What Makes A Sex Therapist Different?
Finding a good sex therapist isn’t easy. If you’re suffering from a sexual problem, it’s crucially important that you see someone who understands the difference between a sex therapist and a “regular therapist.”
Often a “regular therapist” will advertise themselves as a sex therapist, when they’re really not — which can lead to a lot of wasted time and money.
If you have a sex problem, don’t assume just any therapist will be able to help you. As a sex therapist, I see many individuals and couples who’ve spent years in conventional psychotherapy and not gotten any help at all with sex.
Here’s how to tell the difference:
1. A Sex Therapist Wants to Know All the Details
It’s not enough to just hear someone describe their sexual problem. If you’re a woman who has pain during intercourse, it’s crucially important to know whether the pain is on initial penetration, or on deep thrusting. And whether it’s all the time, or only some of the time. If you’re a man with difficulty ejaculating, a sex therapist will want to know the details of how you masturbate.
A sex therapist wants to know everything that goes on in bed – and in your head. Who does what to whom? And how does that feel? Then what happens next, and why?
As a great architect once said, “God is in the details.” The tiniest details can sometimes contain the solutions to a couple’s sexual problem.
2. A Sex Therapist Is Interested in NOW
Your sexuality is clearly influenced by your experience in life – not just your sexual experience, but also your experience of being loved, appreciated, and listened to, going all the way back to childhood. Those experiences carry a lot of weight.
Unfortunately, most therapists, on hearing that you were abandoned as a child, will want to spend weeks talking with you about it. Sometimes that can be helpful, but often it’s not. And it can be particularly un-helpful if in the meantime you’re struggling with a sexual problem that’s not getting any better as the weeks go by.
A sex therapist appreciates full well the importance of the fact that you were, say, emotionally abandoned as a child. But a sex therapist also knows that if you don’t get help for your sex problem, you’ll soon feel emotionally abandoned in therapy as well.
The solution, as every sex therapist knows, is to deal first with the immediate causes of the sexual problem – then deal with other more “remote” causes later on.
Your sexual mind is very simple. It just wants to feel good. You can’t resolve a sexual problem if you keep having discouraging experiences in bed. The only way to heal a sexual problem is by having good experiences in bed. For most people, that has to come first.
Much of regular therapy, typically, is about pain. The therapy itself is often very hard work. But a couple can stay in pain for years in therapy, and still not resolve their sex problem.
As every sex therapist knows, sex therapy is not about pain. It’s about feeling good. Unless the therapy helps you feel good, nothing productive is going to happen.
Which brings me to the final way a sex therapist differs from a regular therapist . . .
3. A Sex Therapist Wants You to Take Action
Talking with someone in therapy, or with your partner in therapy, can be very important. But talking will only get you so far. If you’re not taking action in the bedroom, then chances are nothing much is going to happen.
After a first consultation session, a sex therapist will typically recommend that an individual or couple do something specific at home – both to get experience doing it a better way, and to gather more data.
After seeing a sex therapist for the first time, you’ll want to come away with a specific action plan – of things you can do right away, to get you on the road to feeling good again.
Sex problems — like loss of desire or sexless marriage — tend to make people feel terrible about themselves. As a sex therapist, I feel it’s crucially important that someone feel better when they leave my office, than when they walked in.
If you’re struggling with a sex problem, there’s never been a better time to get help. Just make sure you see someone who has lots of experience helping people with sex problems.
Make sure you see someone who can give you a sense of hope – and an actionable plan for turning that hope into reality.
OK . . So How Do I Find Someone Like That?
Simple: Both the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR) and the American Assocation of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) have search directories where you can search for someone in your area. They hyper-links above will take you there directly.
One you have some names, call each one up and talk with them about the 3 issues I mentioned above. Some therapists will have this information on their websites already, as I do on my Frequently Asked Questions page. And with some, you’ll need to specifically ask.
Don’t be afraid to ask a potential therapist whether they have particular experience with the specific sex problem you have — including how many patients they’ve seen with this issue.
And if you want to be a really informed consumer, check out my book, Love Worth Making. It’s not a substitute for seeing a sex therapist, but it will give you a fair idea of what goes on behind the office door.
Love Worth Making launched February 13, 2018, from St Martin’s Press, and was immediately hailed by New York Times bestelling author Dr Christiane Northrup as “Hands down, the most practical, fun, and empowering book I’ve ever read on how to have a fabulous sex life in a committed relationship.”
The best way to find professional help for your own sex life.
If the thrill has completely deserted yoursex life, your performance flags repeatedly, or your appreciation for porno movies exceeds your interest in being intimate with your partner, it might be time to consider some sessions with a sex therapist.
While lack of desire — which can take many forms — is one of the most common reasons to seek sexual counseling, it is far from the only one. If you think you have a sexual problem or are seriously dissatisfied with your intimate experiences, a therapist who specializes in sexuality can serve as a shortcut to the heart of the matter.
There are a number of ways to find a good sex therapist.
First ask those in the counseling business whose professional ethics usually guarantee confidentiality: a pastor, for instance, or a current or former general therapist, or a physician.
A physician may be the best place to start, because a sexual problem could stem from a physical condition or a drug side effect. Having a medical evaluation first to rule out physical causes for your sexual problems can save you time and minimize angst.
Other sources for sex-therapist recommendations include medical and psychological organizations, such as county medical associations. Or, if you really want privacy, go on the Internet and type in “sex therapist” to find one via a search engine. There are private, legitimate counselors who conduct online sexual therapy.
It’s important to ascertain whether a sex therapist has appropriate credentials. One way to do this is to get a referral from an established sex-therapy organization, such as the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) or the American Academy of Sexologists.
In most states anyone can call themselves a sex therapist, but chances are if a practitioner is referred by a professional organization they have already met the certification requirements of that group.
For example, the AASECT’s requirements for certification as a sex therapist include a master’s degree plus three years (1,000 hours a year) of clinical experience as a psychotherapist or a doctorate plus two years of clinical experience as a psychotherapist. The AASECT also requires a state regulator license or certificate in psychology, medicine, nursing, social work, or marriage and family therapy; an alternative requirement exists for states that don’t have regulations. Therapists thus certified must also complete at least 90 hours of training in gender-related issues, marital dynamics, psychosexual disorders, and medical factors influencing sexuality. (The remaining requirements are posted on the AASECT web site, listed below.)
Once you find a therapist, make only one appointment for a consultation. Don’t sign up for a series of treatments before meeting at least once.
During the consultation, don’t be shy about asking questions, advises AASECT Executive Director Howard Rupple, Ph.D., Ed.D. He suggests the following questions:
- What is your educational background?
- Are you involved in professional education work or training?
- What is your approach to therapy? What will happen during the session? What kind of time commitment is necessary?
- What are your fees?
- Have you had experience treating the problem I have?
- What do you require of me? (For example, some therapists will only see a person who is in a committed relationship.)
If a therapist doesn’t fully answer your questions, if you don’t agree with a therapist’s approach or demands, or if you simply don’t feel comfortable, go to the next professional on your list, Rupple suggests.
For sex therapy to work, you must have a degree of trust and comfort with the therapist, agrees Roseline Meadow, PhD, a psychologist, a sex therapist, and the author of Women’s Conflicts About Eating and Sex. She advises asking how long the person has been a therapist. “It takes years to develop skill in sex therapy,” she says. “You learn by doing in this profession.”
What about academic titles and publications? “Kindness and empathy are more important,” Meadow says.
Keep evaluating once you begin therapy. According to Meadow, ongoing self-evaluation of therapy is important: “If after eight or 10 sessions you’re not making progress, then get a second opinion.”
Elizabeth Boskey, PhD, MPH, CHES, is a social worker, adjunct lecturer, and expert writer in the field of sexually transmitted diseases.
Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.
Dale is an experienced fact-checker and researcher with a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
When you are experiencing problems in the bedroom, sex therapy can help. Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy that relies on a number of techniques, including homework, to improve your sex life. Sex therapy does not involve touch.
Sex therapists are trained to help individuals and couples improve their sexual satisfaction and sexual interactions. Not every therapist is helpful at addressing sexual issues, as sex therapy is not part of most standard social work or psychology training programs.
Although a number of online therapy sites list sex therapy as one of their offerings, very few of them allow individuals to search specifically for sex therapists. Therefore, if you are specifically seeking a sex therapist, it will be important to ask any person you are matched with about their relevant training. Sex therapy does not necessarily require additional certification or licensure, but any reputable sex therapist should be licensed in a relevant field (e.g. social work, marriage, and family therapy, psychology) and working within their scope of practice. Although most states do not have specific requirements for sex therapists, Florida does license and regulate the practice of sex therapy.
There are also professional organizations that certify therapists as having sufficient training to do this specialized form of work. The two most prominent such organizations are the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and the American College of Sexologists. Both of these organizations offer lists of certified sex therapists, some of whom practice online.
Note: Depending on the nature of your sexual concerns, therapists may also recommend that you see a medical doctor to rule out underlying health problems. This is particularly true if you are seeking help for specific types of sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction or pain during sex. These problems may be medical in nature and require medical treatment in addition to, or instead of, sex therapy.
A sex therapist helps people with sexual problems.
Sex therapists are qualified counsellors, doctors or healthcare professionals who have done extra training in helping people with problems relating to sex.
Why do people have sex therapy?
Lots of people have a problem with sex at some point in their life. Some people can help themselves. For others, sexual problems can cause a lot of distress and unhappiness.
A sex therapist can help people with various sexual problems, including:
- lack of desire
- difficulty having an orgasm
- pain during sex or inability to have penetrative sex
- difficulty getting or keeping an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- premature ejaculation or other ejaculation problems
For more information, read about male sexual problems and female sexual problems.
What happens in a sex therapy session?
A sex therapist will listen to you describe your problems and assess whether the cause is likely to be psychological, physical or a combination of the two.
