What is Sex Therapy?
Sex Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that addresses sexual problems affecting both individuals and couples.
Sex Therapy can help a person or couple overcome sexual problems and improve sexual feelings and intimacy.
Sex therapy is founded on a holistic approach that places the focus on the client developing their own personal definition of sexual health.
This type of service is provided by a mental health professional with specific training in issues related to sex and relationships.
How Does Therapy Support Medical Interventions?
Sexual issues are multi-dimensional; arising out of biological, psychological, behavioral and social factors. Counselling can optimize the efficacy of medical interventions for sexual disorders.
Sex therapy is often helpful in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, even when physical factors are the principal cause. Sexual difficulties, no matter what the cause, can strain your relationship.
Frequently, a man with erectile problems experiences performance anxiety, which makes him reluctant to initiate sexual contact. His partner may perceive this as rejection, which could trigger feelings of frustration and resentment. Sex therapy, with our experienced, certified sex therapist, can help a couple overcome these feelings and re-establish intimacy.
Our Approach to Sex Therapy
Sex therapy helps individuals and couples to talk about and resolve sexual issues and in turn have greater sexual pleasure.
Through the process of sex therapy clients develop personal awareness and effective communication skills regarding their sexual needs and interests.
Sex therapy explores the deeper individual and relational dynamics.
Often clients get stuck in a loop of disappointment, distress, and catastrophizing which only serves to reinforce hopelessness.
Sex therapy provides a method for deconstructing the problem and identifying the route to a process-based solution.
We help clients to identify their real time state of emotional regulation and to use this awareness in developing a range of focusing skills. Through counselling clients gain a much better appreciation for the emotional, psychological and relational forces that influence their process of sexual expression.
We typically suggest from between one and three counselling sessions to explore the underlying dynamics that sustain the problem and identify a solution based process.
Often, clients will have their needs met through these limited number of sessions. For those with a history of an attachment injury or trauma, longer term counselling may be helpful. The process always involves a feedback loop between the client and the therapist with a focus on getting the client(s) to where they want to go.
In working with couples in sex therapy we typical include an individual session with each partner. This allows an opportunity for each partner to consult and identify those areas that are most difficult to discuss.
Couples benefit from communication skill development and enhanced problem solving and conflict resolution. Through the process of sex therapy both individuals and couples benefit from a greater sense of compassion for themselves and each other. Clients become much clearer about their necessary conditions for great sex.
Benefits of Sex Therapy
Sex therapy can help with a variety of goals, including:
- Achieving a healthy sexual life
- Treating erectile dysfunction
- Reducing anxiety associated with sexual activity
- Learning new skills and healthier ways of approaching sex
- Feeling in control of one’s sexuality
- Regaining confidence
- Treating premature ejaculation
- Learning concrete strategies for managing uncomfortable thoughts and emotions
- Reducing harmful behaviours that are impacting sex
- Concerns about sexual desire
What Kind of Issues Does Sex Therapy Address?
Sexual topics discussed in therapy include:
- Low sexual desire and little interest in sex
- Erectile dysfunction – inability to achieve, or maintain an erection during intimacy
- Problems achieving orgasm
- Premature or early ejaculation
- Pain during or after sex
- Sexual avoidance or aversion
- Negative, repressive sexual attitudes and values that impede arousal
- Problems with experiencing pleasure or arousal during sex
- Limited or inaccurate information about sex and sexuality
- Sexual abuse issues
- Anxiety or worries about sexual performance
- Compulsive sexual behavior that negatively impacts sexual functioning
- Mood, mental health , and substance use concerns that undermine sexual functioning
Relationship topics discussed in therapy include:
- Communication and conflict resolution
- Fear of intimacy
- Divorce/previous relationships
- Children and parenting issues
- Different relationship expectations
- Extramarital relationships
- Forgiveness and acceptance
- Gender role conflict
- Health problems and limitations
- Grief, death, and loss
- Financial disagreements
- Relationship problems contributing to sexuality concerns
- Conflicts about differences in sexual desire or preferences
- Impact on mood, mental health, and substance use on sexual intimacy
Sex Therapy FAQ
How long does sex therapy take?
Sex therapy is designed to be short-term. A thorough assessment is needed in order to adequately predict how long treatment will take. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few sessions to resolve a problem, to many months of therapy.
Do I need therapy with other ED treatment?
In some cases, erectile dysfunction has a primarily physiological cause and shockwave treatments or PRP therapy are the best and only recommended treatment. In other cases, there is an important role for sex therapy in treating ED. Our team will conduct a thorough assessment and recommend the most suitable approach for your unique situation.
Will the appointment be embarrassing?
Our therapist is fully aware that talking about sex and intimacy with a stranger can be difficult for many people, and is able to help clients feel comfortable very quickly.
Is a doctor’s referral necessary?
No, you can refer yourself. If you have private insurance that covers psychological services, you may wish to obtain a referral.