Vaginismus written reviews
Genuine testimonials from previous Vaginismus clients
Below you can read what my past clients have said about their experience of overcoming vaginismus with
The Thrive Programme. I hope their words will inspire you to believe that you too can overcome vaginismus.
All reviews have been reproduced with their kind permission and some names have been changed to preserve confidentiality.
Sara, 24, who had seen 20 vaginismus 'experts'
When I started the Thrive programme I have to admit I was a bit cynical, having spent five years seeing a plethora of medical experts to no avail, I wasn't sure what would be different about the Thrive Program. Retrospectively I realise that all the medical experts I saw were either gynaecologists or counsellors, although the problem with both is that unlike Cara they did not understand how the mind and body are linked. Although the medical definition of vaginismus is 'an involuntary muscle spasm, that makes penetration painful or impossible'. Thrive offers an alternative and more accurate defintion, it sees vaginismus as a physical manifestation of unhelpful thinking which you can learn to control and in doing so overcome the muscle tightening.
On a personal note Cara is funny, warm, endlessly patient, completely non-judgemental and an absolute pleasure to spend time with, the only regret you will have is having not found her sooner.
I had had sex a handful of times with my partner but I was so anxious and scared every time most of the times it was unsuccessful but when it did happen I just tried to endure it through the pain which just made me want to avoid it all together. Now that I have finished the programme my sex life has definitely improved but also my mental state. I have been recommending it to anyone that I know who suffer from anxiety or depression as it has definitely helped me in all aspects of my life. Cara has really helped me realise that my daily thinking styles and beliefs were not helpful and had strongly impacted my self esteem and my sex life in a negative way. Thanks again Cara for giving me the knowledge and tools so that I can deal with everyday challenges in a positive way.
Lia's review of The Thrive for Vaginismus book and Programme
I was suffering from severe vaginismus for 8 months before I contacted Cara. After being let down by the doctor who couldn’t see much of a hole and the gynocologist who didn't understand why I was in so much pain that an examination was impossible, I decided to do my own research and found Cara's website. I'm glad I did!
Going through the programme has made me feel better about myself and improved my self esteem significantly. I had been brooding and sulking for so long about having vaginismus and realized that I wasn’t actually doing much at all to overcome it. I started putting in lots of effort and I was able to work my way up confidently managing to use the dilators. Before this, I was completely scared of inserting anything! I realised how I was creating anxiety and learned to calm myself down and have more control over my mind. After a year and a half of marriage, I had sex for the first time! Amazingly, it felt painless! I am so happy that I have come this far.
I would really recommend the Thrive Programme to everyone as this programme not only helps you overcome vaginismus but also helps you in other aspects of your life too. Thank you so much Cara for all your help and support x
Thank you card and update email from Sophia, 25
I’m doing great! Can you believe we finally had sex! No pain and I’m actually enjoying it. I never ever in a million years thought this could happen I’m absolutely over the moon and so is my husband. I practiced with all the dilators for a few weeks, slowly progressing to the largest size.
Testimonial from London-based doctor
As a GP, I had spent a long time thinking that perhaps there was a physical cause for this. However I also felt like this was a ‘catch 22’ situation because I did not feel comfortable enough to go for an examination. I was getting increasingly frustrated as I did not feel I was making any progress with it, despite regular reviews with a (very good, very kind and very patient) gynaecologist and trying to regularly use dilators.
My outlook changed after my first consultation with Cara. I realised not only would this programme likely help me with vaginismus, but with other aspects of my life.
‘Thrive’ enabled me to look at myself, my strengths, my weaknesses, my self-confidence, and my perceptions of things. Six months later, my husband and I were able to have successful penetrative sex, and we still are!
The programme also helped me in lots of other aspects -my work, friendships and my general outlook in things. I would highly recommended this programme. Cara was absolutely fantastic – very patient, enthusiastic, and also questioned me whenever she felt my thought processes may be deleterious!
“Cara you changed my life and the way I think. Before I met Cara I went to see my doctor and they referred me to a councilor who basically blamed my past on why I had Vaginismus. From my first session with Cara I could tell it wasn’t my past but my present and the way think on a day to day basis.