Each therapy session is confidential. You can see a sex therapist by yourself, but if your problem affects your partner as well, it may be better for you both to attend.
Talking about and exploring your experiences will help you get a better understanding of what is happening and the reasons. The therapist may also give you exercises and tasks to do with your partner in your own time.
Sessions usually last for 30 to 50 minutes. The therapist may advise you to have weekly sessions or to see them less frequently, such as once a month.
How can I find a sex therapist?
If you have a sexual problem, it’s a good idea to see a GP first as they can check for any physical causes. The GP can refer you to a sex therapist if they think it will help you. However, sex therapy is not available on the NHS in all areas, and an NHS clinic may only offer a limited number of therapy sessions.
You can also find a sex therapist privately, which you’ll need to pay for. It’s important to see a qualified registered therapist. Look for one who is a member of the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) or the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine.
Organisations such as Relate also offer sex therapy for a fee.
- What can cause orgasm problems in women?
- Information about ejaculation problems
- Can premature ejaculation be controlled?
Page last reviewed: 9 December 2019
Next review due: 9 December 2022
Looking for a qualified therapist to help you with your sexual issues, but baffled about where to start? Here’s what you need to know.
There are many reasons why a person or couple might seek out help from a sex therapist. Research shows that an estimated 43 percent of women and 30 percent of men report grappling with some form of sexual dysfunction. But sex therapists can also help with so much more, addressing everything from arousal and attraction-related issues to boredom — and beyond.
Finding the right fit for you and your partner isn’t always easy. The field is largely unregulated, and the topic is incredibly intimate. Here are five tips to keep in mind when you’re looking for the right sex therapist for you.
5 Tips For Choosing The Best Sex Therapist For You And Your Partner
1. Ask Yourself: Why Do I Need a Sex Therapist?
Sex therapy is a big field that encompasses everything from desire issues to physical concerns, and while a qualified sex therapist should have a grounding in all of it, it can help to start off by asking any therapist you’re considering if they have significant clinical experience addressing your particular concern (or concerns).
In order to even ask that question, it is important to try and get clear about why you’re seeking help.
“People should be asking themselves things like, ‘Why therapy? Why now? What is it that we want to work on?’” recommends Megan Fleming, PhD , a New York City–based sex therapist. “And more importantly, ‘What are we prepared to do to achieve those goals?’”
Are you willing to take time out of your schedule or schedules to regularly meet with a sex therapist? Are you open to “homework” — which might include communication exercises, reading or watching educational materials, or sexual experimentation activities — in between sessions? Are you willing to discuss such an intimate topic with someone else — and possibly your partner? These are the types of questions to consider ahead of time.
2. Consider the Therapist’s Credentials and Qualifications
It’s important to research whether a therapist you’re considering has real experience and credentials.
Certification through a professional organization for sex therapists requires an advanced degree, like a PhD, an MD, or a master’s degree with some element of psychotherapy training, then 90 hours of human sexuality training, 60 hours of sex therapy training, and extensive supervision by a qualified sex therapist. These therapists are trained to consider the many factors that can affect sexual health.
“[Certified] sex therapists are generally trained to look at problems from multiple dimensions — a physiological dimension, a psychological dimension, a potentially cultural dimension, and certainly a relational dimension,” says Ian Kerner, PhD, a sex therapist in New York City.
One note: While couples’ therapists may be able to help with some of that, they generally do not have deep clinical experience in sexual issues specifically, Dr. Kerner says.
3. Meet With Multiple Options When Choosing a Therapist
People find sex therapists many ways, whether through a professional organization like the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), a referral from a generalized therapist or physician, from friends, or via an online resource like Psychology Today. Vetting the credentials of any potential candidate is a good first step, but it can also be helpful to meet with multiple therapists.
“I personally think you should try to see two to three therapists for an initial consultation if possible,” says Dr. Fleming, who explains that sex therapists can have very different styles and that it is important that both partners feel comfortable, if you plan on attending with your partner.
According to Fleming, sex therapy can be for individuals or couples. Sometimes it is possible to start as an individual and then bring in your partner, though not every therapist will be open to that scenario.
If you do not live in an area with multiple — or any — sex therapists, teletherapy, or virtual therapy, is an option.
4. Ask About the Therapist’s Treatment Plan and Insurance
Although therapy is a dynamic process that can change as you go along, it is totally appropriate to ask any potential sex therapist about what they think your treatment plan might entail and what kind of time commitment they think it will require. It is also fair game to ask about the cost.
“The reality, when it comes to sex therapy, is that many of us — I would dare say most of us — are not on managed care,” says Fleming.
That does not mean that you won’t qualify for out-of-network benefits and reimbursement, she adds, but it is something you should discuss with a potential therapist, and your insurer, up front. It has implications not just for your wallet, but for your treatment.
“If you’re stressed about finances, that in itself is going to affect your ability to make the commitment and do the work,” says Fleming.
5. Regularly Check In With Yourself as Therapy Progresses
Sex, sexual health, and sexual problems are complex and intimate. You might not feel comfortable discussing them with a therapist, particularly at the beginning. But you should start to feel more comfortable as your treatment progresses. If you don’t, that’s a possible red flag that you and the therapist are not the best fit.
“Most sexual problems are really kind of universal, so you should feel kind of held and normalized — and feel in the end that you’re not so alone, that other people are dealing with this,” says Kerner. “You should feel like you’re with someone who can both explain what is going on and also hopefully relieve some of the mystery, the stress, and the anxiety associated with a sexual problem.”
Ultimately, the goal is to get to a place where you can live what Kerner calls an “authentic sex life.”
“It’s really about helping someone to have the kind of sex that will be gratifying to them,” he says, “and for sex to be integrated into their life in the way that they want it to be.”
- Sexual Health Q&A
What are sex therapists? What do they do? How does one choose a sex therapist?
Sex therapists are healthcare professionals who provide counseling and therapy to individuals or/and couples who need help with the emotional and psychological aspects of sex. They are trained clinicians with advanced degrees who specialize in sexuality and relationships.
People see sex therapists – by themselves or with a partner – for a variety of reasons, such as the following:
- Desire issues
- Desire discrepancies
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature ejaculation
- Performance anxiety
- Painful penetration
- Delayed ejaculation
- Past sexual abuse
- Gender identity
- Orgasm difficulties
- Relationship problems
- Compulsive sexual behaviors
- Sexual education and counseling
- Distress about sexual orientation or gender identity
- Distress about sexual preferences
Here are some examples of sex therapy scenarios:
- A couple that has been together for a long time might still be uncomfortable discussing sexual issues. A therapist can help them learn to communicate with each other and express their wants, needs, and fantasies. Couples might also work on relationship problems that lead to sexual difficulties, such as infidelity or lack of trust.
- A sexually inexperienced person may see a therapist to work through fears and apprehensions. They might learn more about their anatomy (and their partner’s) and the sexual response cycle. They might also learn relaxation techniques.
- A person questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity might see a therapist to work through their feelings and their path forward.
One of the best ways to find a sex therapist is through a doctor’s referral, but it’s helpful to have a complete physical checkup first. Some sexual problems are associated with underlying medical conditions. For example, many men with diabetes or heart disease have erectile dysfunction. Women can experience poor lubrication after menopause. Treatment for these conditions may alleviate the problem. However, if the doctor suspects psychological causes, a referral to sex therapy can be made.
Sex therapists can also be found through professional organizations, which usually provide the names of licensed professionals with proper credentials. The ISSM’s Find a Provider tool is another helpful resource.
It’s important to feel a rapport with your sex therapist. You might need to talk to a few therapists before you find one that is a good fit. Be patient. In the long term, it is well worth the time.
Sex therapy is a form of counseling intended to help individuals and couples resolve sexual difficulties, such as performance anxiety or relationship problems.
Clients generally meet in the therapist’s office. Some choose to attend sessions alone; others bring their partner with them. Session frequency and length usually depend on the client and the type of problem being addressed.
It’s normal for clients to feel anxious when seeing a sex therapist, especially for the first time. Many people have trouble talking about sex at all, so discussing it with a stranger may feel awkward. However, most sex therapists recognize this and try to make their clients feel comfortable. Often, they start with questions about the client’s health and sexual background, sex education, beliefs about sex, and the client’s specific sexual concerns.
It’s important to know that sex therapy sessions do not involve any physical contact or sexual activity among clients and therapists. Clients who feel uncomfortable with any aspect of therapy should speak up or stop seeing that particular therapist.
Sex therapists usually assign “homework”—practical activities that clients are expected to complete in the privacy of their own home.
Such homework might include the following:
• Experimentation. Couples who feel they’re in a sexual rut may try different activities, such as role playing or using sex toys, to increase their desire. Other couples may need to adjust their sexual routine or positions, especially if one partner has a health condition that requires such changes.
• Sensate focus. This technique for couples is designed to build trust and intimacy while reducing anxiety. Couples progress through three stages, starting with nonsexual touching, progressing to genital touching, and, usually, ending with penetration.
• Education. Sometimes, clients do not receive adequate sex education while they are growing up. As a result, they may not be aware of anatomy and how the body functions during sexual activity. Therapists might assign books or web content to read or videos to watch. They might also suggest that clients use a mirror to learn more about their body.
• Communication strategies. Clients may practice asking for what they want or need sexually or emotionally in a relationship.
Success with sex therapy often depends on how committed clients are to the process. If clients are willing to put in the effort, either alone or with a partner, they may reach their sexual goals.
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The aim of sex therapy is to help you improve the physical intimacy between you and your partner and overcome or manage any sexual difficulties you’re having. Whatever your gender, sexual orientation or relationship status, sex therapy can support you to feel more comfortable about getting intimate.
What is sex therapy?
Natasha Anderson-Foster explains what psychosexual therapy is in this short video.
