I trained to qualify as a psychosexual therapist when, having worked with individuals or couples as a counsellor to resolve problems in their lives or relationships, they were left with their sexual relationship having become a casualty of their now resolved issues. Having worked alongside them it seemed it would be advantageous to build on the mutual trust and respect we had achieved during counselling and, by continuing as a psychosexual therapist with them, we could work better towards regaining what had been lost, or even attaining that which hadn’t been there before. Of course, I also see clients who come directly to see me for sex therapy, but I can still offer counselling first, or as necessary, in the therapy, where indicated.
What is Sex Therapy?
What is Sex Therapy?
There are some common misconceptions of what psychosexual therapy is and what you can expect from therapy. Below are some realistic expectations as I try to dispel some of the myths and put across some of what you can expect from working with a psychosexual therapist.
Psychosexual Therapy is... a structured approach to therapy that will help with many different sexual difficulties from painful intercourse to loss of desire or erectile difficulties.
During the therapeutic process we will talk about your specific issues and we will explore various factors which may have contributed to your present difficulties.
A programme will then be built which is unique to you and flexible enough to make changes if these are needed. The programme will include sensate focus tasks which you will be invited to do on your own or with your partner in the privacy of your home.
As sex therapy progresses, you will gradually become less anxious, more relaxed and gain more knowledge about yourself and, if with a partner, gain greater understanding of each other's likes and desires which will help you to create something that is special between the two of you.
Psychosexual therapy is not ... a quick fix. Some problems can take longer than others to sort out. It very much depends on the individual’s/couple’s willingness to put effort into the therapy.
Sex therapists are not ‘hands on’, I will not be touching you and/or your partner, but will need to hear how you have got on with the homework.
A popular misconception of sex therapy is that it will make someone desirable or give someone desire….it won’t and sex therapy will not coerce anyone into taking part in any sexual activity they are uncomfortable with.
Psychosexual therapy is not a medical intervention, as a therapist I may ask you to speak with your GP if there are any concerns regarding medical conditions or medications.
Sex therapy (or psychosexual therapy) uses the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help resolve sexual problems. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has a structured approach to dealing with anxiety in stages.It allows clients to look at their own unhelpful thinking and employs graduated exercises in desensitisation and exposure to help people face their fears and anxieties. Cognitive means awareness (of your thoughts and feelings) and Behavioural (in this context) means following a treatment plan specifically tailored to individual or couples' needs made up of exercises to do in the privacy of their own homes.