About Cyndi

I'm Cyndi Darnell 

I help people stop struggling & start loving

I teach people like you to live life wholeheartedly.  I show people like you how to confidently take meaningful steps in life, relationships, intimacy and sexuality. I guide people just like you to create a life worth loving.

I'm not your 'typical' therapist. 

I help people who are tired of dragging their feet and living at half-mast in life. I work with people who have decided they're ready for change and ready to level-up. I serve people who are ready to compassionately cut through the BS to get closer to where they want to be - personally, socially, in relationships and sexually. I coach people who are ready to discover their desires, passions and integrate this new powerful wisdom. I support people who are ready to be met with both passion and compassion. I am passionate, embodied and I teach you how to be too. I offer support to people who want education and facts to guide their process. I help people who want to feel and experience more. I work with people who may have been in therapy before or are ready to really take a deep dive into making changes that previous therapists just couldn't offer.  I love helping people seeking guidance, strategy, sensitivity, accountability and who are committed to really working on what's getting in their way. 

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, I'm now an honorary New Yorker. I'm a certified clinical sexologist (M.HSc, M.Nt, G.Dip. Couns, G.Dip App. Ling, B.Ed. see full certifications & training below) and Aussie-trained therapist & couple's counselor offering holistic counseling, sex coaching, marriage counseling, life coaching, and integrative couple's retreats in New York, plus online video consulting around the USA and across the world. I serve individuals, traditional couples and people in open, polyamorous, kinky and consensual non monogamous relationships. LGBTIQA & straight identities warmly invited.

I know risk. I know how it feels to jump, be afraid, face pain and thrive. I wasn't always a risk-taker and change isn't always easy. But I've learned to be bold, be brave, trust myself and nourish my soul - which lead me to follow my heart and gut to NYC -  in my 40s!

After over a decade in private practice as a psychotherapist and sex therapist, I left a thriving business and a pivotal role as Australia's go-to media expert on all things sex & relationships, to leap wholeheartedly into the unknown here in New York City.

We are all born with an innate familiarity with connection, but over time that wisdom becomes a distant memory. We long to feel connection again, to ourselves, our bodies and our partners. But in order to connect, we must feel safe enough to let go - and be free. To show ourselves - to see and be seen.  But knowing how to create more intimacy, understanding and erotic connection is not just about techniques, it's about knowing how to feel more and bring more of yourself to your relationships, daily joys and sensual encounters.

It's through learning to see and trust yourself  you learn to see & trust others, and develop connections that create long lasting intimacy and joy.

Taking leaps of faith and making meaningful connections is hard work. 

But I walk my talk and my work - my love is to show you how.

My passion and enthusiasm for life helps me understand what powerful sex, deep connection and meaningful relationships are. This is precisely what I share with my clients around the world.

My love of NYC has spanned decades after developing a love for the city from watching Sesame Street as a child in Australia! The passion and diversity of the city made NYC the logical choice for me to come start my life again on the other side of the planet.

You may be wondering why on Earth would I do that? The short answer is passion.

The longer answer is when I reflected on what I had in Australia, (which was great and I was grateful) I imagined myself doing that same thing 20 years in the future.

And I felt sick.

I felt wretched. And small. And tired.

That's how people survive. That's not a way to LIVE! Not for me, and likely not for you either!

Every cell in my body knew the difference between being grateful for what I had - and expanding into a new dimension. So I jumped - and the rest is history.


I have always been a pleasure enthusiast. For as far back as I can remember, my interest in passion, creativity and pleasure has been part of my identity. Having traveled the world extensively in my 20s in the pursuit of self-knowledge, then my 30s exploring more introspective wonders and delights, I have come to embrace the understanding that well-being, intimacy and relationships are not something separate from our lives, but part of our lives as a pathway to genuine satisfaction.

But it's not all margaritas and massages. I know my shit!

My Erotic Healing Journey

Healing means changing how you are in the world. When I first started healing my sexuality in my early 20s I was on the receiving end of many people's judgements and assessments of what I was doing 'wrong'. 
Healing sexuality makes those around you uncomfortable, especially if theirs remains unhealed. 
So much faux concern for my wellbeing which was actually multiple attempts to put me back in a box- not for my benefit, but for theirs.
There are some people who STILL try this with me now.

I laugh in their faces. AS IF.

The truth is when we control and own our sexuality and sexual responses, we can no longer be controlled by any one person or system. Instead we learn through practice and repetition that healing means taking up space, being bold, being brave, saying no and most importantly saying YES.

