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Find Your Sexual Freedom

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Intimacy Support Group for Women

Discuss sex & relationship topics with like-minded people at different stages of their own sex-positive journey.

Led by trauma-informed sex therapist Valerie McDonnell, LCSW, along with RISE Social Work Intern Jensina Burstein

Ready to learn more about pleasure?
Dealing with anxiety around sex?
Want better intimacy communication?
Need more sexual self-esteem?

Valerie helped me understand myself better. She's the reason I wanted to become a social worker, to help other people like me talk about difficult personal topics through empathy and self-discovery.

— Jensina

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 LCSW licensed in Virginia, I help people work through trauma, attachment, performance anxiety, and other issues that affect human sexuality.

As a relationship coach, I teach communication skills, empathy, and sex-positive habits to help partners deepen their connection and intimacy. 

But what about outside the therapy room?

Whatever you're dealing with, you're not alone

The RISE team is here for you, to facilitate sharing experiences and insights about sexual topics for women.


Deepen your understanding, enrich your communication, and find an empathy-driven safe space where you can be vulnerable and connected to something bigger than yourself.

Share successes and setbacks in a nurturing, judgement-free zone. With people who understand what you're going through.


Feel safe discussing your own pleasure

Get multiple views on sexuality topics

Vent about what's bothering you

Build sex-positive habits & mindsets

Improve sexual self-esteem

Manage anxiety around sex & intimacy

Practice sensory mindfulness in the act

Deepen connection with self & others

You can here... Join us

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"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."

— Megan

Space is limited! We're keeping it small so everyone feels comfortable and secure. RSVP below to save your place


We're here for you. Reach out with any concerns you have, and we'll put your mind at ease

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