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About RISE to Intimacy

Trauma-informed, ENM-friendly sex therapy & relationship coaching

Valerie has helped me a lot through the years. She really understands what I've gone through and approaches our problem-solving sessions from a place of empathy.

— Georgia
Valerie McDonnell, sex therapist & coach

Valerie McDonnell, intimacy coach

I became a coach to help people rise out of sexual trauma—like how my therapist helped me.

I began my career with a master's degree in social work and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) focused on trauma and PTSD.

A few years later I started my own practice in Richmond, VA, to focus on sex therapy, non-traditional relationship structures, and empowerment after trauma.

Then everything went digital and my services expanded beyond the one-on-one therapy model confined to Virginia—so I no longer practice under the license, in favor of full-time coaching for individuals, couples, polycules, whatever, wherever you each happen to be.

Stop by and say hello!



I know from experience what it's like to be unconsenting and powerless in a sexual situation.​

And I'm all too familiar with the ravages of anxiety, the performance pressure, the triggers and emotional entanglements that can jolt people out of sexual sync.

The coping mechanisms and self-affirmation strategies that I teach my clients...I developed out of necessity.

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RISE Coaching Zoom anon



Sometimes you just need to hear from other people who are facing the same challenges you are. 


We all crave support, affirmation, and experienced perspectives to help us grow.


Through individual and relationship coaching, group workshops, private Facebook communities, and more, RISE brings people together to share common experiences and learn from each other.



Sex and relationships are supposed to be fun! Yes you have to put in some work to get it right—but I believe that everyone can rise to the sexual being they want to be.


I also believe in seeking guidance and wisdom on this ongoing journey that is sexual and mental health.

Click below for helpful resources on communication, alternative relationship structures, self-care and toys, trauma, recommended reading, and more.

Valerie Mcdonnell, sex therapist & coach
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