Sex therapy

Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy — a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a mental health provider. Through sex therapy, you can address concerns about sexual function, sexual feelings and intimacy — either in individual therapy or in joint therapy with your partner. Sex therapy can be effective for adults of any age, sex or sexual orientation.

Certified sex therapists do not have sexual contact with clients, in the office or anywhere else. Sexual coaching that involves physical contact is not part of mainstream sex therapy.

Sex therapy is usually short term, with a limited number of sessions. The treatment plan depends on the concerns to be addressed.

Why it's done How you prepare What you can expect

Sex therapy can help you resolve various sexual issues, from concerns about sexual function or feelings to the way you relate to your partner. Through sex therapy, you may focus on issues such as:

  • Concerns about sexual desire or arousal
  • Concerns about sexual interests or sexual orientation
  • Compulsive sexual behavior
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ejaculating too quickly (premature ejaculation)
  • Trouble reaching orgasm (anorgasmia)
  • Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Intimacy issues related to a disability or chronic condition
  • Concerns regarding past sexual trauma

Talking about sex and intimacy may initially feel awkward. Remember, certified sex therapists are trained at putting you at ease and are skilled at identifying and exploring sexual concerns. Through sex therapy, you can learn to express your concerns clearly, better understand your own sexual needs and better understand your partner's sexual needs.

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