Journalist Spotlight | Interview with Isiah McKimmie, Relationship Counsellor, Couples Therapist, Sex Therapist and Sexologist
Isiah McKimmie sat down with Medianet this week to chat about her work as a Couples Therapist and providing advice to thousands of Australians, both personally and through her weekly advice column with news.com.au.
Isiah has also written for 9Honey, body+soul, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Everyday, Harper’s BAZAAR and been featured on some of Australia’s most popular talk shows.
Can you tell me a bit about how your career in the media industry has evolved into being featured on sites like news.com.au, Mamamia and Insider?
My very first media comment was when a writer at Cosmopolitan reached out to me. I’d been filling out inquiries for SourceBottle and getting no bites - I was thrilled when my advice was actually going to be published. From there, it was really a matter of being consistent, answering every SourceBottle query I could. I also pitched a local magazine to write a Sex and Relationship column, which somehow they agreed to. I also pitched a number of ‘mummy bloggers’ that were just becoming a thing at the time - while I didn’t get to write for those sites, it turns out some of them were freelancers themselves. That combination meant my details got passed around to journalists for comment and things grew from there.
I had dreamed of being a journalist or writer growing up, so it’s been a really wonderful ‘full circle’ experience for me to be doing something that I love so much and get to write too.
What perspectives, stories and experiences do you want to see more in the industry and your field?
I always aim for professional, balanced, considered advice. I think in the area of sexuality, it’s really easy to give ‘quick tips’ or write/share something that’s going to grab attention, but I would love to see more open, realistic conversation about the issues we face.
What is a commonly held belief of your job and your work that you disagree with?
One of the first questions I get asked when people find out what I do is ‘What’s the weirdest or most interesting case you’ve ever seen?’ The truth is, none of it seems weird to me - and most people I see are just regular couples struggling with knowing how to enjoy themselves sexually or how to address different desire levels as they try to juggle life.
I wish that both Sex Therapy and Couples Therapy were more understood and that we could talk openly about seeing therapists to really break the taboo and shame around it.
If you could go back 5 years, what advice would you give yourself?
5 years ago, I was living in India and doing my work fully online. It’s an experience I wouldn’t change for anything. More than anything I would want to be affirming and let myself know that I’m doing the right things.
Where do you see yourself in the future and where would you like your work to take you?
I’m passionate about the intersection of Sex Therapy and Couples Therapy. While it might seem obvious that they are similar - the reality is that sex therapists and sexologists are not trained in couples therapy and many couples therapists don’t know how to even talk about sex with their clients. The next part of my work is training more therapists to be able to adequately deal with both issues without necessarily having to do two Masters degrees as I have.
Is there any upcoming or recent work from you we should keep an eye out for?
There’s a few really exciting developments here, but I’ll say more as they unfold.
And lastly, what’s the best way to contact you regarding your work?
Directly at firstname.lastname@example.org