Sex therapy and counseling

Highlights

Sex counseling and therapy are provided by sex therapists, who are healthcare professionals with advanced university degrees in sexuality and relationships. 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.

Sexual Dysfunction

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Sexual dysfunctions are highly prevalent, affecting nearly two-thirds of the population and that report some degree of difficulty during their lifetimes. There are four main types or categories of sexual dysfunction:

These disorders affect sexual desire and interest in sex, are also known as libido disorders or low libido. Low estrogen and testosterone levels can cause decreased libido, as can hormonal changes, medical conditions (like diabetes and heart disease), relationship problems, sexual inhibitions, fatigue, fear, depression, and anxiety, among other things.

These disorders make it difficult or impossible to become physically aroused during sexual activity, can occur in both men and women. When a person has arousal disorder, he or she may be interested in sexual activity, but be unable to get any physical satisfaction from it.

These involve the absence of orgasm or delayed orgasm, are a common problem with women, but they can also occur in men. Pain during sexual activity, stress, fatigue, hormonal changes and reduced libido can all lead to delayed or absent orgasm.

These involve pain during intercourse, can affect both men and women. In women, pain may be caused by vaginal dryness, vaginismus (a condition that affects the vaginal muscles), urinary tract infections, hormonal changes during menopause, and other conditions.


Sexual dysfunction can be caused by physical problems, medical conditions, or psychological problems, like anxiety, depression, and the effects of past trauma. When it occurs, having a fulfilling sexual life can be difficult.

What is sex counseling?

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As a form of counseling intervention, sex therapy may be able to help reframe the sexual challenges and increase sexual satisfaction. It is intended to help individuals and couples address medical, psychological, personal, or interpersonal factors impacting sexual satisfaction.

The goal of sex counseling is to help people move past physical and emotional challenges to have a satisfying relationship and pleasurable sex life. Considering these, if your quality of life and emotional health are greatly affected by sexual dysfunction, it’s a good idea to see a sex therapist. Likewise, if a lack of intimacy or difficulty communicating with a partner leads to serious personal concern, a sex therapist is the place to start.

sexual and relationship problems

Areas of Expertise

Desire Issues

Ex: Sexual desire discrepancy (SDD) is the difference between one’s desired and the actual frequency of sexual intercourse within a relationship

Infidelity

Violation of a couple’s assumed or stated contract regarding emotional and/or sexual exclusivity

Compulsive Sexual Behaviors

Excessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies or behaviors that is difficult to control, causes distress, or negatively affects health, job, relationships or other parts of life.

Erectile Dysfunction

Also called impotence, is the type of sexual dysfunction in which the penis fails to become or stay erect during sexual activity

Relationship problems

Couple relationship problems that can affect sexual interaction include pervasive hostility, poor communication, lack of trust and disparate levels of sexual desire

Gender Identity

An individual’s own sense of self as a woman, man, transgender, or none or other gender identitites

In addition, the above areas of expertise include but are not limited to premature ejaculation, performance anxiety, painful penetration, vaginismus, delayed ejaculation, past sexual abuse, orgasm difficulties, distress about sexual orientation or gender identity, distress about sexual preferences, sexual education and counseling

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