With me, I didn’t know my body at all, I wasn’t even able locate my hole, and I was so scared of the pain to even insert an ear bud inside me let alone trying to let a penis in.
I am now able to insert all the trainers and vibrators and I’m enjoying it. I am still yet to have sexual intercourse, but I am now fully ready to have sexual intercourse when the right person comes along. Thank you soooo much Cara. Anyone who is finding it hard with vaginismus, please contact Cara. I know its hard to speak about it and how embarrassing it is, however she’s a life saver. Its not just Vaginism Cara helps with but also how to love yourself and feel about yourself. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner, my past relationships wouldn’t have ended if I did.”
I would highly recommend the thrive programme and with Cara’s expertise, overcoming vaginismus is definitely achievable. I cannot thank Cara enough and know the techniques I have learnt will help me Thrive in life!
Rebecca S, USA
Realizing the anxiety I had always thought I could deal with alone had manifested into vaginismus caused me to hit rock bottom, and for my anxiety and emotions to feel desperately uncontrollable. I wanted to find a therapist who could help me address the underlying issues of vaginismus – my anxiety.
Cara guided me through building my self-esteem which was crucial for finally getting in control of anxiety. I wish I had found and done Thrive with Cara earlier because it changed my life.
Gone is the emotional roller coaster I was always on, the critical mean-spirited way I would talk to myself that I would never say to another person and the feeling of complete uncontrol over my emotions. You won’t come out perfect, but the change in the quality of your life increases exponentially. For me Thrive was fighting for the life I wanted and not settling for what I thought I deserved or was capable of.
I was diagnosed with Vaginismus about four years ago and tried many different programs to try and overcome it – kegels, yoga, relaxation methods and dilators yet nothing had worked. Through reading lots of books on Vaginismus, I thought that I had an incredibly complex issue that could only be treated with Botox. Thats when I found the Thrive Program and contacted Cara – the rest is history!
With Cara’s help, I was able to overcome Vaginismus, enjoy sex and have a full gynecological test – something I had been too afraid to do before. Cara was amazing at reassuring me that my body is completely normal and that with the right skills, Vaginismus can be simple to overcome! Furthermore, I was able to improve my low self-esteem and anxiety problems that had been holding me back in relationships and in my working life.
In just six sessions, Cara was able completely transform the way I think about myself. I am so grateful for all your help – I just wish I had found you sooner! This was easily the best decision I have ever made and I shall continue to follow all the steps that I learnt to Thrive at everything! And thank you for saving me from Botox!
I just wanted to say thank you so much Cara for all your encouragement and your help. My husband and I had struggled in our first few months of marriage with my vaginismus but with your help we are finally overcoming it!! Sex is getting better all the time – its so much easier now and I feel completely different about it all
Before I saw Cara I was completely convinced that there was something wrong with me and my self esteem was really not great. But the techniques I learnt were amazing and to understand more about the way my thinking styles were ruling my life (e.g. effecting my vaginismus, how I acted socially and my low self esteem) was incredible! Thank you so much for everything!
I tried many treatments before coming to Thrive. I’d been to counselling for six months, I’ve been referred to physiotherapy, I’d tried the sensate focus approach, I’d tried using dilators and I’d been to the sexual health clinic. I was even thinking if I’d ever be able to have children, and this was really getting me down.
What attracted me to Thrive was that it focused on the mental aspects of the condition and also my beliefs and how they impacted the vaginismus. Cara was very calm and warm and she really listened to me as I was able to tell my story and not feel judged or worried about that.
After week five or six I was actually able to have sex for the first time without any pain. I was able to repeat that a few days later. I never expected to get those results so quickly. It’s also had a wide impact upon my life and how I view situations and I feel so much more confident and in control in my life. It’s just amazing to feel feel that the world is my oyster and I can achieve whatever I want to.
