SEX THERAPY QUESTIONS
What is sex therapy?
Sex therapy is similar to any other counselling session but the difference is that a sex therapist is also trained to focus specifically on sexual problems. A sex therapist should be chosen over a general psychotherapist, psychologist or counsellor when the issues are very specifically sex related, or when sexuality seems like a central part of the issue.
Sexual difficulties are quite common and about 35 and 50 percent of people will experience a long-term sexual issue at some point in their lives.
Sex therapists are bound by firm ethical boundaries and it is important to state that in a sex therapy session there are never sexual acts performed!
A sex therapist feels comfortable talking about sex, nothing is taboo. I strive to help my clients feel relaxed and comfortable as it can be difficult. I never push clients to talk about topics before they’re ready and above all I do not judge. In fact, I feel very honoured that my clients trust me to share very personal and intimate information.
What kind of problems does sex therapy help with?
The most common sexual problems I treat are:
Desire or libido issues.
People who are having difficulty with orgasm.
Premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.
Pornography or out of control sexual behaviour.
Recovery and healing from past sexual trauma.
Supporting gender variant folk through transition.
Sex therapy is not just about solving sexual problems. Many people feel they benefit from improving their sex lives and from learning new ways to give and receive pleasure.
What happens in a sex therapy session?
The first session is an important ‘checking out’ process for both of us. You check me out to be sure that you are comfortable. I find out as much as possible about your specific issues and what you would like to get out of therapy. I will then talk with you about how best to go about solving your problems and how long it will take to start seeing positive changes or whether a referral to another professional would be more helpful. Treatment will vary depending on the issues.
Like many sex therapists, I often recommend “homework” exercises. This is a very important part of treatment and clients who are 100% committed get the best results. I work collaboratively with my clients and will always “check in” with you about your level of comfort.
These tasks may consist of:
Specific techniques to work on your sexuality concerns.
Anxiety reduction/relaxation exercises.
Practical strategies to improve communication, trust and deepen connection.
Exercises that help you feel more comfortable and in tune with your body.
Strategies to reduce conflict and tension.
Do couples attend sessions together or individually?
It is most helpful when both partners attend and are committed to making the changes but it is not essential, you can attend on your own. Sometimes a partner may attend the first session on her/his own and we can talk about the benefit or need for the partner to attend.
Sometimes one partner is not too keen on doing sex therapy, when this happens we can talk about how to encourage the reluctant partner to give it a go.
Are Sex Therapy Sessions Confidential?
Yes! Confidentiality is important part of any therapeutic relationship. I am bound by law to keep information confidential and secure.
There are exceptions when:
There is a risk of harm to yourself or someone else.
It is requested by a court subpoena.
You have given me prior approval to:
Provide a written report to another professional e.g. GP or lawyer.
Discuss the material with another person e.g. your partner or family member.
I do talk to a clinical supervisor about my clients but this is done in a professional manner and does not disclose identity. Supervision is essential to maintaining a high standard of therapy and ethics. All professional counsellors and therapists are required to have regular supervision.
When is the right time to see a sex therapist?
The right time is now. Sexual problems are unlikely to just go away and often get worse over time.
If you need support or information then a friendly chat with a professional sex therapist will be a great option for you.
A good sex therapist will be able to work out whether sex therapy is going to be helpful whether it might be better to address other issues before working specifically on sexual problems. My experience as a psychotherapist means that I am able to make good assessments and recommend the best options.
Do you offer counselling/therapy for other issues?
My Masters training as a psychotherapist and many years of experience in different areas of counselling gives me the capacity to deal with a wide range of issues that may be affecting the relationship and/or sexual problems. If these other issues need a lot of work then I may refer you to another professional.
Do you abide by a code of ethics?
I abide by the Society of Australian Sexologists (SAS) code of ethics. SAS in turn abides by the ethics of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS).
I am also governed by the Australian & New Zealand Art Therapists Association Code of Ethics as I am a registered art psychotherapist.
My professional supervision ensures that I am upholding these codes.