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Holistic Healer Transforming Lives In Hawaii and Beyond – Exclusive Interview With Dr. Stephanie Bathurst

Dr. Stephanie Bathurst is an expert Clinical Sexologist, Relationship Therapist, and Holistic Healer who applies evidence-based techniques that blend holistic and traditional therapies. With her primary office in Oahu, HI, Dr. Bathurst offers coaching to clients across the globe, couples retreats, and hybrid relationship programs for immersive healing. Dr. Bathurst is the CEO of Bathurst Family Therapy, LLC., and has won numerous awards of excellence in her fields. Her integration of degrees in counseling and sexology combined with certifications as an Integrative Medicine Specialist for Mental Health and Pelvic Floor PFilates instructor makes Dr. Bathurst a truly unparalleled provider.

photo of Dr. Stephanie Bathurst

Dr. Stephanie Bathurst, Sexologist, Relationship Therapist, Healer


Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life so we can get to know you better.


Aloha! I am Dr. Stephanie Bathurst, owner and head clinician at Bathurst Family Therapy, LLC. I live with my husband and 3-year-old daughter on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. I am a board-certified Clinical Sexologist, licensed Relationship Therapist, and certified Integrative Medicine Provider for Mental Health. My days tend to be filled with offering tactics for relationship improvement to my clients, caring for our fruit and lavender farm with my daughter, and dreaming with my husband about what we want to experience in our life together. PFilates (pelvic floor pilates) and yoga are my stress outlets and support the health and structure of my body as I manage life with a connective tissue disorder.


Although I don’t cook (thankfully, my husband is an amazing chef), I do love to eat! In our house, we treat food as medicine and prioritize the decisions about what we put into our bodies. It’s common to start dinner, walk the yard with my daughter, and come back with limes, avocados, pomegranates, lavender, chili peppers, and papaya to use in our dishes. We love to share that farm-to-fork experience with our retreat guests, too.


As I support my clients on their unique paths of attachment, life pleasure, and health, I’ve been on my own journey of prioritizing the people, places, and practices that give me back the most energy. Time passes too quickly to live life not being your authentic self.


What are your areas of expertise?


I offer an eclectic mix of many services because I love learning new things and feeling intellectually challenged. I keep finding myself going back to school or starting a new certification, so much so that my husband frequently asks me to “take a vacation” from my consuming drive to know more, be better, and challenge myself.


With a PhD in Clinical Sexology, I specialize in the treatment of sexual dysfunctions like erectile dysfunction and pelvic dystonia (sometimes known as vaginismus). As a certified PFilates instructor, I integrate pelvic floor reconditioning programming for clients to see function return in just 28 days. Other presenting issues that clients often seek my guidance for are libido rejuvenation and compatibility, especially for clients or partners impacted by SSRI-induced reduction. I treat physical and sexual trauma histories, as well as general fulfillment and intimacy re-ignition for partners who have slid into a relational rut.


As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in multiple US states, my expertise lies in supporting and re-contracting advanced systems: couples coping with a betrayal like infidelity, restructuring a relationship to adapt to life transitions like blended families, relocation or job change, entering into ethical non-monogamy, or partner compatibility. I offer Discernment Counseling to partnerships that are on the brink of divorce but haven’t yet decided which direction to go. Attachment healing and nervous system regulation are things that I integrate with almost every client, seeing as much of society reinforces disruptions or unhealthy manifestations of these.


With certifications in Mental Health Nutrition, Integrative Medicine for Mental Health, and other holistic practices like the Emotional Freedom Technique (acupressure tapping), I can offer clients holistic and evidence-based alternatives to treating symptoms of Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, PMDD, Bipolar Disorder, Sexual dysfunction or pain, as well as somatic releases from past trauma. Being able to offer a complimentary blend of holistic and traditional treatment approaches offers complete personalization to the treatment plan for every client. This means that the impact and alleviation of pain are experienced quickly, and clients don’t need to see me for extended periods to feel better, which is the entire goal of the therapeutic process! Many clients are able to fulfill multiple health needs without additionally seeing separate providers for every issue, which can be emotionally draining and costly.


Can you describe the range of relationship therapy services you offer in Hawaii and online?


