Most of us
will have a problem with sex at some point in our lives. Some people deal with
this themselves but, for others, sexual problems can cause a lot of distress
and unhappiness and require professional help.
What is sex therapy?
Sex therapists are health professionals who have specialised training in
helping people with difficulties relating to sex. A well-qualified sex
therapist has done intensive research on sexual problems and sexual
dysfunction, and truly understands how to help individuals faced with these.
last 25 years sex therapy has come of age. If it was regarded with suspicion in
the 1960s and early 1970s, sex therapy is now considered a discipline with
full-fledged professional credibility. The field has become respectable. It’s
associated with journals, conferences, training programmes, professional
organisations, accreditation standards and certifications rather than
voyeuristic, exploitative charlatans.
Find a practitioner that’s right for you
Sex therapy can be a somewhat daunting experience and an individual or
couple can be quite wary initially. You may be wondering: what kind of person
specialises in sex therapy? Is the therapist weird? Do they have all sorts of
strange ideas about sex and sexuality?
you consult with a qualified, experienced practitioner who specialises in sex
therapy, you will realise that they’re professional doctors with an interest in
relationships and mental health care, and have expert skills to help you with
Read: Do you trust your partner?
Look for a sex therapist with whom you feel comfortable. Be very
specific regarding who you want to see. A male or a female therapist? How old
should they be? What should they specialise in? Do you want a warm, friendly
doctor, or one who is more clinical?
The closer a therapist meets your criteria, the more comfortable you'll
feel and the more able you'll be to share your sexual story. If you’re going
for sex therapy as a couple, make sure both you and your partner are happy with
the doctor you’ve selected.
What will the sex therapy session be like?
Sex therapy is structured as a normal therapy session, where various
questions are asked to get a holistic idea about your and your partner’s life.
It’s thus not as daunting as you may think.
attitude to have is to be open about your problems and aware that this person
is there to help you, not to judge you. They’re professionals who will be
empathetic and helpful and will listen to all your concerns and problems.
important to remember that all therapy sessions are confidential and you should
feel no hesitation to tell your therapist in detail about the issues troubling
you, to enable him/her to help you effectively.
Read: 10 signs of relationship trouble
Sex therapists can help you deal
arousal (inability to get or maintain an erection, or female frigidity)
orgasm (inability to climax or control ejaculation)
relationships that become stagnant
in what sexually arouses each of you
breakdowns when it comes to discussing sex
your sexual relationship
in establishing sexual boundaries
sexually transmitted infections within your relationship
struggling with sexual communication
Many people may think that you
must have severe sexual problems before seeking help from a sex therapist, but
this isn’t so. Many sex therapists deal with
couples with general sexual problems, such as lack of effective communication
about sexual dynamics in their relationships. It's therefore not necessary to
wait for a massive sexual issue to develop before seeking professional help.
Consider seeking help as soon as problems arise, even with small sexual
issues, to prevent these growing into big dilemmas. Sex therapy can be very
helpful and a rather pleasant experience. It doesn’t have to be scary and
P.J. (2001). The New Dictionary in Sex Therapy Innovations and alternatives. USA: Brunner-Routledge.
Image credit: Therapy by Shutterstock
Sharing chores: The sign of a happy marriage?
Facebook cited in up to a third of divorces
Could you be addicted to love?