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  • @RISEtoIntimacy

"This group has been life-changing. I learned about positivity around sex, that trauma doesn’t have to be an isolating thing, and that there is a lot of empowerment when women can open up to each other about these subjects."


You are not your trauma

Phoenix landing

Rediscover sex-positive empowerment and find support with a group of women who've been there.

Richmond Institute of Sexual Empowerment

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Welcome to RISE!

I'm Valerie McDonnell, sex therapist and intimacy coach. I help individuals and partners communicate, understand, and explore their sexuality and intimacy needs.

As a trauma-informed therapist and social worker—and as someone who has experienced childhood sexual trauma myself—I know how hard it can be to find the support you need.

One-on-one trauma therapy is very important for the recovery process. You have to do the work and face the pain and the reality that you'll never be the same person you were before...

But then what?

How do you re-empower your sexual self?

Group coaching adds a whole new dynamic to the process of moving forward from trauma. An additional safe space beyond the 1-on-1 therapy room where you can share your story and release the tension of holding it all together.


  • Hear different perspectives on the trauma experience.

  • Gain insights and wisdom from women at different stages of trauma recovery and sexual rediscovery.

  • Share successes and setbacks in a nurturing, judgement-free zone.

Sexual Phoenix: Rising Through Trauma is a small private Facebook group for women who've experienced some degree of sexual trauma (and haven't we all?)


Looking for empathy & support, answers to questions, and ideas for how to move forward into a sex-positive future?


  • Weekly Q&A sessions with yours truly

  • Guest experts like OB/GYNs, EMDR therapists, and more

  • Sex-positive educational resources

  • Journal prompts

  • Mindfulness practices

  • Support from women who understand what you're going through

Rise together. Rise to intimacy.

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"This group made me realize there are other women out there who share my trauma. I was able to open up with a like group of women and I feel as though I’ve grown so much from it."


Sign up below for more info about the next membership window—space is limited!

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