What is Sex Therapy and Does it Work?
These days, many of us find it hard to find the time to have a decent and satisfactory sex life with our partner. We’re either too busy, too tired or too stressed much of the time. While we may not like it, this is pretty normal.
What’s not normal is having no desire for sex for long periods of time. This usually signals that there is either something physically, mentally or emotionally going on with the person. While in the past many people felt uncomfortable at the idea of talking to someone about their sex issues, it has become increasingly more common and people are now turning to sex therapists for help.
How Do You Know if Sex Therapy is Right for You?
If you are experiencing a lack in libido, it’s first important to rule that your problem stems from anything physical. It’s best to start by making an appointment with your gynecologist or urologist who can detect any hormonal imbalances or any other illnesses/issues that may be going on.
If you get the green light medically speaking, then there is a very good chance your issues are stemming from something mental or emotional. It may be that you are in the mood but your partner isn’t. Maybe both of you are feeling a disconnect from the other.
Whatever it may be, a sex therapist can help you discover what the issue might be and give you the tools to resolve it.
In general, sex therapy can be used to address:
- A lack of sexual desire
- Intimacy after infidelity
- A couple’s disparity in sex drives
- Intimacy after having children
- A paraphilia, or desire that cause a person distress
- Sex addictions and/or compulsive behavior
- Difficulties achieving orgasm.
What to Expect
Talk therapy is one of the tools used in sex therapy but it’s generally not enough to resolve all of a person’s issues. To address whatever emotional issues may be going on underneath, certain behavioral techniques will be used. Usually, these techniques will involve physical exercises that clients will do on their own outside of the therapy setting.
For instance, one common technique used in sex therapy is called sensate focus. This exercise has couples caress or massage one another without any sexual contact. The idea is to have both partners learn to give and receive pleasure and to feel safe together. Once partners become a bit more comfortable, they can then progress to genital stimulation.
NOTE: Nothing of a physical or sexual nature should happen in the therapist’s office. Sex therapists are NOT the same as sex surrogates who do act in a physical way with their clients.
Finding a Therapist
If you are interested in exploring treatment, it’s important to find a practitioner with the proper credentials. Your therapist should be an experienced and licensed psychotherapist with training in sex therapy from a reputable program.
If you live in the area and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I’d be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.