5 Reasons To See A Sex Therapist

In a professional field that’s highly specialized like sex therapy, it’s common to be curious about what it entails and ask questions. In my experience, people often wonder, what exactly happens during sex therapy & why might I go see a sex therapist?

Sex therapy is a specialized type of psychotherapy that addresses sexual concerns within the bounds of confidentiality. In other words, it is talk therapy that takes place in a therapy office with a clinician and the client(s). Occasionally, there might be other health professionals involved in the therapy (with a client’s permission) such as a physical therapist, gynecologist, urologist or a psychiatrist. However, sex therapy can look different depending on the type of concern being addressed. Sex therapy can occur both individually and in the context of couple’s therapy. Much of sex therapy is rooted in cognitive-behavioral interventions while it can also be emotionally-focused or include psycho-education. Sometimes, homework assignments are given to the individual or couple to work on between sessions. These homework assignments are done privately and typically facilitate experiences for clients to gain awareness about themselves that will be helpful in addressing their treatment goals. Sex therapy is a directive yet compassionate process where clients can share their intimate concerns and work toward improving their sexual health and experiences.

If you’re having any of the following concerns, these may be reasons to see a sex therapist:

1. Sex does not feel pleasurable to me.

Maybe sex has never felt pleasurable. Perhaps sex was pleasurable at one point in time and it no longer feels good. Sex feels painful to me.

2.  I’ve never felt “comfortable” during sex.

My mind is always somewhere else during sex. Sex makes me nervous so I avoid having sex or talking about it because it’s tough for me. I worry about sex often.

3. I have never had an orgasm before. What’s wrong with me?

Sometimes sex feels good but it’s not crazy good. How do I get myself to climax? I wish my body would work like that.

4. My partner wants sex all the time and I’m just not interested. Am I normal?

I have no sexual desire. I feel like I haven’t wanted sex in a long time and it’s affecting my relationship because it always feels like I’m the one holding us back.

5. I can never last long enough during sex and it frustrates me.

Sometimes partners seem disappointed when I finish too quickly. I feel worried that I cannot satisfy them and I just come really fast. I want to last longer, but I don’t know how.

If any of these concerns are relevant to you, I encourage you to consider sex therapy as an option.

Marriage & Family Therapy: The MFT Perspective

Marriage and Family therapists are trained systemically. This means a few different things. First, it means that we understand that people are one part of a system. This may sound kind of funny out loud, but people are not just themselves. People are an accumulation of their experiences plus their teachers, parents, friends, coaches, siblings, relatives, families, and significant others whom have made an impact throughout their development. All of these people form a system in which that one person is a part of.

Second, we (MFTs) work to understand all parts of a system. There is great insight that can be appreciated from a person’s family, their significant relationships, the many people that have shaped multiple aspects of their identity as it relates to who they are today.

For me, it seems rather misguided to begin to work with a client therapeutically without comprehending what was happening in their lives prior to them entering the room. Coming to know who is involved in a client’s system and how those people impact their life is essential for me as I seek to delve deeper into a client’s emotional world.

As a therapist that primarily works with couples, I cannot be more grateful for my training as an MFT. Significant others, partners, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, special someone(s), are often one of the most important aspects in a person’s system because they are included in a relationship in which people grow and evolve. My training as an MFT has taught me to approach couple relationships as two individual systems conglomerated into one system. Within each couple, there are two (potentially more based on your relationship configuration) people and each individual has their own family of origin history and meaningful members that are included in their system. When I work with couples, I aim to grow my understanding of their relationship by first getting to know who exists in each individual’s system and then working my way to the present in the couple’s system.