Sex Therapy Services – Individual and Couple Counseling

Why Sex Therapy?

Sex therapy can help a person or couple overcome a variety of sexual difficulties and challenges.

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.

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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.

Sexual difficulties can put stress on a relationship. As such, working past this stress and difficulties through speaking with a certified professional can help with the resolution of ED. This applies even if physical factors were the original cause of the condition.

Due to concerns about poor performance, a man with ED or other erectile issues may hesitate to engage in sexual contact. This can weigh heavily on the man’s partner who may feel rejected or ignored. This could then put strain on the relationship. As such, speaking with a certified therapist can help heal the bond between the two.

Sexual wellness is essential to your health and happiness.

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

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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
  • Substance use, mood and mental health impacts 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.

Dr. Pollock

Our Men’s Sexual Health and Wellness Team

Dr. Neil Pollock, MD

Dr. Pollock is the founder of Pollock Clinics.

In 2018, Dr. Pollock recognized a need in the Lower Mainland for additional effective treatment options to address the common condition of erectile dysfunction. After significant research was conducted, Pollock Clinics introduced their new Men’s Sexual Health Program.

Numerous articles have been written about Dr. Pollock in local and national publications and he is an invited guest lecturer and surgical instructor at many hospitals and conferences in Vancouver and throughout the world, including Haiti, Turkey, China, Rwanda, and the US.

Dr. Pollock is a Clinical Instructor with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine. He enjoys teaching medical students and visiting physicians, who travel from around the world to Vancouver to work specifically with him to learn his unique and highly respected surgical techniques.

Sex therapy available at the Pollock Clinics

Tom Foster, MSW, RSW, RCC, Certified Sex Therapist

Tom Foster is a sex therapist with over 35 years of experience.

He has worked extensively with issues related to sexuality, relationship conflict (and growth), as well as dispute resolution.

Tom focuses on applying a strength-based approach to working with individuals, couples, and families. He is particularly effective in helping clients manage the strong emotions that can play a significant role in achieving a constructive outcome. Tom applies emotional regulation and mindfulness principles and has extensive training and experience in working with those addressing mood and substance use concerns.

Tom Foster has a BA from the University of Alberta, a Masters in Social Work [MSW] from the University of Toronto. Tom completed the Sex Therapy Training Program at the Program in Human Sexuality, University of Minnesota Medical School. Following his training in Minneapolis he continued to work at the Program in Human Sexuality for several years.

Tom has worked for decades in both the employee and family assistance field as well as in his private practice.

Tom feels that gaining a perspective on what it is we are being challenged by is key; however, stepping back and getting wise to the problem can seem almost impossible.

With perspective we can develop more effective strategies for meeting individual goals. There are many different means to gaining the perspective we need to thrive. Counselling is one way we can help our patients.

Mr. Foster bases his sex therapy practice on these ideas:

  • Therapy can only occur when the client feels respected.
  • Therapy is talking about things we don’t ordinarily talk about, or talking about the things we do talk about in a different kind of way.
  • Safety and risk are different sides of the same coin; in therapy we need to create safety in order to take risk.
  • Individuals, couples, and families can benefit greatly by learning about and employing constructive dispute resolution strategies.
  • When we become polarized with either a problem or another person, we often develop beliefs about the problem or the other person that fail to take into account the full range of interests.
  • Learning to quiet the internal dialogue is fundamental to hearing the fuller voice of ourselves.
  • Being aware of the messages that our body gives us is the first step in emotional savvy.
Vasectomy relieves a lot of stress

Justin Paulsen, MCP, RCC, ABS, Psychotherapist, Certified Couples Counsellor, and Clinical Sexologist

Justin Paulsen is a virtually based Psychotherapist, Couples Counsellor and Clinical Sexologist. He specializes in areas such as sexuality, erectile dysfunction, ejaculation issues, sex anxiety, and relationship conflict and intimacy building.

His work with you will be tailored to your needs, based on how you identify your problem and what has or hasn’t worked for you. He takes a holistic and integrative approach to healing and draws on Client-Centered, Emotion-Focused, Cognitive-Behavioural, Somatic, and Mindfulness practices to help you manage your concerns. By attending sessions, you will be given the opportunity to learn new skills and tools that you can take with you into your day-to-day, helping you feel better equipped to manage your sexual challenges.

Together with Justin, you can start to look at what brought you in, what’s keeping you stuck, and what possible ways there are to move forward. His educational background is based in counselling psychology – as he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Counselling Psychology followed by a Master of Counselling Psychology at Adler University with a focus on sexual health and sexuality.

He joined the Westland Academy of Sex Therapy team as a researcher and consultant on course material. Justin developed training material for clinicians with a focus on various sexual dysfunctions, such as: ED (erectile dysfunction), PE/DE (premature and delayed ejaculation) and continues to work with many clients to tackle some of these stresses.

Sex therapy resolves sexual issues

The West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy

The West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy in Vancouver provides therapy and counselling services (both virtually and in-person) so you can feel better about sex. Their team of psychologists, counsellors and associate sex therapists offer scientifically-based therapy tools, techniques and treatment approaches for your sexual concerns. 

Talking about sex isn’t always easy. The West Coast Centre team understands the difficulties attached to sexual issues and promises a warm, comfortable sex therapy experience. Through consultation you are paired with the professional best suited to your specific needs from their diverse roster of experts. Together you can navigate the nuance without judgement and build an action plan personalized to you and your goals. 

Sex therapy can effectively complement your Pollock Clinics consultation for a holistic approach to sexual health. Whether you’re struggling with libido, problematic sexual behaviours, feelings of guilt or shame, or a myriad of other sexual challenges, the West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy can help. You can improve how you feel about sex and reclaim your sex life. 

The West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy has over 10 years of experience working with men and women of all backgrounds: “There’s probably nothing we haven’t heard, and we’re here to help you feel less alone.”

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