Sex matters. Your sex life in particular. And especially your sexual health. Many people find it difficult to discuss sex and sexuality. That’s not overly surprising given how personal sex is. Yet, one of the most important means of developing a healthy sex life - is actually talking about what healthy sex really is! That said, I am fully aware that talking about sex and intimacy with a stranger can be difficult for many people, and I am usually able to help clients feel comfortable very quickly. People often wonder what sex therapy really is. Let me first tell you what it is NOT. It is not a place where you will be asked to reveal all your past sexual experiences to your partner. It is not a place where you will be obligated to answer prying and humiliating questions. It is not where you will be shamed about how little you know about sex or forced to complete embarrassing exercises. And it is certainly not solely for people with really serious problems or exclusively for people in relationships.
Now let’s talk about what sex therapy IS. Sex therapy is a type of “talk therapy” that addresses sexual problems affecting both individuals and couples. Sex therapy is intended to provide a safe, comfortable, non-judgmental space where you feel at ease discussing and exploring your sexual issues. Sex Therapy can be effective for individuals of any age and can help an individual or couple overcome sexual problems and improve sexual feelings and intimacy. More specifically, sex therapy can resolve various issues, including:
Concerns about sexual desire
Ejaculating early (premature ejaculation)
Difficulty with sexual arousal
Impulsive sexual behaviour (and ‘sex addiction’)
Trouble reaching orgasm (anorgasmia)
Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
Intimacy issues related to a disability or chronic condition
Conflicts with partners about sexual needs, desires, frequency or specific sexual activities
Sexual health goes beyond fixing the “mechanics of sex” however. Sexual health also means understanding your body and how it works, and being comfortable with yourself and your sexual desires. In that vein, sex therapy can help achieve a number of goals, including:
Learning about sex and what goes into achieving a healthy sexual life
Helping couples talk about sex
Reducing anxiety associated with sexual activity
Learning new skills and healthier ways of approaching sex
Feeling in control of one’s sexuality and regaining confidence
Learning concrete strategies for managing uncomfortable thoughts, emotions, and harmful behaviours that are impacting sex
My approach is multi-disciplinary and draws on psychotherapy techniques from the traditional type sex therapy to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), systems oriented couple therapy and medical intervention. Ultimately, the aim is to eliminate old attitudes and habits that get in the way of enjoyable sex, establish new ones that increase sexual arousal, and ultimately help you lead a better, healthier, sexual life.
See here to learn more about sex therapy.