Having sexual difficulties can feel very isolating. You may feel self-conscious and unable to speak up about them, whether that’s having an honest conversation with your partner or reaching out to a professional. The truth is, sexual problems are very common and the best way to tackle them is to talk about them.
If the problem is affecting your relationship, being honest and open with your partner about what’s happening is a great first step. For some, this alone is enough to help work through the problem. For others, more support is needed.
This is where psychosexual therapy comes in. Sex therapists are qualified counsellors, doctors or healthcare professionals who have completed extra training to help those having sex-related difficulties.
What causes sexual difficulties?
There can be various causes for sexual difficulties and their origins may be:
- physical (illness, disability/chronic illness, accident, surgery or medications)
- psychological (depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions)
- emotional (unhappiness in the relationship, unresolved grief)
- situational (certain situations or environments)
Visiting your doctor is a good first step if you think the cause may be physical. Sometimes there will be ways your doctor can help (for example, trying different medications), but if not, they may recommend psychosexual therapy. While you can see a sex therapist on your own, if the problem is affecting your partner it helps if they can attend sessions too.
Sex is loaded with emotion and often, talking it through together with an impartial therapist can help ease tension and bring you closer together.
What can sex therapy help with?
Sex therapy looks to help with any problem or difficulty relating to sexual relationships.
In men this may include:
- a lack of sexual desire
- difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
- premature ejaculation, or other ejaculation problems
For women, this may include:
- a lack of sexual desire
- difficulty climaxing
- pain during sex or being unable to have penetrative sex
Talking to a stranger about your sex life may feel uncomfortable, but sex therapists are not here to judge. By being honest and talking about what you’re experiencing in this confidential setting, they will be able to help you explore the root of the problem and offer ways of helping you overcome or manage symptoms.
After various tests, scans and hospital appointments, I was diagnosed with vestibulodynia, a condition that causes pain when the inner vulva/vagina is touched. While the relationship wasn’t salvageable in the end, I was relieved to have a diagnosis. It gave me something to work with.
What to expect from sex therapy
Most therapists will arrange an initial consultation with you in the first instance. This is a chance to talk to your therapist about what you’re looking for help with and for them to explain more about how they can help. Here you should also get the chance to arrange logistics – how often your sessions will be, who will attend and how long the sessions will last. What will happen in the sessions will depend on what it is you’re seeking help for. Sex can often be tied up in other emotions and relationship dynamics, so you may find some sessions to explore topics outside of sex.
Your sessions will give you and your partner (if they join you) the chance to talk through what’s going on and understand what could be causing the problem. Your therapist will likely advise you to try various exercises outside of your sessions. You can then reflect on how well these exercises went in future sessions.
Talking about sex and understanding how we relate to sex in a non-judgemental space can be an illuminating and liberating experience. Counselling provides the opportunity to explore and understand more fully the relationship you have with sex.
Once you get through the initial nervousness of talking about sex, you’ll be able to explore how sex affects your relationship and what it is you need to feel fulfilled. If sex is important in your relationship and is causing problems, sex therapy is an option to help you overcome these problems and enjoy physical intimacy again.
What qualifications should a sex therapist have?
In the UK, practising psychosexual therapists should be trained with a minimum of two years in a post-graduate diploma in psychosexual therapy, plus a minimum of 200 supervised clinical hours. Although it’s not a legal obligation, some psychosexual therapists will be registered with the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT), the UK’s leading membership organisation for therapists specialising in sexual and relationship issues.
These days, many couples find it hard to fit sex into their busy schedules. And it is perfectly normal for people to go through periods when they are just not in the mood for love making. However, if you lack desire for sex for emotional or physical reasons, you may want to consider sex therapy. Seeking treatment for sex problems has become more socially acceptable today, but it is still not easy for many people to talk to a professional about such an intimate concern.
Before you decide to see a sex therapist, take the time to explore whether it is really what you need. Consider the following recommendations:
- See a doctor initially, particularly if you think your problem is physical in nature—A gynecologist or urologist can detect difficulties due to illness, aging, metabolic or hormonal imbalances. Keep in mind that prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, alcohol, and smoking may also negatively affect sexual functioning.
- Learn more about sexuality—In spite of the greater openness about sexuality today, many people have little understanding of their own bodies and sexual functioning. Informational and self-help books and educational sex videos, which are widely available, can be very helpful. Becoming better informed will help you decide whether you really need therapy. Some people, in fact, are able to solve their own problems through self-help guides.
Many people come to sex therapy after individual psychotherapy fails to help them with their sexual problems.
Sex therapy generally addresses the emotional issues underlying sexual problems and employs behavioral techniques to deal with the physical symptoms. You may also need other treatment to care for the physical problems that may be affecting you.
These behavioral techniques involve physical exercises that clients do on their own outside of the therapy setting. Nothing happens in the therapist’s office of a sexual or physical nature. (Sex therapists should not be confused with sexual surrogates, who may have physical contact with their clients as part of therapy.)
One popular technique used in treating many sexual problems is called sensate focus, in which couples caress or massage each other without sexual contact. The goal is to help both partners learn to give and receive pleasure and feel safe together. As the partners become more comfortable, they can progress to genital stimulation.
As a result of performing this exercise, many couples discover new ways to experience pleasure other than sexual intercourse.
Other exercises treat specific problems such as women’s inability to have orgasms and men’s erectile problems. Performing these exercises often evokes strong feelings that are then explored through psychotherapy. People who have experienced sexual trauma or are confused about their sexual identity may need to spend more time working through their feelings. For couples, who make up the majority of clients, the focus is on improving communication and developing greater intimacy.
When looking for a sex therapist, it is critical to find a practitioner with the proper credentials to deal with this sensitive subject area. A sex therapist should be an experienced therapist with training in sex therapy from a reputable program. Start with a search for a licensed social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychiatric nurse. For example, the American Association of Sex Counselors, Educators, and Therapists (AASECT) offers a certification program for professionals interested in becoming sex therapists. These types of programs include instruction in sexual and reproductive anatomy and treatment methods. Other topics covered include sexual abuse, gender-related issues, and sociocultural factors in sexual values and behavior.
You can obtain referrals for sex therapists from AASECT and other professional organizations, like the American Psychological Association. You can also ask get a referral from your doctor or therapist.
In looking for a sex therapist, it is particularly important to find someone who you trust and respect. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the therapist’s background, philosophical orientation, and experience with your problem.
Take the time to find someone who is flexible and who will listen to you. If you and your therapist are having difficulties, do not be discouraged. It may take some time to find the right therapist. Ultimately, a therapist should not impose their point of view on you or your habits.
If you see a therapist who says or does anything suggestive, or that involves nudity, end the relationship right away. Sex therapy is strictly talk therapy. Contact is not part of the process.
Most sex therapists look at the whole person and try to help men and women redefine what it means to be intimate. The effects of aging or physical problems do not mean that a couple cannot experience the pleasure and joy of being physical with each other.
American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists
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If you’ve never had sex therapy, you might rely on how it’s portrayed in film and TV for some insight.
“A lot of people I’ve worked with recently said they didn’t even realise sex therapy was a thing until they saw Sex Education on Netflix,” says Melbourne sexologist Kassandra Mourikis.
The Australian Society of Sex Educators, Researchers and Therapists NSW (ASSERT NSW) defines sex therapy as a “specialised form of professional counselling that focuses on addressing the sexual concerns, sexual functioning and sexual expression of human beings”.
Removing the mystery around the process is important, because it can help with all kinds of concerns including desire, erectile dysfunction and sexual pain.
I spoke with a few sex therapists to find out what it’s really like.
How do you pick the right sex therapist?
Sex therapy is a self-regulated industry. That means untrained and inexperienced people can call themselves sex therapists.
For example, a qualified counsellor might decide to work in sexology based on books they’ve read.
Or someone with no qualifications might attend a six-week course and call themselves a sexologist.
Or, they might take an academic approach by completing a Bachelor of Psychology and a Masters of Sexology, for example.
Regulatory bodies like ASSERT NSW and the Society of Australian Sexologists Ltd (SAS) hold sex therapists to a certain standard.
SAS, for example, has developed guidelines for the accreditation of sexologists who work as psychosexual therapists, sex therapists, sexuality educators and sexologists.
SAS national chairperson Lisa Torney says you can check its list of accredited sex therapists, but there are also many capable and experienced sex therapists who aren’t accredited.
“I would be asking non-accredited people what training have they done, what supervision have they had?” she says.
She recommends having a phone chat with a prospective therapist to find out if they are a good fit.
Ms Mourikis suggests asking about their specialty and for an overview of how they might be able to help you before committing to a session.
What is sexual confidence?
Body positivity plays a key role in increasing your confidence, experts say.
Historically speaking, sex can be a taboo topic–so much so that it might be taboo even in your own relationship. This can make communicating about sex difficult, which can, in turn, cause problems in relationships. This is where sex therapy comes in.
Through sex therapy, you can take on a number of different issues in your sex life.
Issues can range from individual sexual function to problems within a relationship. Often these inform one another, e.g. an individual’s concern can influence his/her sexual relationships.
You might be wondering what kinds of concerns, whether individual or relational, you can bring up in sex therapy.
Any topic that has you concerned about your sexual history or your current sex life is a topic for sex therapy.
In therapy, sex is not taboo. You will not be judged in therapy, and issues you face in your sex life will be treated with dignity, respect, and privacy.
Sex Therapy Counseling
Many people wonder just what, exactly, sex therapy is. Sex therapy is simply a form of psychotherapy called “ talk therapy ” that addresses sexual issues.
Practitioners are licensed psychologists, social workers, physicians, and licensed therapists who have specialized training in sexual and relationship health ( Mayo Clinic ).
Sex therapists will help you work through your sex-related concerns in a safe space where privacy is of the utmost importance.
Sex therapists are trained professionals who are non-judgmental and can help you begin the process of working through any concerns you might have about your sexual history or current sex life.
