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?
Common issues that are helped through sex therapy are:
- Desire discrepancies
- Sexual pain disorders
- Arousal and orgasm disorders
- History of sexual trauma or abuse
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature ejaculation
- Sexual identity, orientation and fetishes
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).