What is Sex Therapy?
Sex Therapy is a form of talk therapy that targets the psychological, social, and relational causes of sexual dissatisfaction through employing therapeutic interventions similar to a regular counsellor.
Sex, sexuality, intimacy, and physical connection are an important part of many people’s lives that can be negatively impacted by many things that require the help of a Sex Therapist to address. Unfortunately, most healthcare and mental health practitioners are not specifically trained to address these concerns. Qualified Sex Therapy administered by a sexologist targets the underlying causes behind sexual dissatisfaction, and not merely the symptoms, for sexual health and wellbeing that lasts in a shame-free way.
Targeted psychotherapeutic interventions are employed, just like in regular talk therapy, by the qualified Sex Therapist throughout each session to address the client’s presenting concerns. A plan will be drawn up at the beginning of therapy and updated throughout the journey to assure client’s goals are seeing positive progress. If a client presents with a condition that may have a biological component they will be referred to a specialist to assure they receive the best possible interdisciplinary care. Sex Therapy can still be useful in parallel with traditional medical care, as there are often interconnected social, psychological, and relational contributing factors to the presenting concern.
At UpBeat Health and Wellbeing, our Sex Therapist specialises in trauma, mental illness, and neurodiversity in addition to sexual and relational wellbeing.
Who is Sex Therapy for?
Sex Therapy is for anyone who experiences sexual dissatisfaction.
Sex is a form of human connection that can allow people to connect, release stress, express love, have fun, process trauma somatically, feel pleasure, conceive a child, deepen or consolidate a relationship, establish a positive relationship with one’s own body and a partners, and a plethora of other positive reasons.
When sex becomes a point of tension, fear, shame, anxiety, or disappointment, then you may want to reach out to UpBeat Health and Wellbeing’s sexologist to book in an initial appointment.
What can Sex Therapy help with?
Sex Therapy can target sexual health, sexuality and intimacy, societal, and relational concerns.
Sexual Health Concerns:
- Sexual trauma and trauma-responses during sex.
- Erection and ejaculation issues.
- Orgasm difficulty.
- Pain during penetration.
- STI management.
- Generalised genital pain.
- Ability and accessibility of sex and pleasure for people with disabilities.
- Arousal and vaginal lubrication.
- Restoring sexual function.
- Navigating the impacts of medication on sex.
Sexuality and Intimacy Concerns:
- Compulsive pornography consumption.
- Desire and libido (overactive or absent).
- Performance and technique.
- Navigating sexuality with mental illness.
- Sensory sensitivity in sex.
- Compulsive sexual behaviours.
- LGBTQIA+ sexuality.
- Kink and fetishes.
- Sexually violent and non-consensual desires.
- Sexual attraction to minors.
- Sexual expectations.
- Correcting inaccurate sexual education.
- Societal shame.
- Body image issues.
- Culture-specific sexual expectations.
- Dating as a neurodiverse person or person with a mental illness.
- Identifying healthy sexual relationships.
- Mismatched libido and desire.
- Overcoming abusive and/or controlling patterns.
- Cheating and infidelity.
- Gendered sexual roles.
- Neurodiversity aware sex.
- Life transitions.
- Stress and anxiety.
- Navigating polyamory and ethically non-monogamous relationships.
How does Sex Therapy work?
The initial appointment will guide clients through what to expect, answer any questions, and start to establish a safe and healing therapeutic relationship while going through an initial assessment form to identify the underlying causes of the presenting concern. The Sex Therapist will then make up a therapeutic intervention plan to target the underlying issues while building upon the client’s unique strengths in a positive person-centred manner.
Clients will enhance their self-knowledge through compassionate, non-judgemental, and explorative educational and reflective practices to identify historical and present influences that impact their sex lives. They will start to detangle negative associations from sex and reassess the meanings they have attached to it.
As in all UpBeat Health and Wellbeing’s therapy approaches, Sex Therapy employs a trauma informed lens that utilises bottom-up and top-down approaches. See our page about Trauma Counselling here to learn more. Trauma and sex are intrinsically linked as body-based repression of unprocessed traumatic events can emerge most obviously in sexuality. Sex is a connective interpersonal, vulnerable, and subconsciously driven experience and thus can be more impacted by individuals who have experienced trauma, mental illness, or are neurodiverse.
Sex Therapy at UpBeat Health and Wellbeing is for individuals only at this point, however sometimes a client’s sexual partner(s) can be present for some sessions if it is deemed beneficial. This is not a form of couples counselling as the client and their presenting concern remains the focus.