Sex Therapy

How Does Sex Therapy Work and is it Effective?

What is Sex Therapy?

In the session, professionals will address issues that impact sexuality and sexual satisfaction. Sessions do not include any sexual acts or breaches in privacy and the rights of the client or psychologist.

Sexual concerns are more common than we realise, and yes, therapy can help improve things for couples. The aim is to help partners move beyond emotional and physical challenges. The result should be a pleasurable sexual existence within a relationship.

What to Expect During Sex Therapy?

The duration of sex therapy will all depend on the type of treatment, the goals of the client, and the concerns your psychologist addresses. Typically, sex therapists would have gone through the process of advanced training to conduct sex therapy.

Your chosen sex therapist often applies psychotherapy and addresses sexual concerns in a thoughtful and evidence-based approach. Some concerns cover sexual feelings, intimacy, and sexual function. The techniques used during sessions should address a range of challenges.

Therapy sessions are individual or couple’s therapy. Sex therapy can be effective regardless of the sexual orientation of individuals, gender, gender identity, or age.

Where Will You Meet Your Therapist?

Individuals or partners usually meet the psychologist in their office. The duration of the therapy session depends entirely on the issue. Anxiety to meet a therapist is common. Talking about sex often feels as though it is a taboo subject. Discussing issues of this nature could feel awkward and clumsy at first, but rest assured, a qualified therapist is well-equipped to help you through the process.

Your therapist is a professional.

Your therapist is a professional. Your sex therapist will start the session by inquiring about and empathising with your concerns and maintaining variables. Questions could include health challenges, personal beliefs, religious affiliation, and how this affects sex in the relationship.

There is no physical contact during therapy.

There is never any physical contact during sessions. Clients should say something the minute they feel awkward during therapy. Psychologists encourage partners to practise homework projects after sessions strictly in the privacy of their own environments.

Success usually depends on the commitments of partners during sessions. Putting in the hard work often reaps rewards.

Why Sex Therapy Homework is Important?

Sex Education

Understanding how the body works is an often-overlooked topic for many struggling with sexual issues. Therapists often suggest reading matter or videos to educate partners and individuals to understand the basics of anatomy. Gaining knowledge about the psychological dynamics at play regarding yourself or your partner’s sexual functioning has proven to be empowering.

Communication is Key

Sex is just another way in which we communicate in a relationship and relational dynamics, therefore often play out in intimate communication as well. Learning how to effectively communicate with your partner often spills over into having a more satisfying sexual experience.

What You Need to Know Before Your First Appointment

If you don’t already have a psychologist, a good point of entry is to ask your doctor for a recommendation. This is usually the first step in seeking help for sexual issues. Your medical aid could also recommend a sex therapist of good standing.

How to Find Out if Your Therapist is a Good Fit

Questions you should be asking your therapist include:
  1. What type of experience and qualifications does your sex therapist have?

Your sex therapist needs to be registered with the HPCSA (the Health Professions Council of South Africa). Your licensed therapist should have the relevant, necessary degree to practise clinical psychology. An MSC in Clinical Psychology is highly recommended. Your psychologist should have relevant experience in the field of sexual abuse if you are seeking help for this eventuality.

  1. Finding out the basics?

Basic questions to ask would usually include the location of the practice. Does your psychologist practice from their home or from a separate practice? You would also need to know how much the sessions will cost, what the cancellation of fees policy includes, and how long the sessions will last. You would need to know whether your medical aid covers these fees, too.

Why is there a Need for Sex Therapy?

Sex therapy can make a difference in your life and your relationship. Solving various sexual issues is important. These include anything from basic sexual functionality to the relationship in a sexual partnership.

Topics that your health professional will cover include:
  1. Compulsive sexual behaviour.
  2. Pain during sex.
  3. Challenges concerning sexual desire and arousal.
  4. Lack of sex drive.
  5. Sexual disorders and erectile dysfunction.
  6. Premature ejaculation.
  7. Anorgasmia (trouble reaching an orgasm).
  8. Lack of sexual arousal.

Why Sex Therapy Works

Through sex therapy, you can learn to express your concerns clearly, better understand your own sexual needs, and overcome any difficulty. Remember, effective sex therapy requires trust and good communication. If you don’t feel comfortable or trusting of your sex therapist, consider discussing these concerns, or find another therapist with whom you feel more comfortable.

If you think you and your partner may need sex therapy, you can contact Erika Nell Clinical Psychology today for an appointment. Erika Nell is a qualified Independent Clinical Psychologist registered at the Health Professionals Council of South Africa working in the Pretoria area.