You may decide to see a sex therapist on your own or go as a couple. Either is an option for you as you explore your own sexual concerns or those you have with your partner.
Why Go to Sex Therapy?
People seek sex therapy for help with both physical and emotional sexual problems. Physical concerns stem from the body. They include issues such as erectile dysfunction or painful sex.
Emotional concerns include issues with intimacy or past sexual history. For example, if you have experienced sexual assault, sex therapy can provide support for victims of sexual abuse to help you move forward towards a more fulfilling sexual life.
Just like other forms of therapy, it’s important to seek help when a concern is impacting your life in a negative way.
If you are struggling with any aspect of your sexuality, sexual history, sexual desires, or sexual relationship to the point that it is negatively impacting your ability to have a healthy sex life, then sex therapy is for you.
Sex therapy can help with a number of different concerns ranging from mild annoyances to deep-rooted problematic behavior. In consultation with your therapist, you can decide how much therapy you might need and what, exactly, it will entail.
It may feel awkward to admit you need a sex therapist, but the process is similar to consulting with any other professional: a dentist, plumber or accountant.
Start by asking around. If you feel comfortable asking friends and family for recommendations, check out the counselors they recommend online. See if you like their approach, credentials, reviews and ratings.
If can also be useful to visit the website of AASECT, The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. The site has information about different types of accreditation and lists of sex therapists by area.
Finally, check out one or two sex therapists in person (if they are close by) or request a phone call or video conference.
Questions To Ask A Potential Sex Therapist
During your consultation, here are some questions to ask:
- What population do you focus on? You want a counselor who spends most of their time on sexual issues. If they have mostly clients in your age group, or work with LGBTQ couples and you define yourself as such, or have extensive experience in the issue you are facing, even better.
- How do you define ‘normal’ sexuality? Look for a therapist without preconceived notions of what is healthy. How often you have sexual encounters and your range of solo and partnered sexual activities are only problematic if you and/or your partner think so.
- Do you deal with both the emotional and medical components of sexual dysfunction? Run if they say “no.” All good sex therapists collaborate with medical professionals to address physical roots of sexual problems.
- What are your methods? You want someone who offers a number of approaches, such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Mindfulness practices
- Interpersonal psychotherapy
- Somatic therapy for victims of trauma
- Sexual health education
- Are you accredited? There are good therapists who do not have AASECT accreditation, but if a person who has been recommended to you does, you know you are consulting a qualified professional.
You Can Change Your Mind any Time
If you have a bad feeling about someone’s office, staff or personality, look elsewhere. This is going to be a person you tell some of your most closely-held secrets, so you want to feel comfortable with them and confident they can meet your needs.
If you have a feeling, after the first session or two, that this therapist is not right for you, move on. Not every therapist is the right fit for every couple.
Denver Sex Therapy/Sex Therapist Can Help You Get More Emotional Intimacy and Sexual Connections in Your Relationship.
Things have not been working. You may not be having as much sex, or when you do have sex, it is predictable and lacks the passion and fire that you used to have. Sex between the two of you feels like a routine, a chore instead of a moment of deep connection. You are tired of the boredom in the bedroom and in your relationship.
You might resonate with some of the following experiences:
Is your relationship lacking the emotional and sexual intimacy you have been longing for?
Do you need and want skills to have more desire and pleasure in your sex life?
Do you want more freedom and more connection with yourself?
Do you want more sex and sexual play?
Does your relationship need a boost?
Are aging or other medical conditions blocking you from have a more satisfying sex life with emotional intimacy?
LISTEN: Denver Sex Therapist, Founder – YY Wei, talks about what to expect from sex therapy in this episode of The Therapy Spot:
Sex therapy is not much different from other forms of psychotherapy. There is nothing strange, deviant, or kinky happening in sessions. Every interaction between therapists and clients is professional and ethical. Clothes always stay on. Sex therapists go through formal and professional training and receive hours of supervision. We have to become informed and competent in the areas of sex and sexuality. It is common for sex therapists to work in collaboration with medical professionals to rule out any medical etiology of the problems.
Sex therapy is different in the sense that the training help sex therapists to be more open and accepting when it comes to different forms of sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexual practices. Sex therapists encourage clients to participate in self–exploration, as we believe in the healing power of positive sexuality and one’s quality of life.
In sex therapy treatment, therapists builds therapeutic relationship with clients to collect a detailed case history from a psychosocial model with client’s permission. Clients are active participants in treatment in sharing their concerns, identifying their goal, and completing relevant therapy homework outside of the therapy office. There is no physical touch and clothes are always on.
Denver Sex therapy offers solutions and ways to better relationships so people can have a more active, satisfying sex life. We help clients to have a more accepting attitude of one’s sexual preferences and sexuality. Your sex therapist will always give you the support and guidance in an open, non – judgmental way.
Kink and BDSM/Fetishes
Women and Men Sexuality
Sexual Pleasure/Sexual Intimacy/Sexual Difficulty
Sex Addiction/Out of Control Sexual Behaviors (OCSB)
Mismatched or Loss of sexual desire/libido
Issues related to desire, arousal, and ability due to aging and medical issues
Women’s issues – Painful intercourse, Vulvadynia, pelvic pain
Erectile Dysfunction, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation
Sex therapy with a trained, experienced sex therapist can help clients who have questions about their gender identify, sexual orientation, and sexual preferences. As a trained sex therapists, we work together in an open, supportive, non – judgmental way. Clients learn skills and strategies around their sexual concerns to have a better quality of life. Clients are empowered to explore their own unique needs and wants, so they can become more congruent selves inside out.
Life is scary and overwhelming. Rigid social rules and expectations can make our sexual experience more stressful. It is normal for any of us not wanting to face pain and just want to fit in. But that can only last so long!
You will get the strategies and support to heal your past and become your true self. We do not have to face obstacles and deal with unknown, confusing emotions by ourselves. It is important to find a sex therapist that you feel comfortable with starting your journey of healing and empowering.
Regardless of your reasons for seeking out sex therapy, we’re glad you’re here!
As sex–positive therapists, and LGBTQIA & kink-friendly therapists, we are here to coach you and give you the tools you need. You can change your sex life to be more connected and more satisfying. Plus, more often than not, the core issue is more than just sex. We are here to help you go deeper and address the core issues so you don’t have to fall back to the old pattern after a while.
Sexual issues can impact one’s self – esteem and emotional intimacy in a relationship. The good thing is you don’t have to do it alone. And you don’t have to struggle that much because there are practical skills and tools you can use to address your needs. As trained Denver Sex Therapists, we want to share and give you all these tools.
We are LGBTQIA friendly and Kink Friendly Therapists.
Because we understand the unique challenges that LGBTQ community and people who involve in alternative life styles face, we offer LGBTQ Individual & Couples Counseling & Alternative Relationship Counseling to more specifically address your individual and relational needs and concerns.
Not every woman will experience sexual wellbeing problems after breast cancer, however, many women do find that their sexual wellbeing is changed by breast cancer and its treatments.
If you have sexual wellbeing concerns, it might be helpful to talk to a health professional. As difficult as these conversations can be, there are people who can help you.
To begin, you might like to talk to your GP or breast care nurse. He or she may be able to provide advice and recommend strategies that have worked for other women. He or she may also be able to recommend a counsellor, sex therapist or psychologist who can provide further support if you need it.
If you decide that you would like professional advice, you may like to talk to a social worker, counsellor or psychologist. The treatment costs charged by these professionals can be subsidised by Medicare if you have a GP Mental Health Treatment plan drawn up by your GP. This plan entitles you up to 10 Medicare subsidised appointments with a specialist mental health worker. For more information about this scheme, talk to your GP.
It’s likely that the Medicare rebate will not fully cover the cost of the appointment. Therefore, you may like to ask if there will be an extra cost for you before you make the appointment.
The following information lists organisations which may be able to help you to find a sexual wellbeing expert in your area. Our online Local Services Directory also lists organisations and individuals who may be helpful.
Each of the public women’s hospitals in Australia’s capital cities operates a free sexual wellbeing clinic. You may want to talk to your GP about obtaining a referral to the clinic that’s located near you.
Relationships Australia offers relationship counselling as well as a range of specialist counselling services. Most of the counselling services are conducted face-to-face, however they also have some online and telephone counselling options for people in remote areas.
Fees for counselling services are negotiable. To find out more about counselling services or to make an appointment, contact Relationships Australia in your state or territory on 1300 364 277.
Australian Counselling Association
The Australian Counselling Association (ACA) is the national professional peak association of counsellors and psychotherapists. You can search for a counsellor near you with expertise in ‘Sex Therapy’ on the ACA’s website. Alternatively, you may like to phone the ACA on 1300 784 333.
Australian Psychological Society
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the largest professional association for psychologists in Australia.
The APS website features a ‘Find a Psychologist’ search function to help you locate a psychologist in your area with expertise in ‘sexual difficulties’. You are also able to use the Find a Psychologist search function to locate a Medicare Psychologist or Medicare Clinical Psychologist. Alternatively you may like to contact the APS on 1800 333 497.
Society of Australian Sexologists
The Society of Australian Sexologists Ltd is the National organisation, representing health and allied health professionals working in the area of sex therapy, sexual health/sexology.
For more information or to find a counsellor in your state or territory, visit the society’s website.
The following organisations may also be of assistance:
- Cancer Council Helpline – The Cancer Council 13 11 20 is a free, confidential information and support service provided by Cancer Councils in each state and territory. Trained staff can provide support and are available to speak about personal matters such as emotions and cancer, body image, sexual wellbeing and relationships throughout the cancer experience.
- Cancer Council Connect – Cancer Council Connect is a one-to-one telephone support program that puts you in touch with a specially trained volunteer who has had a similar cancer and treatment. The volunteer can listen to your concerns and through a shared understanding, provide emotional support to assist you through your cancer experience. To find out more, phone the Cancer Council 13 11 20.
