. Ava Cadell
Dr. Ava Cadell isn’t your normal clinical sexologist. Apart from being a keen businesswoman, her belief in the purity of love has enabled her to create a most unique sort of university where potential love coaches (think: life coach and just replace “life” with “love”) are trained to help couples with their love lives. Read on to find out more about this interesting concept and why it won’t be the end of psychologists and sexologists as we know it.
SexHerald: What’s the philosophy behind Loveology University?
Dr. Ava Cadell: I want to certify and train love coaches, much as Tony Robbins has pioneered life coaches. I think that love coaching is going to probably be just as important, if not more important, so that people can have somebody that they can communicate with and get advice on dating and relationship coaching, love and sex. And these people don’t have to be a therapist or even a counselor. But, they do go through a comprehensive training and quite a big exam before I certify them. I want to make sure that they are good as far as communicating goes and that they can solve common relationship issues.
SH: What are some of the responsibilities of a love coach?
Dr. Cadell: A love coach can do many things. Their responsibility is to give the best advice possible; however, to really focus on giving the person choices. For example, if you were to call a love coach and say, ‘Should I get divorced? My husband cheated on me.’ There’s absolutely no way the coach should say “yes” or “no.” What the coach should do is help you identify the pros and cons of your choices, and also ask you questions about why you think your husband was unfaithful.
SH: So instead of getting professional help, people see love coaches as an alternative?
Dr. Cadell: It’s not instead of getting professional help, it’s just that not everybody wants to see a psychologist or a sexologist either because they don’t think there’s anything seriously wrong with them or they can’t afford the fees. Love coaching is another form of help out there. It’s another option people can have.
SH: How did you arrive at the idea?
Dr. Cadell: I lecture all over the world to different groups. I’ll give you an example. Last February, I was the keynote speaker for a very large company called Passion Parties. It’s a multimillion-dollar company that has thousands of female consultants who go into people’s home and they sell [sex] toys. While I was lecturing to these women, I was telling them how to identify the needs of different women. A woman in her 20s has different needs than a woman in her 50s. I was really trying to empower them and educate them, and I said to myself: ‘These women could be so much more helpful AND they could make so much more money if they were more marriageable. So that was when I really came up with the idea of certifying women, and men by the way, to help them empower themselves and improve their relationships but also to help others and consequently make more money in an industry while helping humanity. It just seemed to be a perfect fit.
SH: I understand you also have a private practice in Los Angeles?
Dr. Cadell: I do. I have a private practice on the Sunset Strip at a lovely penthouse office, and I do hypnosis, I do private counseling for singles and couples.
SH: What types of sexual issues do your patients come to you for?
Dr. Cadell: The most common sexual issues would be sexual dysfunction. For women, it’s the inability to have an orgasm. For men, it’s the inability to maintain an erection or premature ejaculation. For couples, the most common problem is a mismatched sex drive where one wants it more than the other.
SH: How would you, for instance, counsel a couple with a mismatched sex drive?
Dr. Cadell: First, I would find out if it’s a realistic problem. If one of them wants it 10 times a day and the other one wants it once every six months, then we know it’s not realistic. If it’s more natural, like one wants it four times a week and the other one wants it once every two weeks, then I can start talking to them and monitoring why they don’t want to please each other. I find out how long they’ve been mismatched. For example, before they were married were they having regular sex? And the answer is usually yes. Once they got married, then things changed. And usually the most common reason why passion fades is because of anger and resentment. It builds up and the couple has the inability to communicate with each other about the wants, needs, desires and fears, and so there’s a communication breakdown. They may still love each other but they don’t like each other. So they stop kissing, they stop touching…
Let’s say the wife is really angry with her husband because he’s been criticizing her too much, he’s been blaming her for different things, like maybe not raising the children or disciplining them the way he would or not keeping a tidy house, and maybe he’s been hurting her feelings but telling her she’s putting on a little bit of weight… Things like that can really create a lot of animosity in a relationship. Hypothetically, the woman does not want to make love to this man. And he’s still very sexual because he can separate his sexual desires from his emotional feelings, whereas she really can’t. So, we have to work together to rekindle the passion. Now I have a great program called Passion Power. It’s a six-week program that I put couples on and it’s been very effective. The very, very first step is the forgiveness process, where they both write a forgiveness letter to each other, write down all the things they’re resentful about, and then they tear up the forgiveness letter, promise never to bring it up again and they move on. We work on making them fall back in love with each other.