Sex therapy is a specialized form of counseling that focuses on issues related to sexual function, sexual satisfaction, and communication within a sexual relationship.
Here are a few things everyone should understand about sex therapy:
Sex therapy is a safe and confidential space where participants – both individuals or couples - can discuss their sexual concerns openly. It’s natural to feel embarrassed or hesitant to discuss your sexual issues. Sex therapists are trained professionals who approach these types of discussions with sensitivity and without judgment.
Communication plays an important role in sex therapy. Therapists work with clients to help them articulate their desires, concerns, and boundaries. They foster an open and honest discussions about sex. Learning to have effective communication in the bedroom spills over into effective communication in the relationship as a whole. And learning to express your needs and to actively and empathetically listen to your partner can lead to a more fulfilling sexual connection.
Sex therapy doesn’t just address the physical aspects of sexual function. Therapy also considers the psychological and emotional aspects of sexuality. Good therapists often explore issues such as self-esteem, body image, and past traumas that may impact sexual enjoyment and well-being. You can think of sex therapy as creating a more holistic approach to sexual health.
Sex therapy is not only for individuals or couples experiencing sexual dysfunction. While sex therapy can help address issues such as erectile dysfunction or lack of desire, it is also beneficial for couples seeking to enhance their sexual intimacy or explore new aspects of their sexual relationship.
As with any mental health therapy, to see the best results you need to actively engage in the process. You will need to be courageous and be as open as possible about what you think and feel about what you want from your sexual life. Open communication with the therapist contributes greatly to the therapy’s effectiveness. Even then, keep in mind that results often are not be immediate. It takes some time for the therapeutic process to unfold.
Dr. Wayne Bullock is a compassionate, experienced, and licensed counselor in Washington D.C. specializing in the needs of gay men and the LGBTQ community.