Change happens over time. It's a subtle calm that washes over you. You make better choices to remove yourself from what's not good for you. It's like waking up from a long sleep and realizing you had the gifts all along, you just needed to learn how to  use them. It's having your own back day after day and seeking resources within you, rather than looking for others to blame. When you have moments that show you how your responses have changed, and you look back and think - WOW I did that!  While some days will still be tough,  you trust yourself and know you will not drown. Because when you can trust yourself, everything feels a little bit easier.

I draw on knowledge from the clinical, the practical and the esoteric to create a service unlike any other in this field, anywhere in the world.

Over 20 years ago, I was fortunate enough to have met and been mentored by two of the greatest powerhouses of contemporary somatic sexology; Barbara Carrellas and her pioneering work now known as Urban Tantra, and the foundational practices of The Body Electric (now called Sexological Bodywork) with Chester Mainard. These lineages combined with studies of Taoist sexuality,  old-fashioned trial & error - plus rigorous academic training and internships in clinical counseling and linguistics with advanced degrees in narrative therapy and specialist clinical sex therapy form the foundation of my professional offerings utilizing variety of perspectives and approaches. In this way,  my service is truly unique in  centering and honoring the complexity of sex, pleasure and human condition.

I have presented my work to professional and public audiences around the globe. A regular at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre, I'm also a writer and erotic philosopher, published in the Journal of Sex Education (UK) and the Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy (UK) and a contributor to anthology Signed, Sealed, Delivered from 'Women of Letters' with Penguin.

You will often see and hear me within international media. I was the principal sexuality consultant and primary therapist on Luke Warm Sex (ABC) and a regular media commentator whose opinion is frequently sought for TV, radio and print including The Washington Post, New York Magazine,  O-The Oprah Magazine, Refinery 29, Bustle, The Huffington Post, Netflix, ABC Radio, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Cosmopolitan and much more. In 2015 I was the only sexologist named in MindBodyGreen’s list of Top 100 Women to Watch.

I am presently an affiliate on the advisory board University of Wisconsin - Stout Graduate Certificate in Sex Therapy Program and faculty on Pink Therapy's (UK) Foundation Certificate in Gender, Sexuality & Relationship Diversity Therapy. I also have received the honor to be recognized as a Clinical Associate of Pink Therapy UK.

These days I offer in-person consultations in New York City, and a range of tailored consultations and services to national and international clients online.

When I have a moment to spare I am a travel enthusiast with a love of the exotic and wild. I have traveled all over the world including Australia, the USA & most of Europe and Asia - (South America, you're next!) I have lived in Scotland, Spain and Dubai, punctuated with long stints in Amsterdam and India. I have a fondness for women's shoes, large jewelry and leopard print which is reflected in my vast personal collection. In previous careers, I was a costume designer {including time in wardrobe on popular Aussie soap Neighbours}, an English teacher, a bartender, a dancer, a life model, and a professional tarot card reader.  When not researching or writing, I'm interested in indoor plants, corgis, social justice theory, Buddhism, classical Chinese medicine and astrology (I'm Libra {balance} with a good dose of Capricorn {hard-working}, Aquarius {open-minded} and of course, enough Scorpio to be OK deep in the depths!) I also love animals, red wine, good coffee, tequila, most Spanish things, improv, being cooked for, sewing and shooting the breeze!

My formal qualifications are:

  • Master of Health Sciences (Sexual Health) (University of Sydney)
  • Master of Narrative Therapy & Community Work (University of Melbourne)
  • Post Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Human Services (La Trobe University)
  • Post Graduate Diploma of Applied Linguistics (La Trobe University)
  • Bachelor of Education (La Trobe University)

In Australia, I accrued over 15,000 hours experience as a trained level 4 clinical psychotherapist, clinical sexologist, counselor and sex therapist. I've also completed training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with Russ Harris, Trauma and Fragmentation with Janina Fisher and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with Marsha Linehan.


I maintain an international consulting practice with clients across the world. The interchangeable titles of sexologist or sex / relationship therapist or sexuality/ couple's counselor or sex / relationship / life coach may change depending upon where my clients are located across borders or according to the local jurisdiction. You can call me what you like. The consulting services described include my multiple layers of training and expertise coupled with a healthy dose of permission and joy!

* My clinical training in counseling and psychotherapy extends to take a holistic viewpoint in my client-centered sexuality/ relationship work. While my training includes comprehensive mental health care assessment & management, I do not offer clinical / traditional 'mental health' diagnosis or services in the United States. Clients seeking assistance with severe psychiatric  / chronic mental health conditions,  requiring letters for insurance & substance management problems are referred out to appropriate professionals in their location where required.

Cyndi Darnell Australian Sex Therapist