Meet Dr. Magdalena J. Fosse
Dr. Magdalena D. Fosse, clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist
Dr. Fosse is a AASECT-certified sex therapist. She holds Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree in Clinical Psychology from William James College, and Masters Degree in Psychology from Harvard University.
She was also trained at the Norwegian Gestalt Institute, couple's therapy postgraduate, and at the Psychodynamic Couples and Famalies Institue of New England (PCFINE).
Dr. Fosse is a faculty member and on board of directors at PCFINE.
Hello Dr. Magdalena, tell us about yourself
My name is Dr. Magdalena J. Fosse, or as my clients call me, Dr. Magdalena. I’m a clinical psychologist, couples’ therapist, and ASSECT certified sex therapist located in Cambridge, MA. I’m also a teacher and consultant, teaching on sexuality and couples’ therapy and providing consultation on sexuality and intimacy—vanilla, straight to kink and transgender matters all come up in my practice. In my practice, I see people of all genders and sexual orientations, many of whom have a history of trauma.
My particular expertise is in polyamory and consensual nonmonogamy; however, what I focus on is not so much the format of the relationship, but whether the relationship(s) you’re in is a relationship worth having. I’m an author of an upcoming book The Many Faces of Polyamory: Longing and Belonging in Concurrent Relationships.
I love reminding women that sexual pleasure is theirs to have and that there is nothing shameful or wrong about their intimate desires. What’s important is that sex is not solely about technique, toys, or inventive play—women’s ability to enjoy sexual pleasure is intertwined with their past and present relational experiences. Enjoyable sex is about senses, embodiment, and connection to oneself and others. To me, helping women unlock the secret to their own longings is deeply rewarding. To get there often requires overcoming one’s sense of shame, and understanding the many dimensions of experiences we carry with us.
I bring a multi-cultural experience to my practice. Having lived, learned, and loved in three different countries, Poland, Norway, and the US, I earned three master’s degrees and a doctorate in clinical psychology along the way. Discovering and rediscovering myself in these different cultures taught me about the power of experience. It’s humbling, but also enriching—as long as we’re open, we learn.
Why did you choose to be a sex therapist?
I’ve wanted to be a psychologist since I was a teenager. I was fortunate, because I had a sense of direction, and not so fortunate because my particular yearning had roots in distress. People like me become therapists to face our struggles, and we hope to transform this suffering to the betterment of our clients. I was determined to help myself and use this power to help others.
My roots are in a European culture that is less inhibited about sex than what you find in the US; this equips me with a more sex-positive approach to life and therapy. I believe in the power of self-knowledge, but also seduction and romance, the seemingly long forgotten qualities of sexual intimacy.
It was natural for me to become certified as a sex therapist to supplement my clinical psychology expertise, having always enjoyed sensuality, erotica, and fully-embodied experiences, both sexual or non-sexual in nature. To me, dancing, hiking the mountains, or playing with a cat, the most sensual of all animals, can be as embodied as making love. To you, maybe it is something you already know, but don’t think of in terms of embodiment. Or, perhaps it’s something you’re hoping to discover and that is why you’re looking at this page.
What are the most memorable moments of your work experience?
The most memorable moments have no name, they’re visceral. These are the moments when the chill travels down my spine—when a new understanding emerges between me as a therapist and a woman or couple I’m working with. It is an honor to facilitate the process of transformation.
Do you have any advice to us women?
Giving advice is easy, connecting to the message is a different matter. But let me try.
Notice how you feel and not how you should feel. Learn to discern what works for you and what doesn’t, personally and relationally. Awareness is the first step towards change.