We offer all-inclusive, luxury couples retreats in Hawaii. Every retreat is private and personalized, built with a blend of immersive therapy workshops each day and adventurous vacation excursions guided by a local. We did some research and found that almost all of the retreats offered by trained professionals are group-centric, meaning that the topics cannot be personalized, and couples are often asked to step into extreme vulnerability with people they don’t know, which can block the process for some. Our personalized couples retreats bring me so much satisfaction. There’s so much growth, yet so much fun. It’s beautiful to watch each couple bloom.


We have online 90-day relationship repair and reconnection programs for couples who are on the go or have opposing work schedules that make traditional therapy less feasible.


We also offer 1 to 1 private sessions ranging anywhere from 1-3 hours in duration. Most of my clients opt for the 1.5-hour sessions, as they feel it gives us enough time to deep-dive into a core issue and find resolution before the sessions are completed.


What sets Bathurst Family Therapy apart from other family therapy practices in terms of approach or philosophy?


I empower clients to embrace what it means to be healthy, connected, and sexual with themselves and their partners. I work to teach partners how to use communication and intimacy to create fulfilling, long-lasting bonds. I also offer education on herbal sourcing and supplementation as a conjunctive wellness treatment.


If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?


That’s simple. I would change the medical model of thinking to have a balance between the prioritization of treating acute health conditions and the identification and prevention of early health decline. This applies to physical, mental, and relational health. Our social systems are waiting too long to hear the client’s health needs and their negative impact on lack of fulfillment. The goal should not simply be “to keep people alive longer,” but rather to “help them live high-quality lives.”


To support this future dream, we require a redefinition of “normalcy” standards for bloodwork and integration of quality-life scales in initial intake processes (in addition to intimate partner violence, depression, and other serious health scales). We also need all health field providers to find value in and compensation for collaborations on behalf of each client. This will increase continuity of care so that we can treat from a whole-system perspective and will encourage multi-disciplinary teams that increase treatment outcomes with faster identification. Personally, for the onset of my extreme pain, frequent hospitalizations, and rapid (unwanted) weight loss, it took 6 years of actively searching for answers before I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, POTS, Raynaud, etc. With a perspective shift and an openness to support each other’s specialties, we can do better for our clients.


Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that shaped the person (and health provider) that you are today.


When I was an undergraduate in college, I traveled to Honduras with a group of students. We went on a mission to build infrastructure for the local community and orphanages. My memory recall of this moment is so clear and emotion-attached because of how profoundly this affected my perception of the world. I remember walking into a room of young children, infants to 3 years old (the age of my daughter now), and seeing how they all longed for affection. It was heartbreaking to see 30 young children in their critical attachment development years live in a chronic state of touch starvation. The two employees who managed the orphanage weren’t abusive; they were simply each tasked with caring for 30+ children. The only physical touch most of these kids received was through getting changed or fed. This was a systemic flaw, putting these children through what I perceived (and still do) to be emotional torture.


In that moment, I felt in my own body, at a visceral level, their aching to be loved, which rests in the core depths of human connection. We are social creatures with a biology that drives us to prioritize and need connection, touch, and belonging to feel safe and emotionally regulated. We aren’t built to live in isolation, so to do so outside of your means of control is the ultimate cruelty.


I do what I do professionally with the hope that fewer people in this world feel that painful ache for connection because, at the end of the day, we are all human. Every single human is built to experience social connection, to feel love and to fulfill their sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. When I’m having a tough day, my body is in pain, or I am emotionally drained from having some intense client sessions, I remember this moment and it helps to ground me in the importance of my life choices.


Being a sexologist and relationship expert, what attracted you to working with relationships? What value do you think they offer us?


In my 6th-grade yearbook bio, I said that when I grow up, I want to be a therapist. I feel so grateful for having complete clarity in my career direction from an early age. I wanted to help people and work with the complexity of human relationships because our relationships have the most significant impact and influence on our quality of life, comparable to any other factor. A career as a therapist, sexologist, and healer offers me so much purpose and fulfillment in life.


Romantic partnerships have the power to transform individual evolution through partner support and encouragement, heal deep-seated attachment traumas, and shape entire societies through the stability that they provide for younger generations. Relationships offer us physical intimacy exploration, a sense of purposeful belonging, and genuine acceptance of ourselves. They are nothing short of magical.


Discover


In addition to 1-1 client sessions, Dr. Bathurst offers 90-day Relationship Coaching Programs and in-person Hawaiian Couples Retreats.

What energy type do YOU exchange in romantic relationships? Take your free quiz or share MyFlowTypes.com with your friends for some fun!


A note of thanks to line editor Kellie Supplee


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