A relationship requires different things to thrive. Good communication is necessary, as is mutual respect and compromise. But one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship is a sense of intimacy between each other. While intimacy can be fostered through communication, there is really no better avenue to it than a loving sexual relationship.
Often, when people are having trouble in the bedroom, their sense of intimacy takes a significant hit. That’s why it is recommended that couples seek the guidance of a sex therapist.
What is Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy that can help couples address any issues they may be having in their sex life. The goal of sex therapy is to assist individuals to move past any physical, emotional, or psychological challenges they may be facing to enjoy healthy and satisfying sex life.
Symptoms of Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction is more common than you might realize. In fact, 43% of women and 31% of men have reported experiencing some form of a sexual issue during their life.
Some of the most common symptoms of sexual dysfunction are:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low or no libido
- Premature ejaculation
- No interest in sex
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of response to sexual stimulus
- An inability to reach orgasm
- Distressing sexual thoughts
- Unwanted sexual fetishes
Sex therapy can help individuals address and change their behavior, leading to increased sexual satisfaction.
How Does Sex Therapy Work?
The term sex therapy conjures up all sorts of scenarios in a person’s mind! But the reality is, this therapy is like other forms of talk therapy where you share your experiences, feelings, and concerns.
In a safe and nonjudgmental setting, a couple can openly discuss any sexual issues with their therapist, who then offers coping strategies to help improve communication and sexual responses.
A qualified sex therapist is not there to take anyone’s side or show the couple how to have sex. He or she is there to facilitate understanding, development, and ultimate healing so that intimacy can be reestablished between the couple. If your therapist suspects your sexual issues stem from a physical condition, they will refer you to a medical doctor.
Sex Therapy Benefits
Sex therapy can help establish intimacy because it:
- Strengthens communication. Your therapist is there to help you and your partner have uncomfortable conversations.
- Helps you heal. It is quite common for one or both people in the relationship to have sexual pain or trauma from their past.
- Cope with performance anxiety. Many men suffer from performance anxiety while many women are unable to let go and reach orgasm.
- Navigate infidelity. Recovering from infidelity can be incredibly challenging.
Finding a Sex Therapist
Typically, a certified sex therapist is a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, clinical social worker, or marriage and family therapist. They are specialists who go through rigorous training in human sexuality to become accredited as a sex therapist.
To find one in your area, you may search the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).
If you are in the area and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me so we can discuss how I may help you.