Many people find it challenging to discuss sex, and discussing sexual health issues can be even more challenging. Bedroom problems like poor libido and sexual performance may be more complicated than what you would typically address with your primary care doctor, ob-gyn, or regular therapist.
As a trained practitioner who specialise in human sexuality and healthy sexual behaviour, sex therapists can provide compassionate, evidence-based support while addressing the full spectrum of relevant psychological, physiological, and cultural elements at play. Consider getting sex therapy for you and your spouse. Find out more about what the sex therapist does.
What is a Sex Therapist?
A sex therapist is a trained medical professional who assists you in overcoming any emotional or mental obstacles that are the root of or connected to sexual problems. A sex therapist could be a psychologist, social worker, or medical doctor, but they all need to have advanced training in sexual health and sexual issues.
A sex therapist can assist individuals or couples in resolving sexual concerns including performance anxiety or intimacy problems.
Why do People have Sex Therapy?
Many people at some point in their lives struggle with sex. Some individuals can assist themselves. Others may experience great discomfort and sadness as a result of sexual issues.
Patients can seek help from a sex therapist for a range of sexual problems, including:
- absence of desire
- having a difficult orgasm
- Inability to have penetrative intercourse or pain during sex
- having trouble gaining or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- premature ejaculation or other issues with ejaculation
What does a sex Therapist do?
Many different types of sexual dysfunction that have psychological roots or effects can be treated by sexual therapists. In addition, they can assist with problems relating to sex in life and relationships. Therapists carry out this work in a setting that is safe, welcoming, accepting, and supportive.
It’s crucial to understand that sex therapists don’t deal with bodily or physiological issues that have an impact on sex, like low testosterone, for example. To determine whether there are any underlying physical explanations for any sexual function issues, you may need to first consult your primary healthcare practitioner, a gynaecologist, or a urologist.
Sex therapists employ a variety of treatments that have been shown effective in improving people’s sex life. They most frequently employ psychotherapy, also referred to as talk therapy, which is developing a talking relationship to identify and evaluate your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. Psychotherapy for sex therapy may take the following forms:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
- Emotion-based therapy.
- Mindfulness-based interventions.
- Couples communication techniques.
Your privacy and discretion are important to sex therapists. In actuality, it’s a tenet of their code of conduct for employees. Therapists who breach patient confidentiality run the possibility of being barred from the field in the future.
What Happens During a Sex Therapy Session?
You and your sex therapist will collaborate throughout sessions to pinpoint and alter ideas and actions that are impeding your sexual life. You are welcome to visit your therapist alone or with a love or sexual partner (s).
Your therapist might ask you about your:
- Health and sexual orientation.
- Sex instruction.
- Beliefs towards sex.
- Certain sexual issues.
It might be difficult or uncomfortable to discuss sex. Sex therapists are aware of this and try to make you feel at ease. You must actively participate in the session because talking is the key component of psychotherapy. Working together productively and gaining therapeutic benefits depend on the trust and relationship you have with your therapist.
Your sex therapists could give you exercises and tasks to complete in private at home as homework. This could entail experimenting, playing a role, or doing activities to develop closeness and trust, either with oneself or with your partner (s).
It’s crucial to understand that there will be no physical contact or sexual activity between you and your therapist during sex therapy sessions. You should let your therapist know if there is anything about treatment that makes you uncomfortable, stop visiting them, and then complain.
What a Sex Therapist May Commonly Recommend
Once more, the advice a sex therapist offers depends much on the issues each patient is working through and the patient in question.
According to Fleming, it depends on the therapist you’re dealing with and what you’re searching for. Sometimes you’ll just need a few sessions with the therapist, perhaps with a follow-up later on; other times, long-term, in-depth therapy may be necessary.
Be prepared for homework, which is frequently a component of sex therapy. In between sessions, your sex therapist will give you assignments to finish, and you or you and your partner will be asked to report back. These homework assignments could include anything from particular sexual experimentation activities to communication exercises.
What Distinguishes a Sex Therapist from a Sex Counsellor?
The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counsellors, and Therapists requires a certification for sex therapists and counsellors (AASECT). They both have a lot of experience with human sexuality.
The two specialists’ approaches to sexual issues diverge. Sex therapists use psychotherapy (talk therapy) to assist clients with sexual issues, no matter how straightforward or complicated they may be. Sex counsellors have a more practical approach by providing information and methods for resolving immediate issues.
How Can I Find a Local Sex Therapist?
Virtual therapy may be an alternative if you reside in a region where sex therapists are hard to come by. A more generalised therapist who may recommend you to a sexual health specialist is another healthcare professional who could be able to assist.
You should have the freedom to look around for a good fit if you are in a position to. This is not a subject that people prefer to discuss, according to Fleming. “You need to feel that the individual is open-minded, not judgmental, going to help you explore, and trying to help you ask the correct questions, but they shouldn’t be jumping in to diagnose and pathologize,” the author adds.
Always keep in mind that your sex therapist must be a suitable fit for you. “Therapy is about a relationship. “Therefore feeling protected and secure is incredibly important,” the speaker said.
It might be challenging to tal about sex or sexual concerns. Recognize that a sex therapist can assist you in better comprehending and overcoming sex-related obstacles that are keeping you from living a full and healthy life. They are authorities in their profession and up to speed on therapy techniques and research that can benefit you.