Have you ever thought of consulting a sex therapist to remedy a sexual problem?
If the question makes you uncomfortable, you are not alone. The idea of discussing the details of your sex life with a stranger can be awkward, especially if this topic is difficult for you to discuss. Moreover, sex therapy can be shrouded in a veil of mystery.
What exactly happens during the sessions?
Simply put, sex therapy is a form of psychotherapy designed to address the sexual problems of individuals and couples. It is a therapy that is done only through the word – no sexual situation is reproduced during the sessions.
Therapists can help clients to:
– Learn about their sexuality, including the anatomical aspects of sex- Develop communication skills so they can talk to their partners about sex – Develop strategies and techniques to improve a couple's sexuality – Clarify issues of sexual orientation or identity – Deal with sexual abuse or past traumas – Learn to manage unwanted sexual behaviors or compulsions
Sometimes psychological factors contribute to sexual problems. For example, anxiety can play a role in premature ejaculation or vaginismus. Therapists can also help resolve this.
Can sex therapy help you? Today, we will answer frequently asked questions that can guide you in your decision making.
Sex therapy: What are the first steps?
Before you start looking for a therapist, consult your doctor. Whether it's your family doctor, a urologist or a gynecologist.
Sometimes sexual problems have physical causes. For example, erectile dysfunction: the inability to have an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease. Painful sex in women could be linked to endometriosis or hormonal changes accompanying menopause. Low sex drive in both men and women can be related to stress, overwork, or medications like antidepressants.
Who are the sexologists?
Sexologists can be psychologists, doctors, social workers or other clinicians. Usually they have advanced degrees and specialized training in sexology and psychological support.
How can I find a sex therapist?
Your GP can refer you to a sex therapist who specializes in the type of problem you are having. If this is not the case, try to find some on the internet or by using the doctolib.fr site.
Your therapist should have the proper training, credentials, and licenses. Do not hesitate to ask the therapist about his background before starting the therapy. If for some reason you feel uncomfortable with your therapist, or if you feel that the therapist-patient relationship is not comfortable, there is no harm in switching therapists. For sex therapy to be effective, it is important to have a good relationship.
What does a sex therapy session look like?
Sessions usually take place in the therapist's office. Some therapists work in medical centers, but many have private practices. Many design their consulting spaces as living rooms to make the atmosphere relaxing and welcoming.
Sexologists fully understand that you can be nervous. They are trained to put you at ease and guide you through the conversation. They will likely ask you questions about your physical health, your relationship with your partner, your upbringing and sex education, and your behaviors toward sex.
Once they understand the problem, they can give you “homework” to do at home. It can be reading or watching videos to learn more about the body and sexual techniques. Exercises to practice with your partner may also be prescribed. Sensate focus (a process of moving from non-sexual contact to sexual contact) is a type of exercise designed to foster trust and intimacy between partners.
Remember that sex therapy sessions are talk therapy sessions only. They do not include any physical contact or sexual relationship with partners or with the therapist during the session.
Should my partner come with me?
If your partner also has sexual problems, it is useful that you participate in sessions together. Often couples need help communicating with each other. They may not know how to talk about their sexual needs. Or, there could be deeper issues in the relationship that affect what happens in bed.
If your partner does not accompany you, sex therapy can still benefit you. Your therapist can help you develop strategies for approaching your partner about your situation.
What if I don't have a partner?
Even if you don't have a partner, sex therapy can still help. Some patients avoid new relationships because of sexual problems, even though they would like to be in a relationship. Working with a therapist can help resolve the issue and build self-confidence.
take the step
It's hard to admit you have a sexual problem. Making that first appointment can be the most difficult step. But it's worth a try, not just for your sexual health, but also for your relationship and overall well-being.