Carolyn, 55, email received after a smear she had put off for years
Hi Cara, I just wanted to let you know that I finally had my smear. I managed to talk to the lady without a melt down and she was so amazing, the nurse even held my hand! I couldn’t believe it, it took 30 seconds and it didn’t hurt at all. I am so happy I can’t tell you, I feel I’ve got over my aversion of people doing things to me. I was amazed how cool I was about the smear. Thankyou, Thankyou, thankyou.
Cara has completely destressed me, sometimes going about my day I could be so overwhelmed I would just cry. I feel so much happier physically and mentally now I have learnt how to deal with these traits so they impact less on my life. The one thing I am so grateful to Cara for, is that my relationship with my husband, on ice now for ten years due to my vaginismus and fear of painful sex post menapause, is back on path and she gave me the tools to fully understand why this had happened and what I could do to get over it. I have much better control over my emotions and I am positive about everything.
Communicating with Cara becomes something you will ever be grateful for. I found myself in front of the most amazing lady that allowed me to talk to someone in a way I had never talked to anyone before. The Thrive course will improve anyone’s life for the better, you do not need to think you have a problem to benefit and I could not recommend it more highly.
Riya, 26. To read her ‘Overcoming Vaginismus Diary’, Click here
We finally did it!!! I’m so so grateful to you for all your help and support. I feel stronger in all areas of my life and I can now finally say I’ve overcome vaginismus. Thank you so much to Cara for all your help and support over the past couple of months. You helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you told me a few months ago that I would have overcome my vaginismus, I would not have believed you. Now, I know that I can do it and it will get easier and more enjoyable each time.
The Thrive sessions have not only helped me with my Vaginismus but also helped me as a whole to understand, reflect and challenge my thoughts and beliefs. I feel stronger as an individual, empowered and full of positivity. Knowing that I am in control of my thoughts and what happens to me has been one of the most valuable lessons that I have learnt. I cannot thank you enough. Cara, I am so grateful for what you have helped me to achieve.
Email from Helen, received February 2016
Hi Cara, I don’t know if you remember me, I saw for the treatment of vaginismus in 2013. I wanted to thank you so much for everything you did as I am now pregnant! For 10 years I didn’t think that would ever be a possibility.
I found out on Xmas eve that we are expecting and had our 12 week scan yesterday. I just had to tell you and say thank you. I often think about you x
I had suffered with the thought that there was something wrong with me in regards to having sex. I’d been to the doctors and had a few examinations to be told that I needed to see a gynaecologist. My fear of having sex had over taken my life to the point where I couldn’t overcome it for 8 years until I met Cara.
I thought I had a medical condition which actually turned out to be a state of mind that only Cara made me realise. I went through the Thrive programme and initially thought I have tried everything else let’s give it one last go. In my mind I felt like if a doctor cant help me how is talking about it going to. This is where I went wrong. Week by week I got that step further in being able to have sex and within 7 weeks I had sex properly for the first time!
Each time I embraced my achievements rather than focus on the negative and now I able to have sex enjoyably. All thanks to Cara! Thank you so much.
This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you want to overcome vaginismus in a simple logical way this is the way.…it really is so simple. Before I started working with Cara and during the programme it felt like the most craziest complex problem to overcome and I now know how simple and logical it is to overcome and can apply the same process to anything I want to achieve in life and that fills me with confidence.
I have been married for 2 years and after trying dilators, and seeking help from a psychosexual clinic via the NHS, I was still not able to have intercourse. I went to see Cara apprehensively. I had no faith whatsoever that she could help my condition using Thrive. Thrive sounded completely unrelated to vaginism, like a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and I struggled to see how anyone could cure me by simply having a chat. But within just 4 sessions with Cara I was able to have intercourse! What made me most apprehensive about Thrive has now become what I love about it the most.
It’s holistic. It doesn’t just deal with vaginismus but every aspect of our thinking. It’s now helping me with other aspects of my life and has made me a more positive and happier person.
Hi Cara, I hope you remember me – I completed the thrive programme with you around a year ago. I was seeing you for vaginismus. I wanted to let you know that I am completely cured of vaginismus.