- BCNA’s Breast cancer and sexual wellbeing booklet has a extensive list of supports available, as well as resources that may be of help.
Stop the Pain and Conflict so you can feel Connected, Safe, and Appreciated in your Relationship
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- Marriage Counseling
- Couples Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Trauma Counseling
- Sex Therapy
- Addiction Counseling
- Blended Family Counseling
- Affair Counseling
- Pre-Marital Counseling
- Divorce Counseling
- Online Therapy
- Our Team
- Keith A. Cross, Ph.D., LMFT
- Sherrina Johnson, M.S., LMFT
- Lee Geldmacher, M. A., L M F T, L I S A C
- Marguerite Gundacker, M. A., L A C
- Phil Merrell, M.Ed., LAC
- Linda Schwartz, M.Ed., LPC
- Jennifer Gray, MSW, LCSW
- Mackenzie Bentley, MA, LMFT
- Camille Corio, M.S., LAC
- Hollie White, M.S., LAMFT
- Our Services
- Our Therapy Model
- Relationship Counseling FAQs
- General FAQ’s
- Relationship Workshop
Do you feel emotionally disconnected during sex? Do you desire more or less sex than your partner, causing problems in the relationship? Have past experiences or current beliefs impacted your ability to be intimate?
Sexual problems or dysfunctions often feel shameful and embarrassing. Many couples are unsure what to do or where to turn when the most intimate part of their relationship develops problems.
Many Couples Face Sexual Problems
People who experience sexual problems often feel like they are alone in their experience. This is far from the truth. Many couples face a number of sexual problems or dysfunctions at some point in their relationship, such as the ones listed below.
- Sexual desire discrepancy in which one partner desires more sex than the other.
- Sexual dysfunction or pain due to a medical condition.
- Lack of emotional connection during sex.
- Inability to orgasm.
- Past trauma or sexual abuse that makes sex difficult for one or both partners.
- Life circumstances such as infertility, small children, stress, or exhaustion that impact sex.
A Marriage and Family Therapist Can Help
Reaching out about sexual problems is hard, but it’s also worth it. A marriage and family therapist can provide the support and direction you need to resolve your struggles and regain a satisfying sex life.
A couples counselor can help you identify the reason behind your sexual problems. Many couples who experience difficulty related to sex also deal with underlying relationship issues. Arguments, conflicts, communication issues, and trouble relating on an emotional level often spill over into a couple’s sexual relationship. Many times, couples find that when their relational issues are resolved, this improves their sexual issues as well.
Other times, past trauma needs to be resolved or untrue beliefs need to be reconsidered for couples to regain a healthy sex life. On other occasions, medical issues impact sex, and a counselor can help you determine how to improve relationship intimacy, as you also pursue medical solutions to the problem.
We Offer Evidence-Based Couples Counseling Practices
Our counseling methods can provide the help you and your partner need. At the Prescott Relationships Center, we are dedicated to using evidence-based counseling practices. This means that the type of counseling we provide has been proven by decades of research studies to effectively help struggling couples.
In particular, our counseling practice uses Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in our couples counseling sessions. Emotionally Focused Therapy is a model of therapy that anticipates fast results. Couples who are focused and motivated often experience significant improvements in their relationship after 8-10 sessions.
The goal of EFT is to find the root of what is troubling your relationship and discover ways to emotionally bond with your partner. Emotionally Focused Therapy is highly effective in treating sexual dysfunction, as sexual difficulties are often related to emotional disconnection or an inability to bond.
Research has shown that EFT enhances sexual satisfaction in sexually dissatisfied couples, and increases emotional and physical sexual satisfaction in couples facing infertility. Because of the way in which EFT enhances emotional intimacy and sexual desire, EFT is also considered an effective therapy for sexual desire discrepancy. On a more general level, EFT leads to increased intimacy and higher levels of satisfaction within the overall marriage relationship. We know that EFT works. And we believe it can help your marriage.
Renewed Intimacy in Your Relationship Is Possible
Many couples avoid seeking help for sexual problems because discussing this topic feels shameful and embarrassing. Most people feel uncomfortable sharing the most private and intimate details of this part of life. Because of this, many couples deal with sexual problems for years without getting needed help.
Couples who wait this long often don’t realize that most sexual problems can be overcome with the right type of treatment. Our expert marriage and family therapists are professional, compassionate, and maintain strict confidentiality. You can be assured that we provide a safe and respectful environment to help people find solutions to the difficult issues that arise in their sexual relationships.
Contact Us Today
We are dedicated to helping couples transform and strengthen their relationships. If you think we would be a good fit for your needs, please do not hesitate to call us today at 928-420-8300. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about our approach to relationship counseling and how we might help you and your spouse.
Depending on your situation, we also offer EFT for unmarried couples, couples facing infidelity and divorce, and couples in need of premarital counseling.
If you have any fears or concerns about marriage or couples counseling, we encourage you to read our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have additional concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You’ve lost that loving feeling. Or you want to try something new in the bedroom (like one of these sex positions) but just don’t know how to bring it up. Or you wish you and your partner had more sex, less sex, or better sex. Most people face one or more of these issues at some point, but figuring out how to cope isn’t always easy.
Most of these common problems boil down to one thing: poor communication. “There’s a lot of research showing that couples who have better communication have better sex lives,” says Rachel Sussman, a psychotherapist who specializes in sex and relationships. “They’re not afraid to talk about sex, and they’re not afraid to ask for what they want.”
Of course, not everyone is equally comfortable chatting about intimate matters, whether or not a therapist is in the mix. So we asked Sussman and two other sexperts to spill their best advice. Read on for insider tricks and tips and start amping up your sex life tonight. (Want to balance out your hormones and lose weight? Then check out The Hormone Reset Diet to start feeling and looking better today!)
Give it the old college try.
Not in the mood, but your partner is? Don’t be so quick to shut down any advances. Most women don’t experience spontaneous desire; they need a little help getting there, says Michael Aaron, PhD, a licensed psychotherapist, sexologist, and sex therapist. He explains that many women need to be touched, kissed, and caressed before sexual desire kicks in. So consider saying yes to sex—or at least foreplay—even if you’re not currently raring to go.
That said, you should never feel obligated to finish what you started. “You don’t know in the moment how it’s going to feel,” says sex and relationship therapist Megan Fleming, PhD, a clinical instructor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. It’s never too late to say, “Sorry, not tonight.”
Do your homework.
Sex doesn’t just “happen,” especially if you and your partner are in the midst of an especially long dry spell. About 15% of all relationships are considered sexless, meaning the partners haven’t had sex in 6 months, according to Aaron. His advice? Make intimacy a priority and sex will follow.
If you’re not currently having sex but are still being romantic—going on dates, holding hands, kissing—then it might be as simple as carving out some special time to be alone together. But if you and your partner have essentially become roommates, you’re going to have to work a little harder to bring back sensuality, says Aaron. Plan date nights, start holding hands again, and give each other a kiss good-bye every morning and the romantic (and sexy) feelings might return. (Here are 10 ways to feel like having sex again.)
Put sex on the menu.
We don’t just mean scheduling a regular romp, although multiple sex therapists say that’s a good way to keep your sex life alive. But if your goal isn’t just to have sex but to make it more interesting, Aaron suggests making up a list (menu) of everything you want to try and everything that’s completely off-limits, then asking your partner to do the same. You might learn that you’ve both been fantasizing about adding sex toys to the mix or trying anal sex. (Here is everything you need to know about anal sex.)
Get a sexy brain.
Your libido is like an engine, says Fleming. You need to find ways to turn yourself on, warm up, and get ready to go. But Fleming says she often sees clients who have no idea what gets them going or what turns them off. How to sort it out? She suggests reading erotic fiction, listening to erotic podcasts, or simply allowing yourself time to fantasize. “Think about the last really enjoyable, hot, fun, connected, juicy experience you had with your partner,” she says. “Use all five senses, take it in, and let it be something you can come back to time and time again.”
Bring in a friend.
No, not into the bedroom (unless that’s what everyone really wants, in which case, go for it!). But talking about sex with your friends—or just one trusted friend—can help demystify it. Discussing how much sex you’re having, how much you wish you were having, or how satisfied you are with your sex life could be a little like therapy. A good friend might even be able to help you work out whatever issue is getting in the way of the sex life you crave, Sussman says. Not sure how to get the conversation going? Fleming suggests mentioning an article you’ve read in a magazine or on a website (maybe the story you’re reading right now?). Try: “I read in Prevention. ” and see where it takes you.
Take care of yourself first.
We’re not talking about masturbation—although getting a little frisky with yourself certainly isn’t a bad thing. It’s just as important (maybe more so) to get ample sleep, regular exercise, and generally keep stress in check (spa day?). “So many women feel depleted, and then sex starts to feel like work,” says Fleming. Try pampering yourself and you might find you’re feeling more sexy, fun, and playful. (What better way to pamer yourself than with this luxurious coconut body oilfrom Rodale’s? Ahh.)
Ask for compliments.
If you and your partner have been together for eons, chances are things have slowed down. Forget staying up all night to get down and dirty; you’re more apt to watch a little bit of Netflix and drift off by 10 p.m. But it’s not just sex that has gotten lost over the years. Chances are the unexpected gifts and compliments have dropped off, too. Getting back to a place where you feel loved and sexy is absolutely essential, Sussman says. “If you can say to your husband or partner, ‘Flirt with me, make me feel attractive,’ well, that’s probably just as good as taking any medication.” (Here’s how to have better sex at every decade.)
What’s the No. 1 turn-on for men? If you said “boobs” or “butts,” you’d be wrong. The thing that gets most guys going isn’t a body part, says Sussman. It’s confidence. “If you feel good about how you look, if you like to make love with the lights on, that’s an aphrodisiac for everyone,” she says. Meanwhile, being uncomfortable with your body—whether you think you need to lose a few pounds or that your boobs are too droopy—can easily douse the fires in the bedroom. (We’re not going to pretend it’s easy to build up body confidence overnight, so here’s a go-to guide on how to get started.)
