Sex therapy is similar to traditional talk therapy, but with the process focused on resolving sexual problems by specifically addressing them.
Sexual issues do not typically resolve themselves through working on relationship concerns. Sex therapy involves specific behavioral protocols that the therapist will ask the couple/individual to complete between sessions. There is never any touching between patients and therapists. A sex therapist can be a psychiatrist, psychologist or clinical social worker who has received postgraduate training in sexology and is board certified in this discipline.
For most sexual concerns, sex therapy is usually brief and effective. Success depends on many factors including the motivation of the patient and/or couple. As with all therapy, mutual trust and respect are important, especially working with intimate issues of sexuality.
What Does Sex Therapy Treat?
Difficulty achieving a satisfying partnership
Problems with use of pornography
Difficulties with orgasm, erection or ejaculation
Concerns about desire, arousal, partner response or satisfaction
Sex addiction or compulsive sex or masturbation
Sexual shame or history of abuse
Performance and confidence issues
Love addictions or avoidance
Physical concerns, pain or body issues
Desires to explore, navigate sexuality choices and options
Concerns about fertility, parenting, identity
Finding the Right Sex Therapist
It’s important to make sure that your therapist is certified in sex therapy and a member of ASSECT – the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. You can search for a professional in your area on their website, www.aasect.org.