I am soooo much happier in all aspects of my life now. I feel more confident and comfortable in myself, have a much more internal locus of control, higher self esteem and lower (though this one still needs work!) social anxiety. So, I just wanted to let you know that you really helped me. Thrive really was the turning point for me and I recommend it to everyone I speak to in and outside of work who wants to make any kind of change in their lives. Thank you!
Having had vaginismus for 10 years I was beginning to give up on the idea of ever being able to have sex. I’d tried counselling and psychosexual therapy for years with very little progress, but all I’d needed was 6 sessions of Thrive. Cara really helped me see that sex was possible and all that was stopping me was me!
Through the programme and my sessions with Cara, I have been able to understand and manage my thoughts an feelings in other situations too and am able to worry less about always being in control. I really do feel now that anything is possible. Cara, I cannot thank you enough- my life has changed so much and I can now really look forward to my future.
Hannah, 21, treated for vaginismus and OCD with Thrive
For 3 years I have suffered with vaginismus and I thought it was a problem with me, an unsolvable problem. Until I met Cara! That sounds corny, I know but its true. I come across Cara’s website through simply searching the term vaginismus online & was suddenly filled with hope that there was a cure! – THRIVE.
I battled with vaginismus to the point where sex was not possible at all, I had been told by Doctor’s and gynaecologists that this condition was very difficult to treat and required physical treatment, examinations – you name it! Anybody experiencing this condition will understand what I mean when it feels like your hitting a brick wall followed by feeling very down after each failure.
After seeing Cara I am able to have sex and actually enjoy it! I initially consulted with Cara for just this issue however I also was battling with anxiety, OCD and panic attacks. The THRIVE programme and Cara’s brilliant consultations helped me overcome all of these issues I have been experiencing for a very long time. I feel like a different person now & I cannot thank Cara enough for everything she has done for me or should I say everything she has helped me do for myself!
Her genuine care through the entire programme was amazing and I could not help but feel teary when she hugged me goodbye. Every penny spent and every minute spent was worth it and I will continue referring to Thrive for the rest of my life. Meeting with Cara and taking part in the THRIVE programme has really made me learn much more about myself, things I never knew before. I now feel like I can overcome anything.
Thank you SO much for all of your help Cara, I feel like a little butterfly let loose!
I battled with vaginismus for several years and was convinced I was abnormal and incapable of having a sexual relationship with my husband. I tried psychosexual therapy, couple therapy and every self help tool you can imagine – to no avail. Then I met Cara who helped me through a journey of self discovery.
And you know what? Sex is great!! This therapy saved my marriage and has helped me feel like me again.
I have never been happier! I thank you Cara with all my heart.
So do I just want to say thank you to you?? NOT really, I want to big you a big big sisterly HUG! For your kindness and compassion, for your support and care, for your commitment and understanding, for being so non judgemental, for being patient, for being sweet, for being the person there for me at a difficult time, for being my confidente ,who listened to me, heard me and helped me find my way, my shining star !!!!!!
You have truly been inspiring to me in a lot of ways, and you have touched my life in a way that I will cherish and hold forever. I am feeling more confident and my self esteem has improved tremendously and I can honestly say I feel ‘really content’…
Things are changing for the better, I am the one who is changing and I am enjoying it. I am more aware of myself and my control over ‘me’, which feels really good…. so thank you for making me smile
Farrah, 40, treated for low libido and social anxiety
When i first came to see cara I had been suffering from social phobia for many years and low labido that i thought was part of me. I was not happy with myself i wanted to change and tried many forms of therapies namely, reflexology, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, etc, but none of them helped to get to the root of the problem.
I think i came to see cara at the right time and i am glad i did as i had no energy to do anything even everyday things like house work, shopping, picking kids up from school seemed a great effort until i came to see cara, she was warm and approachable and made me feel at ease, and after four sessions I began to notice the difference and felt great and had energy. I am no longer nervous and rigid around people, i dont fear social situations like i used to. i no longer feel overwhelmed with tasks, i just get on with things now. My labido is also much better now.