It’s not abnormal to keep your private life, well, private. However, when difficulties arise in intimate relationships, sometimes a third party needs to be involved.
Sex therapy can offer a safe and supportive environment for couples to share their innermost struggles without judgment. Here’s what you need to know before you get started.
Understanding Sex Therapy
Sex therapy is a branch of psychotherapy (or talk therapy) that is designed to help couples identify issues relating to intimacy and find mutually beneficial solutions. Most sessions occur with both individuals (this is generally advised), but you can also attend sex therapy alone.
Anything that causes stress or unhappiness as it relates to sex is fair game for your therapy sessions. After discussing issues, your counselor or therapist will recommend some sex therapy exercises.
These sessions for sex therapy typically last around an hour.
What is a Sex Therapist?
Psychologists, clinical social workers, counselors, doctors and marriage and family therapists can act as sex therapists. Generally, sex therapy occurs with a professional who also specializes in other areas and can help with more than just a healthy intimate life.
Some therapists, however, work specifically in this field. This type of professional will likely only meet with you and your spouse for a few sessions, rather than on an ongoing basis.
What Topics Are Covered in Sex Therapy?
If you’ve never been to sex therapy before and are curious about starting, you may have hesitations. Due to the personal nature of therapy, and most especially sex therapy, you may have fears that your challenges are out of the ordinary.
There’s no reason to worry— here are some common topics for couples sex therapy, and aren’t abnormal to need help with.
Changes in sexual desire
Couples wanting different types of sex
Communication regarding sex
The emotions that accompany pain during sex (like feeling guilty or embarrassed)
Surgeries that may affect fertility or sexual activity
Overcoming sexual trauma
Anxiety related to intimacy
Difficulty having an orgasm
Unwanted sexual fetishes
This is merely a sample list of topics for sex therapy, any many more subjects could be covered. Sex therapy is often sought by those who have medical conditions like pelvic floor disfunction, disabilities, body dysmorphia and erectile dysfunction.
How is Sex Therapy Helpful?
Sex therapy exercises have plenty of perks. Here are some of the benefits you can expect when you start.
Improved communication: talking about sex, although scary, can be healing. Talking through these difficulties can even renew passion between you and your significant other
Increased pleasure: relationships go through stages, and it’s likely that your satisfaction with sex has fluctuated, too. Your sex therapist can recommend sex therapy exercises to make intercourse more enjoyable
Decreased stress: the challenges that come with sex can affect a person for the entire day. When an intimate problem looms in your life, it can impact each interaction you have with your loved one. Therapy can ease your mind and help you focus on other things
Acceptance of physical limitations: trouble with sexual performance is an unfortunate side effect of many medical conditions. Sex therapy can help you work around obstacles and come to terms with your abilities
Emotional health: sexual challenges can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-confidence and cause fear in intimate relationships. Meeting with a sex therapist can balance your emotions and help you find a constructive outlet for your feelings
These and other benefits are yours to take advantage of.
Is There Online Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy, like most talk therapy, is easily adapted to virtual formats. Online sex therapy is a growing service, and many couples feel more inclined to talk about such a personal topic in the comfort of their own home. Ask your provider if online sex therapy is an option.
What Are Tips for Sex Therapy?
The key to effective sex therapy, like other forms of therapy, is sharing openly and applying yourself outside of sessions. It’s easy to feel bashful when you’re talking about such a private part of your life, so keep in mind that your therapist has heard it all before and nothing will come as a shock.
Putting in the work outside of therapy is what makes the lessons click and real change happen. Although, you’ll be able to process your emotions and discuss ways to solve sexual difficulties, the mental and physical exercises recommended by your therapist will require the appropriate time and space to be practiced.
If you’re hoping to benefit from sex therapy, you’ll want to start before the issues you’re facing worsen. Pyramid Online Counseling can help. Online sex therapy can help your relationship flourish. Get help today.