Be a detective.
What’s really at the root of your sex issues? Figure that out and you just might solve your problem, says Sussman. Some patients have trouble initiating sex, talking about fantasies, or admitting they’d like to have sex more often because they grew up believing women aren’t supposed to be interested in sex or because a past partner put them down. (If dryness is holding you back, give this all-natural lube from Rodale’s a go.) Other times sex problems aren’t really about sex at all, says Sussman. If you don’t trust each other or aren’t getting along outside the bedroom, you’ll need to work through that before you can expect the sensual side of your relationship to blossom.
What is Psychosexual Psychotherapy?
Because of the importance of sexual intimacy to developing and maintaining relationships, sexual dysfunction can cause a great deal of distress and anxiety, especially since it is a sensitive topic to discuss. Sex therapy helps with this distress and also with the sexual problem in a direct way.
Sex Therapy at Mind and Body Works can either be through face to face or online sessions for individuals or couples.
How does it work?
Sex therapy seeks to help sexual problems by specifically addressing them, usually beginning with a thorough assessment, leading on to detailed feedback and then to an individually designed treatment programme. Exploring the emotional and psychological aspects of the particular sexual problem with the therapist is an integral part of therapy sessions, but it will also entail home practise exercises.
What kind of problems does it help?
Sex therapy can help a range of sexual problems including erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, vaginismus, dyspareunia, and inability to achieve orgasm. It also helps couples where there is a loss of sexual desire or sex has ceased to be part of the relationship. Sexual difficulty can be difficult to describe and discuss, especially at the start. However, sex therapists are highly trained in this area and can help you to comfortably explore your sexual problem.
Do I need to attend my GP first?
A visit to the GP to be referred is not necessary. If there is a possibility that your sexual problem is medically related then you may be asked to see your GP.
What if I’m not in a relationship?
You do not need to be in a current sexual relationship to avail of sex therapy. If you are in a relationship, attending with your partner can maximise the benefits of therapy for your sexual problem. Sex therapy is also suitable for gay and lesbian individuals and couples.
How long does it take?
The length of sex therapy depends on a number of factors which include the duration, nature and history of the problem. Commitment to therapy sessions and crucially, to home practice, are very important factors. In general, sex therapy is not a long-term treatment.
The fee per session will depend on which sex therapist you attend. Fees are indicated on the individual therapists’ profile page and on our Fees page.
Sex Therapy Accreditation.
Each of the sex therapists at Mind and Body Works are graduates of The College of Sex and Relationship Therapy (COSRT).
This qualification is very important because it means that in addition to a core, or several core trainings, your sex therapist has completed specific post-graduate training in sex and relationship therapy. Our sex therapists continue to enhance and update their skills through continual professional training and development.
Accreditation by COSRT shows that the therapist has met rigorous professional standards in practice hours, training, continuing professional development and supervision and works to the ethical and best practice guidelines of The College of Sex and Relationship Therapy.
Online Sex Therapy
Our psychosexual services are also provided by COSRT accredited sex therapists who are available online. These online sex therapists are fully qualified and experienced. An online appointment will suit many clients as it can feel confidential and secure, as well as allowing access to sex therapy no matter where you are in Ireland. You can select an online sex therapist by scrolling through the profiles below where the therapist location is shown as Online Therapies.
How do I Arrange An Appointment?
You can contact your chosen Mind and Body Works therapist directly from the list below to arrange this service.
Providing a sex-positive, pleasure-focused, and trauma-informed space to heal so you can have the sex life you’ve always wanted
Asking for help isn’t easy, especially in a society where speaking openly about sexuality is rare and taboo.
On the inside, you’re overwhelmed, feeling guilt and shame at what’s going on. You may be sitting here, looking through the internet trying to find answers to figure out: is this normal? Will I ever recover? Will this get better?
Sex is a natural part of many individuals’ lives and a part of most relationships. Yet, somehow, you feel that you have uncertainties, questions, issues, concerns, and … no one to turn to. Some days, it may feel like your partner is more like a roommate than a lover. Perhaps, someone has hurt you and now you’re struggling to feel safe in your body. You may be searching for places to find answers about your sexual or relationship concerns, but it’s been difficult to do so—where do you go? Who can you trust? Will there be judgement? On the outside, you are portrayed as the perfect couple, as if your sex life is wonderful, or like you’re in control of your body and your emotions.
Whether you’re here because your relationship is in trouble, you need to figure out some sexual concerns, or you are wanting to deal with and heal from sexual abuse or assault, you’ve come to the right place.
Allura Sex Therapy Centre, founded by BC’s only AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, is Vancouver’s leading trauma-informed therapy practice that exclusively focuses on sex, sexuality, and relationships. Our counsellors provide a safe, judgement-free and sex-positive space for our clients to heal on their own terms and provide help through sex therapy, couples counselling, and trauma counselling. Regardless of your goal, our counsellors are here to help you grow into your relationship or sexuality and feel confident that you know how to find your way through.
Ultimately, you are the expert in your own life; we are here to guide you along your journey to sexual satisfaction and confidence.
Most of us will have a problem with sex at some point in our lives. Some people deal with this themselves but, for others, sexual problems can cause a lot of distress and unhappiness and require professional help.
What is sex therapy?
Sex therapists are health professionals who have specialised training in helping people with difficulties relating to sex. A well-qualified sex therapist has done intensive research on sexual problems and sexual dysfunction, and truly understands how to help individuals faced with these.
Over the last 25 years sex therapy has come of age. If it was regarded with suspicion in the 1960s and early 1970s, sex therapy is now considered a discipline with full-fledged professional credibility. The field has become respectable. It’s associated with journals, conferences, training programmes, professional organisations, accreditation standards and certifications rather than voyeuristic, exploitative charlatans.
Find a practitioner that’s right for you
Sex therapy can be a somewhat daunting experience and an individual or couple can be quite wary initially. You may be wondering: what kind of person specialises in sex therapy? Is the therapist weird? Do they have all sorts of strange ideas about sex and sexuality?
However, if you consult with a qualified, experienced practitioner who specialises in sex therapy, you will realise that they’re professional doctors with an interest in relationships and mental health care, and have expert skills to help you with your problem.
Look for a sex therapist with whom you feel comfortable. Be very specific regarding who you want to see. A male or a female therapist? How old should they be? What should they specialise in? Do you want a warm, friendly doctor, or one who is more clinical?
The closer a therapist meets your criteria, the more comfortable you’ll feel and the more able you’ll be to share your sexual story. If you’re going for sex therapy as a couple, make sure both you and your partner are happy with the doctor you’ve selected.
What will the sex therapy session be like?
Sex therapy is structured as a normal therapy session, where various questions are asked to get a holistic idea about your and your partner’s life. It’s thus not as daunting as you may think.
The best attitude to have is to be open about your problems and aware that this person is there to help you, not to judge you. They’re professionals who will be empathetic and helpful and will listen to all your concerns and problems.
It’s important to remember that all therapy sessions are confidential and you should feel no hesitation to tell your therapist in detail about the issues troubling you, to enable him/her to help you effectively.
Sex therapists can help you deal with:
Lack of arousal (inability to get or maintain an erection, or female frigidity)
Lack of orgasm (inability to climax or control ejaculation)
Sexual relationships that become stagnant
Differences in what sexually arouses each of you
Communication breakdowns when it comes to discussing sex
Enhancing your sexual relationship
Difficulty in establishing sexual boundaries
Dealing with sexually transmitted infections within your relationship
Couples struggling with sexual communication
Many people may think that you must have severe sexual problems before seeking help from a sex therapist, but this isn’t so. Many sex therapists deal with couples with general sexual problems, such as lack of effective communication about sexual dynamics in their relationships. It’s therefore not necessary to wait for a massive sexual issue to develop before seeking professional help.
Consider seeking help as soon as problems arise, even with small sexual issues, to prevent these growing into big dilemmas. Sex therapy can be very helpful and a rather pleasant experience. It doesn’t have to be scary and stressful.
Find a Therapist
Jill Denton, MFT, CSAT, CCS: Definitely not. Many couples therapists are decidedly uncomfortable talking about sex. It might be as difficult for them as it is for many couples; therefore, the subject just doesn’t come up. Furthermore, some sex therapists don’t work with couples! For example, they might put their focus primarily on helping individual men with erectile problems, or individual women who are unable to orgasm.
In my own therapy practice, I encourage people struggling with sexual challenges to include their partners in conjoint therapy if they are part of a couple. But, I certainly don’t require that both people participate if this isn’t comfortable for the person who contacts me first.
When a married or partnered person contacts me individually, I’ll explain about my “three-legged stool approach” where I meet with one person by themselves, and maintain complete privacy with what they share. Then I meet with their partner alone, with the same strict confidentiality. The third leg consists of couple or conjoint counseling, with both people present (or on the phone). If one leg of a stool is knocked off, the stool topples. When all three legs are present, it makes for a safe and stable place to sit.
That’s what I do, but know that not all couples therapists are sex therapists, and not all sex therapists work with couples!
Denise Onofrey, MA, LMFTC: Sex therapy is a specialized branch of therapy. Sex therapists have additional training and expertise. A way to consider this is: a heart surgeon is a medical doctor who went to medical school, but he or she has additional and specific training to be a heart surgeon.
Though some sex therapists provide various types of therapeutic services, as does a general therapist, a general therapist should not conduct or consider themselves sex therapists unless they have had additional and specific training. Within the field of sex therapy, some therapists specialize even more beyond being a general sex therapist. For example, a sex therapist may specialize in only working with men, women, or relationships. Another sex therapist may only work with low desire issues, trauma recovery and sexuality, or enriching intimacy.
