PSYCHOSEXUAL THERAPY

If you are in a relationship and you find that you are having problems connecting on a physical level, you may find yourselves thinking about and looking into a psychosexual therapist. Alternatively, if you feel you are having sexual difficulties, you also may find yourself contemplating and taking steps towards psychosexual therapy. Whether alone or with a partner it is a good option. Psychosexual therapy can help you improve your current or future relationships, overcome your sexual and physical difficulties, and help you gain a better understanding of yourself and your sexuality so that it can be a more enjoyable experience.

What Is Psychosexual Therapy?

Psychosexual therapy is a form of counselling that is for couples as well as individuals to resolve sexual difficulties, such as performance anxieties or relationship problems. It is a specialized type of psychotherapy, at no point is there any sex being had during the sessions; while this may seem like a no-brainer, there are some that may easily believe otherwise based on the name.

What Does A Psychosexual Therapist Do?

A psychosexual therapist does not help you have sex in the literal sense. Rather, psychosexual therapists take the tools of therapy-namely; addressing your concerns, thoughts, and feelings, why they are inhibiting your sexuality and giving you tools to complete the goal of resolving the issue. Psychosexual therapists listen to your concerns within the realm of sex, such as:

 

  • Concerns over intimacy 

  • Inability to orgasm

  • Concerns about sexual desire or arousal

  • Sexual anxieties

  • Sexual interests

  • Sexual orientation

  • Difficulties, such as early ejaculation, trouble reaching orgasm, or painful intercourse (dyspareunia, vulvodynia, vaginismus)

  • Concerns over past unwanted or traumatic sexual experiences

  • Lack of confidence or sexual compatibility

  • Premature ejaculation

  • Erectile difficulties

  • Illness and disability that affects your sex life

  • How to talk with each other about sex 

 

The list does not end here. Many do not realise that whatever sexual issues they have are normal. Couples going into new changes-such as having a baby, moving in together, making a major purchase, getting married, or going through menopause-can hit bumps in their sexual road that a psychosexual therapist can help you through.

What Happens When You Go To Psychosexual Therapy

Even if you are in a relationship, you can still choose to go to psychosexual therapy alone versus as a couple. As a client, you need to assess what is the best option for you so that you are comfortable with therapy.

Psychosexual therapy sessions will many times begin with the client describing their sexual concerns or issues. This gives me a well-rounded and holistic view of the problem.  The function of these story taking sessions is to determine everything involved: your background and how it integrates with your current concerns, much as in a non-psychosexual therapy session. It is at that point that a possible diagnosis can be identified or other problems can be discussed with you in order to resolve the concerns and improve intimacy.

We will then move onto the Sensate Focus , a program of individual and couple exercises designed to get you back in touch with the sensations of physical intimacy: 

Image by Womanizer WOW Tech

You and your partner will be  given exercises to work on in-between sessions and complete at home; you would never be asked to carry out any kind of sexual task in a session. The exercises are graded so that you can start at a level with which you feel comfortable, which might include, for example, being fully or partially clothed during the first exercises. 

These exercises are normally complemented with other tasks: Mindfulness is an important component of Sensate Focus as it helps us to bring our attention to physical sensations without the distractions which often interfere with sexual pleasure.  Other tasks might be something like communicating, reading about sexual health, changing your interactions with your partner, or taking note about aspects of your sexual health and how to improve it. 

An important aspect of psychosexual therapy is helping couples talk about sex with each other so that they feel understood and supported. Psychosexual therapy can help you express your sexual concerns. It can also help you better understand not only your own sexual needs but your partner's sexual needs as well, if you have one.

 

Is Discussing Sex Weird?

No. The thought of speaking with a stranger about something as intimate as being physical and sex for many seems incredibly uncomfortable and can be nerve-wracking.

A holistic evaluation of all mental and physical issues that can alter your sex life helps determine proper and effective treatment. If the sexual problems arise from something physical-such as the side effect to a medication - a doctor's referral may help to manage it. Also, if the sexual problems are present because of a different mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression, you can also begin to heal there as well, which in turn will affect your sex life. 

Sex is an important aspect of life, especially if you are in a relationship. It works to keep an active, healthy sex life, the same way it works to keep an active, healthy relationship and regular life.

Does Psychosexual Therapy Last Long?

Each case is different, and it depends on the root of the problem. If the problem is something physical, such as premature ejaculation or questions about genitalia, it can be resolved in fewer sessions. Couples issues may take more time, and any kind of trauma is a more in-depth issue to solve.

 

Should I See A Psychosexual Therapist?

It is always important to ask yourself what is going on within your sex life and if there seems to be a problem that needs resolving. If any of the issues mentioned above seem to be present in your life, or even if you just need someone to be open with about sex and speak with, then a psychosexual therapist may be right for you. The biggest part to remember is that your mental health is important, and if you need therapy, it is even more important to seek professional help.

As a client, you need to do what is most comfortable for you. For some, that may be coming to my therapy room. For others, it may be speaking virtually to avoid any awkwardness and uncomfortableness that in-person conversation can lead to. Online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy.