Everything to Know About Sex Therapy in 2023

Sex therapy can assist people in identifying and overcoming sexual difficulties such as low sex drive, pain during sex, and problems having an orgasm. It has the potential to improve sexual satisfaction. Anyone who needs to enhance their relationship with sex and pleasure may benefit from sex therapy.

It is especially beneficial for those who struggle with a lack of arousal, painful intercourse, inability to achieve orgasm, or other sexual dysfunctions. Sex therapy does not necessitate the participation of both partners.

According to Happy Healthy Hive, individual therapy sessions may be beneficial to some people, while couples sex therapy may be more beneficial to others. This article covers why someone might need sex therapy, what to expect during progressive sex therapy, where to find a qualified sex therapist and other topics.

What is Sex Therapy?

Sex therapy is a talk therapy intended to assist individuals and couples with difficulty achieving sexual satisfaction. Sexual difficulties can be caused by physical, psychological, or emotional factors. The goal of a sex therapist is to assist a person or couple in addressing these issues and achieving a more fulfilling sex life. Sexual contact between clients and therapists is not permitted in sex therapy.

How does it Work?

Sex therapy, like any other type of psychotherapy, entails talking through issues. The client and sex therapist will discuss any experiences, emotions, or concerns contributing to the client’s sexual dissatisfaction and complexities. They will also work on coping mechanisms to assist them in developing a more satisfying sexual life.

Clients of sex therapists may also be assigned “homework.” Depending on the individual or couple, this may include assessments designed to increase sexual education and improve partner communication. Sexual experimentation and sensate focus homework may also be assigned by sex therapists.

If the therapist suspects a physical issue is causing the sexual difficulties, they may refer the client to a medical doctor. In turn, the doctor and therapist may collaborate to address the mainstream physical issue while guiding the client toward their sexual goals.

Benefits of Sex Therapy

Individuals and couples can significantly benefit from sex therapy:

  • Realistically, learn about sex and pleasure.
  • Recognize and address the root causes of sexual problems.
  • Develop and sustain a stronger sexual connection with themselves and their partners.

Who Needs Sex Therapy?

People experiencing sexual dysfunction may benefit the most from a sex therapy session. Clarified, sexual dysfunction is an umbrella term for a variety of recurring sexual difficulties, which include:

These dysfunctions can result in less interest in sex, lack of confidence, sexual performance stress and anxiety, painful intercourse, and incompetence to become aroused or achieve orgasm, severely affecting a person’s ability to live a healthy and fulfilling sex life.

Sexual dysfunction can be caused by either physical or psychological factors. It is sometimes linked to a history of abuse.

What is Sexual Trauma?

Sexual trauma, in particular, can impair a person’s desire for or ability to enjoy intimacy and sex. According to research, sex therapy may benefit people who have experienced sexual trauma.

Combining trauma-based therapy with sex-positive methods may be more effective than alone in helping someone work through their trauma-related sexual dysfunction. These are small but promising studies.

Some researchers note, however, that some people with a history of sexual trauma may require individual therapy to work through other challenges before they are ready to discover sexual desire and satisfaction in sex therapy.

What to Expect from Sex Therapy?

Discussing someone’s sex life with a stranger can be awkward. The therapist will most likely anticipate this and begin with simple getting-to-know-you questions. People can expect to talk about:

  • health
  • sex education
  • specific challenges with sex
  • beliefs and ideas about sex
  • sexual background

Through talk therapy, the sex therapist will work with the individual or couple on their particular concerns and challenges. The client’s challenges and needs will determine the frequency and duration of therapy sessions.

The sex therapist will not:

  • Choose a side or try to persuade anyone to do anything.
  • Undress or request that someone undress you.
  • Have sexual relations or instruct others to have sexual relations.

Sex therapists, like all therapists, are not one-size-fits-all. Compatibility is essential for treatment success. If a person does not feel at ease with their therapist, they should seek the advice of another professional.

What is Couples Sex Therapy?

When both sexual partners attend therapy sessions, this is called couples sex therapy. Attending sex therapy sessions alone may be sufficient for some people. Others believe that having both partners present is more beneficial for improving communication and satisfaction.

In some cases, the therapist can assist a couple in determining whether individual sessions, couples sessions, or a combination of both are most beneficial.

Where to Find a Sex Therapist?

Some professional organizations, such as the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), offer directories to help people find qualified sex therapists.

Other professional associations with directories include state psychological and state and national associations for licensed marriage and family therapists.

Other options for finding a sex therapist include:

  • Getting a recommendation from another healthcare professional.
  • Requesting a list of covered mental health professionals who specialize in sexual health from their health insurance company.
  • Getting in touch with local and national mental health organizations.

The Takeaway

Sex therapy provides a welcoming, encouraging environment where people can safely discuss their difficulties in achieving a healthy and fulfilling sex life. Sex therapy can help anyone, especially those who are struggling with sexual issues and are dissatisfied with their sex lives. Individual sex therapy sessions benefit some people, while couples sex therapy is more beneficial to others.

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