If you’ve been listening to our Podcasts or watching our social media, you’ll see that we cover a variety of topics, but it all comes back to both Couples Therapy and Sex Therapy. There are lots of misconceptions about Sex Therapy and we’ve gotten a lot of questions about what it entails, so we figured we’d answer some in the hopes that it’ll make anyone on the fence about Sex Therapy feel comfortable, and help those interested in it to feel confident in their decision to make an appointment to begin.
Let’s start with the great news! Sex Therapy is brief. The national average to meet most goals for Sex Therapy is 12 sessions or less.
So, who are Sex Therapists and what do they do? Sex Therapists are licensed and certified psychotherapists with a sex-positive philosophy; that to be human is to be sexual and to be sexual is part of being human and it’s all normal. Sex Therapists are often either Licensed Social Workers (LICSW), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) or Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC), also Certified as Sex Therapists (CST), trained as specialists in human sexuality and relationships. They effectively help clients cope with challenges, including those related to human sexuality as part of the whole of life experience.
AASECT Certified Sex Therapists (CST) have specialized training taking two to three years beyond the achievement of a master’s degree and licensure to become certified. They help individuals, couples and families cope with a myriad challenges regarding sexuality, sexual health and function, difficulties with erection, delayed or rapid ejaculation, lack of desire or differences in desire in relationship, vaginismus or pain/discomfort with sexual intercourse, sexual pain, sex addiction, compulsive sexual behavior, intimacy and trust in relationships, division of labor inside and outside of the home, communication, anxiety, depression, family and in-law relationships, infidelity, LGBTQIA+ issues, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender identity, substance and alcohol abuse and dependence, sexuality and aging, sexuality and illness, sexuality and physical ability or disability, sexuality during and after pregnancy, fetishism, polyamory and consensual non-monogamy, work and career, parenting, finances, trauma, racism, spirituality, existential struggles and more.
Often times, Sex Therapists will hear people who are depressed, anxious or struggling with alcohol and substance issues, say they “Why would I need a Sex Therapist?” Certified Sex Therapists are trained and experienced with ALL of the interconnected challenges of the human condition. Sex Therapists, therefore, are trained to help clients resolve life’s most difficult problems and often the most intimate of problems, while creating a welcoming and calming environment to help you, the client, feel most at ease.
With no sexual activity taking place in the presence of the therapist, Sex Therapy is talk therapy, including CBT and mindfulness, with take home exercises, such as Sensate Focus, among others. Sensate Focus is an at-home practice focused on minimizing pressure and shifting expectations to appreciate new enjoyable, sensual and pleasurable possibilities. As with generalized therapy, the goal of Sex Therapy is to challenge and change sex-negative thought patterns or sex-negative cognitions to sex-positive ones, for improvement in regulating anxiety, emotions and behaviors.
Your therapist helps provide you with the tools you need to move beyond old, limiting ways of thinking to a new world of cognitive and emotional freedom so you may live your best, most empowered, and happy life.
Are you ready to take your sexuality and relationship to the next level to live your best, most pleasurable life? Reach out today!