Sex Therapy & Counseling
Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy. Through sex therapy, you can address concerns about sexual function, sexual feelings and intimacy either in individual therapy or in joint therapy with your partner. Sex therapy can be effective for adults of any age, sex or sexual orientation.
Sex therapy is usually short term, with a limited number of sessions. The treatment plan depends on the concerns to be addressed.
Sex therapy can help you resolve various sexual issues, from concerns about sexual function or feelings to the way you relate to your partner. Through sex therapy, you may focus on issues such as:
Talking about sex and intimacy may initially feel awkward. Remember, certified sex therapists are trained at putting you at ease and are skilled at identifying and exploring sexual concerns. Through sex therapy, you can learn to express your concerns clearly, better understand your own sexual needs and better understand your partner's sexual needs.
You'll likely begin sex therapy by describing your specific sexual concerns. Sexual issues can be complicated, and your therapist will want to get a clear idea of all the factors involved. Once your therapist understands the situation, he or she will discuss ways to resolve your concerns and improve your communication and intimacy.
If you're in a relationship, it's usually most helpful to involve your partner in meetings with your sex therapist. You and your partner may be assigned a series of homework exercises, such as:
Sex therapy is usually short term. Some concerns can be addressed quickly, in just a few visits. Typically, however, a number of counseling sessions are required.
As sex therapy progresses, you'll use your home experiences to further identify and refine the issues you'd like to work on. Remember, sexual coaching that involves physical contact is not part of mainstream sex therapy.
Keep in mind that concerns about sex and intimacy are often linked to other underlying issues, such as stress, anxiety or depression. In other cases, sexual function is affected by chronic illness, medication side effects, surgery or aging.
Depending on your concerns and your physical health, seeing only a sex therapist may be enough or your sex therapist may be part of a team that includes your doctor, psychologist or physical therapist. For some sexual concerns, medication may be helpful. A complete medical evaluation can help determine the nature of your problem and the full range of treatment options that may be appropriate for your situation.