There are specific and well-respected governing bodies to ensure that sex therapists are highly qualified and well versed in the specialized field of sex therapy. One of the most renowned governing bodies which oversee the quality of education and professional development of sex therapists is the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). AASECT professionals are engaged in advancing and maintaining standards for clinical and educational services in the field of human sexuality.
John Sovec, LMFT: Although some couples therapists are also trained as sex therapists, these are actually two distinctly different types of treatment. A couples therapist often focuses on assisting couples in building better communication and helping the partners build a strong relationship. A couples therapist works with issues of betrayal, infidelity, and pre-marital counseling.
What makes a sex therapist unique is that they are often a therapist who addresses the issues mentioned above, but also have training in working with sexual issues that often arise in relationships.
For some couples, there can be a mismatch in sexual needs and desires. A trained sex therapist will assist couples in building a strong, clear sexual language as well as assign exercises to support the growth of their sexual connection.
Some sex therapists also work with people dealing with issues of sexual addiction, porn addiction, sexual trauma, and sexual disorders.
If you’re looking for a therapist who can assist in sexual issues, make sure that they are licensed in your state and that they have additional certification which is often recognized as a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist).
Having a professional help you better understand or improve certain areas of your life can be monumental.
You might think of therapists as someone who helps people with things like depression, anxiety, and grief. But did you know they can help with more specific areas of your life – like sex?
A sex therapist is a mental health professional that specializes in helping people navigate issues regarding their sexuality and sexual functioning.
Seeking out mental health care can be daunting enough, and even more so with a subject as sensitive as your sex life. We’re here to help demystify what sex therapy is, who might benefit from it, and why people seek it out.
Why Do People Go to Sex Therapy?
Simply put, people go to sex therapy to help them handle issues regarding their sexuality, sex lives, and pleasure.
For most people, sex is an integral part of being human, but unfortunately, there are numerous life events, societal influences, and disorders that can keep us from having a healthy and fulfiling sex life. Sometimes people need extra support and guidance in order to do this, that’s where sex therapists come in.
Sex therapists can help you get to the root of where your sexual issues are coming from, and help you enjoy sex more overall.
What are some things a sex therapist can help with?
Difficulty Reaching Orgasm
Although orgasms don’t necessarily have to be the goal of sex, it can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening when you have difficulty having one.
A sex therapist can help whether you have difficulty having an orgasm with a partner, or by
yourself as well.
Pain During Sex
While pain during sex could be because of a physical issue like ovarian cysts or endometriosis, some of it may be psychological as well.
If sex is painful for you, or you have difficulty with penetration and would like to do it, a sex therapist can help you understand why and give you practical tools to help decrease discomfort and increase pleasure.
People experience low libido due to any number of reasons like hormonal changes, stress, depression, and certain life events. It can also put a huge strain on your relationship.
If low libido is negatively impacting your life and relationships, a sex therapist can help with that.
Sex After Trauma
Traumatic incidents, whether they were sexual in nature or not can impact your sex life.
A sex therapist can help you understand how this trauma has impacted your sex life, and how to heal and move past it.
Questioning Your Sexuality
Sex therapists that specialize in LGBTQ+ areas can help you figure out how you relate to your sexuality. Sexuality can change over time, and sometimes these changes catch us off guard or can be difficult to deal with.
What Happens During Sex Therapy?
There is no one size fits for sex therapy. Different providers will have different approaches that tailor to the needs of their individual patients.
Depending on the reason for your visit, you may go by yourself or with your partner.
Your sex therapist will most likely want a detailed history of your sex life, and what has brought you into their office.
While modalities like sexological bodywork use hands-on methods, sex therapy is strictly talking therapy. This talk therapy will help them better understand the root of what has brought them there and how to move forward.
You can expect to be given “homework” or take-home exercises to help you build your sexual practice and increase communication.
If your therapist determines that your sexual issues may stem from a physical problem, they will help refer you to another provider who can help you with that.
Depending on your needs, you can expect to have sessions weekly, every other week, or even monthly. It can be helpful to go weekly at first if you’re able to, to help build your relationship with your therapist and build momentum in your healing.
How To Find a Sex Therapist
Like with any relationship, it can take time to find the right sex therapist for you. If someone doesn’t feel like the right fit, trust your gut, and try to find a new provider.
There isn’t strict regulation on who can call themselves a sex therapist, so you’ll want to pay attention to their credentials, training, and experience.
Psychology Today is a great website that allows you to search for therapists that specialize in the niche you’re looking for (like sex therapy), as well as filter through insurance providers and other helpful criteria.
The College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists has an online directory to help you find registered sex therapists in your area or virtually. Another online directory is AASECT, The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Both of these organizations have strict criteria that providers have to follow in order to be considered sex therapists.
If you’re thinking about going to a sex therapist, know that there is nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, you should be proud of yourself for taking steps to heal or improve what can be one of the most sensitive parts of your life.
Come at the experience ready to be vulnerable, honest, and to do some deep digging.
Natasha (she/they) is a full spectrum doula, reproductive health content creator, and sexual wellness consultant. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more pleasure, softness, and sensuality. You can connect with Natasha on IG @spectrumoflovedoula.
A couple’s sexual relationship is something they work out for themselves. How often you have sex, when and what you do is personal to your relationship. As long as you both enjoy it and it’s not harming anyone else, then it’s your choice.
However, if your sexual relationship isn’t giving you the pleasure or satisfaction it once did, or if it never has, then you may find talking to a sex therapist helpful. Talking about your sexual relationship may seem a little strange at first, but you will be talking to someone who is trained and skilled in working with sexual difficulties.
The Relationships Scotland services which provide a sex therapy service are:
How can sex therapy help me?
Sex therapists are usually experienced relationship counsellors who have gained a further qualification in sex therapy. They all have an awareness of how relationship difficulties are linked to sexual problems. Sex therapists help you look at your sexual relationship. They work with individuals and couples to explore what is not working and what needs to be different.
What sort of problems do sex therapists work with?
Our sex therapists are trained to deal with different kinds of sexual problems. Those might be associated with wanting or having sex; by things happening to you, such as ageing, accidents, illness or children, which may affect your sexual relationship; or those things that are to do with each of you as individuals that may affect how you are or see yourself as a sexual being.
Some of the main issues we deal with are:
Erectile problems – Erectile problems are not being able to get or maintain an erection or feeling that your erection is not as hard as it used to be.
Orgasm difficulties – Orgasm difficulties are not being able to reach orgasm or climaxing/ejaculating too soon, not being able to ejaculate.
Painful sex – This is usually pain when penetration is tried, although sometimes it can also happen after sex.
Desire problems – Desire problems might be loss of desire for sex or when there are different levels of desire in a couple, one wanting sex more than the other.
Illness or disability – This refers to anyone or any couple where disability, illness or accident is impinging on their sexual relationships; it could include physical disabilities, diabetes or surgery.
Cross-dressing – When a person feels drawn to dressing as and being the opposite sex.
Sexual orientation – When people think they may be attracted to someone of the same sex.
Sexual addictions – When people might be addicted to the internet, chat rooms, pornography or masturbation.
What happens at sex therapy?
Sex therapists will meet you for an initial session to see what the difficulty is and whether it’s something they work with. If you both agree to go ahead, they will arrange to meet each person individually to take a full history. This can take more than one session. When the therapist has taken each person’s history and looked at what the problem is, they will meet you as a couple to discuss a treatment programme that is designed to help with your particular difficulty.
Sometimes therapists recommend that people have relationship counselling before starting on a sex therapy programme. This is because sex therapy requires couples to work closely together on their sexual relationship, but if there are any underlying relationship problems, they will quickly surface.
If the difficulty is to do with wanting or having sex, the therapist is likely to recommend a treatment plan. However, if the problem is more to do with how you see yourself sexually, they may suggest counselling to help you explore the issues.
A treatment plan explains what you will need to do to try and sort out the problem. You won’t have to do anything in front of the therapist or anyone else. The therapist will give you homework at each session for you and your partner do at home.
How much will it cost?
The service will ask you for a contribution towards the cost of the session as they would for relationship counselling.
How long will sex therapy take?
It depends on your situation and the problems you’re experiencing. Your therapist will discuss that with you.
Sex therapy is a confidential service designed to help you work through any issues you are facing so you can begin to enjoy sex again, whatever this looks like for you.
Sex therapy is a confidential service designed to help you work through any issues you are facing so you can begin to enjoy sex again, whatever this looks like for you.
Most of us will have an issue with sex at some point, whether that’s about our connection to our own bodies or having sex with other people.
We live in a world where you might think everyone but you is having great sex, and a lot of it. This simply isn’t true! Talking about problems with sex can be tough. and dealing with these worries and issues without any help can be frustrating.
Everybody’s sexual experiences, preferences and needs are unique and these are likely to change over time.
How can sex therapy help?
Some people find talking about sex a bit awkward at first, which is completely normal – you will be supported to be as comfortable as possible.
Sex therapy, also known as psychosexual therapy, can help with:
- Having a different sex drive to your partner
- Problems with erections or ejaculation
- Issues with penetrative sex
- Difficulties having an orgasm
- A lack of enjoyment from sex
- Feeling like you’re stuck in a routine and want to try something new
- Health issues affecting sex
- Life changes such as menopause and pregnancy affecting sex
You can attend sessions on your own, or with a partner and our service is inclusive of all genders and sexualities.
By professional referral only
What is sex therapy?
Sex therapy helps individuals or couples identify and consider possible psychological, emotional, social or relational, and physiological factors that could be maintaining their sexual problems or concerns. Sex therapy for sexual dysfunctions provided by mental health professionals includes cognitive-behavioural techniques and physical exercises or homework that clients do on their own between therapy sessions. Sex therapists also provide accurate and specific terms and educational materials about sex in therapy sessions that help clients better understand and address concerns in their sexual lives. Individuals or couples can seek sex therapy.
When should I seek help?
