Everything You Should Know About Sex Therapy
Updated: Oct 6
Sex is one of the most taboo topics in our society. The fact that it's often spoken about in hush hush tones has made it problematic for people going through sexual related problems to speak up and find solutions. This is where sex therapists come in.
Sex therapy essentially focuses on matters involving sex and can be had either in a couples setting or as an individual. These sessions will often revolve about a person's sexual history, beliefs, and attitudes towards sex. To attain their objectives, sex therapists employ a variety of techniques each tailored to a specific person in order to achieve the desired results. These techniques involve education, talk therapy and behavioral therapy to get to the root of the issue and solve it. Although the field is relatively new, studies have shown categorically that this sort of therapy can be an extremely valuable tool to improving sexual health and well being.
How does sex therapy work?
Normally, sex therapy will often include having sessions with a trained professional wherein you can dissect issues to find your specific sexual issues and then develop a work plan to deal with said issues.
During the first few sessions, the therapist will go into a journey into your psyche to conduct a comprehensive picture about your attitude toward sex, beliefs and sexual history. Using this assessment and the objectives the patient may have, they can develop a comprehensive and feasible plan to get to the desired level. This treatment plan will often need both the therapist and patient to put in the work to see any changes. This may include homework assignments and exercises to implement what was said during the sessions or improve techniques that are already in play.
Do I need sex therapy?
Answering this question requires a person to be brutally honest with themselves and accept that they need help in one or more areas of their sexual lives. Some of the signs that indicate you might benefit from sex therapy include:
Experiencing sexual difficulties such as difficulty reaching orgasm, achieving or maintaining an erection or even pain and discomfort during intercourse.
A lack of sexual interest or desire
Experiencing stress or anxiety related to sexual activities.
Suffering problems in your relationship as a result of sexual issues.
You have gone through sexual abuse or have a history of trauma.
You have excess libido.
If you are having disturbing sexual thoughts.
If you are experiencing a predilection to unwanted sexual fetishes.
A lack of or dulled response to sexual stimuli.
What is the difference between a sex therapist and a sex counselor?
A lot of the time we find that these terms are used interchangeably. However, it's important to note that these are two different professions although sometimes there is an overlap. Some of the main differences between these two professions include:
Training and Education
Sex counselors usually have a degree in human sexuality and counseling with additional training in communication skills. A sex therapist on the other hand will often have a degree in psychology, social work or mental health. However, they will also take on a few more courses on sex therapy to better help their patients.
Scope of Practice
Sex therapists are mental health professionals that are licensed and trained to treat mental health conditions associated with sexuality such as sexual trauma, dysfunction and sexual identity issues. Sex counselors typically will provide their clients with support, education and guidance to couples and individuals experiencing sexual issues.
Sex therapists employ a variety of evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotion based therapy and mindfulness-based interventions to assist their patients address their sexual issues. Sex counselors on the other hand will want to focus on relationship and communication skills to improve customer sexual satisfaction.
Our sexuality and sexual lives are a deeply integral aspect of every human being. Having a fulfilling sexual life is a paramount pillar of overall happiness in life. If, however, you feel there is something you need help with, our therapists at Safe Space Counseling will help you work through your issues and steer you towards a happy, healthy sexual life. Learn more here. Schedule a free 15 minute consultation here.