What Happens During Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is a form of psychotherapy designed to help individuals and couples resolve sexual difficulties. Sex therapy can help with a variety of physical and emotional issues that can interfere with sexual satisfaction, such as desire discrepancy, erectile dysfunction, low libido, a history of abuse, inability to orgasm and others. Sex therapy can help you and your partner work through these issues in a supportive and educational environment.
Client’s meet in the therapist’s office. In the case of partners, some choose to attend individually, others with their partner. Session frequency and duration is dependent on the client and type of problem being addressed.
It’s normal for people to feel anxious when meeting with a sex therapist, especially for the first time. Many people are uncomfortable talking about sex and discussing sex with a stranger may feel awkward. However, most sex therapists recognize this and try to help their clients feel comfortable. Often sessions begin with questions about client’s health and sexual background, sexual education, attitudes and beliefs about sex, and the client’s specific sexual concerns.
It’s important to understand that sex therapy sessions do not involve physical contact or sexual activity between clients and therapist. Practical application is usually assigned as “homework” with the expectation of being completed within the privacy of the client’s home.
Such homework might include:
Communication Exercises. Clients may practice asking for what they need emotionally or sexually within their relationship.
Education. Some clients may not have received adequate or accurate sex education during their developmental years. As a result, they may not be aware of anatomy and physiology or how the body functions during sexual activity. Therapists may assign books or web content or videos to peruse.
Experimentation. Partners dissatisfied with their sexual relationship may try different activities ranging from using sex toys to role playing as a means to improve their desire. Additionally, clients may be encouraged to develop alternatives to their sexual routine or to modify positions due to a health condition.
Sensate Focus. This technique for couples is designed to build trust, improve intimacy while reducing anxiety. Couples progress through stages beginning with non-sexual touch, progressing to genital touching and climax defined by the couple.
Success with sex therapy depends on the commitment clients have for the process. Clients willing to put in the effort may reach their sexual goals.