What is sex therapy?
Are you struggling with one or another form of sexual dysfunction, and been advised that you should consult a sex therapist? You may have heard somewhere that weird things happen in a sex counsellor’s office, and this could be causing you to delay making a decision about this advice. Unfortunately there is an erroneous idea that sex therapy is strange, kinky, and bordering on the abnormal. In fact there is nothing quirky about sex therapy, and it is like any other form of counselling.
The difference is that sex therapy is conducted by someone who is specifically trained in psychological methods of treatment to help solve sex and relationship problems. A sex therapist can help you work through old, unresolved emotional issues that may be adding to problems of low libido, a lack of sexual desire, or other sexual issues that are making your life difficult.
If you are dealing with problems as a couple, it is a good idea to bring your partner along. But if you are working on your own personal issues, it may be beneficial to meet with the therapist alone a few times, before asking your partner to join in.
What does a sex counsellor actually do?
Just as a cardiologist deals with heart problems, a gynaecologist with gynaecological problems, the sex therapist deals with sexual difficulties!
Each person who visits a sex counsellor is unique, and counsellors are trained to have an awareness of sexuality that has nothing to do with their personal opinions and personal experiences. They are therefore able to give you unbiased, focussed treatment relating to your own sexual concerns.
Here are some of the methods therapists may employ when counselling:
- Help you identify and deal with unresolved emotional issues which may be having a negative effect on your sex life
- Suggest the use of non-sexual touching techniques which are exercises designed to get partners more attuned to each other. The exercises usually begin with stroking and touching on any part of the body, except the sex areas like the breasts or genitals.
- The goal is to experience the feeling of touching than a sexual encounter. Eventually, the exercises can lead to a mutual desire for intercourse. These physical touching exercises, also known as “sensate focus” do not take place in the therapist’s office.
- Help to promote better communication between partners so that they can talk more openly to each other about wants and needs. If this happens, the sexual hassles may be solved more easily.
Note that you should never be required to do anything sexual in the confines of the therapist’s office. And you should never ever be asked to remove any items of clothing.
Sex therapy isn’t always for everyone
Sex therapy is similar to psychological counselling, which means that it will not fix anything that may have a physical or medical reason which has led to sexual difficulties.
You could be one of many out there who may benefit from therapy, but are held back because of embarrassment, ignorance, or fear of what might take place. Seeking help for sex problems is more socially accepted today, and there is no shame or disgrace in wanting to get help.
However, these are intimate matters, and there are still folk who find it very difficult to talk to a professional about personal sexual things.
However, if you feel you are a candidate for sex therapy, but are beset by doubts – unless you step out and take the plunge, you may have to endure years of unnecessary pain and sexual dissatisfaction.
Sexual therapy has helped to restore and rebuild relationships of many loving couples who might otherwise have given up and lost each other.
We can help
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