Welcome to Sex Therapy!
The idea of therapy has long been discussed, criticized, recommended, stigmatized, and debated. Add to it the concept of sex and all the thoughts and feelings on the subject intensify.
As much as we societally celebrate our freedom, including our sexual freedom, talking about sex can still feel awkward and uncomfortable at best and intolerable at worst. It's simply taboo.
So let me use this blog post to address some questions one may have about what is sex therapy.
What is sex therapy? Sex therapy is a behavioral therapy, developed by William Masters, M.D. and Virginia Johnson, which treats a person's psychological and/or sexual issues while taking into account his or her religious and cultural constructs and physical make up.
It is not surrogacy and it is not a couple showing a therapist what they do in their own bedroom. Rather, it is a session with dialogue aimed at identifying the root of the sexual issue - whether physiological or psychological - and then treating the issue with assignments that are completed in the client's home and later carefully processed and tweaked based on client need and comfort. Sometimes a referral is made to address potential medical issues related to the issue in addition to the psychological treatment.
Typically sex therapy requires about one year of time (accounting for holidays and vacations) but duration can vary based on the needs of the client. If additional issues come up in session, for example, the duration of treatment will increase.
The prognosis for sex therapy is excellent, averaging at a success rate of 60% according to a study done on AASECT members, which is significantly higher than most other therapies.
Sex therapy is a gentle therapy; it works at your pace and comfort level. Clients learn specific techniques that improve their sex lives and resolve their specific issue. While some sexual issues are relationship specific, others are purely physiological or derive from one or both partners' cultural and/or religious beliefs. In sex therapy, we work with the clients' histories, values, beliefs, and unique dynamic to help clients channel these parts of themselves so that they are adaptive instead of damaging to their sexual health.