If you are distressed by a lack of desire for sex or experience problems when engaging in sexual activity (such as difficulties with arousal, erections, orgasms, or pain with intercourse), for emotional or physical reasons, you may want to consider sex therapy.
If you feel your sexual problem is causing distress for your sexual partner(s) and in your sexual relationship(s), you may want to consider sex therapy.
If you experience very distressing or interfering negative thoughts and feelings about your sexuality or your sexual problems, you may want to consider sex therapy.
If you lack accurate information or have received conflicting information about your sexual concerns, you may want to consult a sex therapist.
If medical interventions alone have not significantly enhanced your own or your partner’s sexual satisfaction, or not reduced your distress, you may want to consider sex therapy.
What kind of sex therapist should I look for?
As with any therapist, it is important to find the sex therapist that you trust. They should be licensed in the practice of therapy and report to a professional regulatory body. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the sex therapist’s background, education and certification, and approach. You may also want to know the extent of their experience working with clients who have similar sexual concerns. Your sex therapist will have specialized training in assessing, diagnosing, and helping people with sexual problems and often hold specialty certifications in the area. Recognizing that a combination of physiological and psychological interventions can be helpful in addressing many sexual concerns, a psychologist trained in sex therapy will also collaborate with your medical care professionals or refer to medical specialists, as appropriate.
Here are some helpful educational websites and evidence-based books:
Sexual Awareness (McCarthy & McCarthy)
Come As You Are (Nagoski)
Love Worth Making ( Snyder)
Sex Made Easy (Herbenick)
The Joy of Sex (Comfort)
Becoming Orgasmic (Heiman & LoPiccolo) (Zilbergeld)
Sex can be difficult for couples to talk about, especially when there are intimacy issues that need to be resolved. Issues can range from sexual function, desire, drive, anxiety, and emotional concerns like past sexual trauma.
During sex therapy, couples can address concerns with licensed therapists who have extensive sexual and relationship health training.
At North Brooklyn Therapy , located in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, we have a staff of experienced and licensed therapists. We offer individual and couples therapy to people all over the New York City metro area.
Call the office to set up an appointment or schedule a counseling session online today.
How Do I Know If I Need Sex Therapy?
If your relationship lacks intimacy, there are struggles with sexual dysfunction or any other issues that you and your partner are having difficulty communicating about, it might be time to speak to a therapist.
If you are still unsure if sex therapy is right for you, please feel free to email or call us .
How Can Sex Therapy Help?
Sex therapy can help you resolve a variety of sexual issues in your relationship.
Some common reasons couples seek sex therapy:
- A Partnership With Different Desires
- Processing Past Sexual Trauma
- Exploring An Open Relationship
- Sexual Function/Dysfunction
- Inability To Control Sexual Behaviour
- Sexual Orientation Concerns
Sex therapy can provide you with the tools you need to heal and handle anything.
How Does It Work?
Together with a therapist, couples will begin by talking through their general challenges and sexual history and any background information relevant to the main issue at hand.
Initial sex therapy sessions involve discussion of concerns and creating a specific treatment plan. You will be given the tools you need to create a healthy sex life.
Your therapist may determine that sessions will work best either individually or with partners together.
As sessions move forward, you and your partner will find better ways to manage your sexual relationship in a supportive and nurturing environment.
New patients should be aware that sex therapy does not involve any type of physical contact or examination. If you need physical medical attention, you should contact your health physician.
How Long Does Sex Therapy Treatment Last?
How long your sex therapy treatment continues varies on each individual and couple. Sex therapy is often short term as most issues, and concerns are addressed quickly. Most couples typically need several sessions.
As your sessions progress and you are able to take and use your new healthy skills in your relationship, you will be able to identify and refine the concerns you’d like to continue to work on with your therapist.
What Will I Gain In Sessions?
Couples will learn ways to manage emotional issues around sex and find better ways to communicate with each other. Addressing your concerns around performance anxiety, pleasure, and sex education can help improve the sex life of couples.
Couples will often be assigned homework which could include:
- Practicing different ways of communicating
- Slowing down and practicing mindfulness during intimate encounters
- Changing the way you interact (both sexually and nonsexually)
Therapists will also check for any underlying mental health issues that might be preventing a healthy sex life between couples.
Why Choose North Brooklyn For Sex Therapy?
The therapists and counselors at North Brooklyn include New York City’s best minds. We create a safe, non-judgemental environment for patients to discuss sexual issues that can be difficult to talk about.
Education and Diverse Experience
We value education and diverse experiences when it comes to building a team of professionals to serve you.
Most all of our therapists hold a minimum of a masters degree and are licensed in the state of New York. We promise you that we will connect you with the right professional skilled at handling your personal situation.
Our office is located in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. We are centrally located near both subways and a bus access point. Our location is conveniently located, allowing couples from all over the five boroughs easy access to our offices.
At North Brooklyn Therapy, we do our best to make our rates affordable to everyone. Since most traditional insurance plans won’t cover couples counseling, we set our rate range from $75 to $175 per session based on your therapist’s experience.
We do ask that patients abide by a 48-hour cancellation policy.
Patients who are unable to attend sessions in person should know that we also offer remote sessions. Remote sessions are available through the Zoom telecommuting platform and offer safety during these unprecedented times.
Remote therapy can also be a way for patients to feel more comfortable speaking to a therapist in their own space.
I think you are doing a great job in answering people’s concerns and questions about sex. I am wondering if sex therapy will be covered by an insurance policy. (This might be insurance related questions.) I just want you to throw some light on this. I want to seek some medical help for my quick ejaculation.
Sick of Quickies
Dear Sick of Quickies,
Sex therapy is a counseling technique that helps clients change their behaviors and attitudes in and outside of the bedroom. It has been found to be effective in clients who come to therapy alone, but itвЂ™s even more effective (50 to 70%!) with the involvement of the clientвЂ™s partner(s). Because sex therapy is evidence-based form of psychological therapy and proven to be effective for many clients, some insurance companies provide coverage. However, if your insurance doesnвЂ™t cover sex therapy, donвЂ™t fret вЂ” you still have several other options.
Sex therapy usually lasts between five to 20 hourly sessions, often scheduled twice per month. Many sex therapists use the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) treatment modality, which promotes behavioral changes by evaluating connections between the clientвЂ™s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sex therapists that practice CBT often assign вЂњhomework,вЂќ which encourages clients to practice new behaviors between sessions. As the therapy progresses, clients discuss their at-home experiences to hone in on the specific issues theyвЂ™d like to work on.
Depending on your specific concerns and health status, you may need to see a sex therapist that works with a team of healthcare providers, including your primary provider, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor, and/or physical therapist. Sex therapists often request complete medical evaluations before or shortly after the treatment begins in order to properly diagnose the problem and identify the appropriate treatment plan. This evaluation can help determine between the physiological and psychological concerns. Additionally, when a sex therapist recommends medication, she or he must collaborate with licensed prescriber (physician, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, etc.)
If you wish to find a sex therapist or counselor near you, use the provider locator on the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) website. Always look for a certified or licensed sex therapist with a graduate degree and credentials from AASECT. Certified sex therapists do not have sexual contact with clients and conduct their work in accordance with regulated standards. Once you select a therapist, call her or his office to determine whether services are reimbursable by your insurer. Or, if youвЂ™d like, you can ask your primary care provider or call your insurance company directly and request a referral to a provider in your area. If your insurance doesnвЂ™t cover therapy, many therapists are willing to adjust their fees or work out a payment plan. You can also look for a sex therapy clinic (which are usually less expensive than private therapists) near you by calling your local hospital or university medical center.
Whether you choose to tackle your concerns alone or work with the support of a sex therapist, there are several techniques you can try on your own. For example, you can try delaying orgasm and prolonging arousal. These exercises help men learn to change undesired behaviors (including premature ejaculation) on the road to climax. Bernie Zilbergeld’s book, The New Male Sexuality, offers insight, perspective, information, and other useful suggestions in this area as well. Remember that practice makes perfect вЂ” for these strategies to be effective, they must be used often, as youвЂ™re teaching your body a new skill. Good luck!
Meet Our Team
We are sex-positive clinicians providing comprehensive, specialized care in sex therapy and sexuality-related concerns.
Emily Gordon, MSw, MEd, LCSW, CST (SHE/HER)
I’m Emily Gordon, and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST). I help individuals and people in relationships connect to and embrace their sexual and gender identities, explore new levels of intimacy, and improve their overall sexual satisfaction.
I became a relationship and sex therapist because I believe sexuality is a foundational aspect of our identity. My hope is to help address sexual concerns so we can live more authentically and holistically.
LIBBY EBERT (SHE/HER)
I’m Libby Ebert and I’m a clinical intern working under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Litner. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and sex therapy certificate at Adler University.
I am passionate about helping individuals and partners navigate conflict, deepen their emotional and sexual intimacy and enhance their confidence. I believe everyone deserves affirmative care that is thoughtfully challenging and supportive of their mental, emotional and sexual wellbeing.
Marnie spiegel, LCSW (she/Her)
I’m Marnie Spiegel, and I’m a licensed clinical social worker and a human sexuality educator with advanced training in treating relational and sexuality-related concerns.
I am passionate about helping individuals and couples enhance their sex lives and improve their communication, connection, and relationships. I view sex as a natural, healthy expression that should lead to all parties involved feeling satisfied. I fundamentally believe that sexual wellness is essential to our overall mental health and that we need to take the taboo out of sex!
Jennifer Litner, Phd, LMFT, CST (she/her)
I’m Jennifer Litner, and I’m a certified sex therapist and a human sexuality educator. I help people who want a more vibrant sex life to speak openly, deepen their connection and love energetically — because you deserve to be sexually satisfied! I believe the sex life you desire is worth striving for.
As an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, I have completed the clinical training and supervision necessary to specialize in the clinical treatment of sexual dysfunction and sexuality-related concerns.