Sex therapy involves the treatment of sexual dysfunction using psychological techniques and talking therapies. It is available to individual clients and to couples, irrespective of sexual orientation. In addition to counselling, sex therapy can include aspects of sex education, as well as coaching, the development of psychosexual skills and the improvement of communication skills. Sex therapy is usually short-term, lasting between 6 and 20 sessions, but can sometimes also be provided on a long-term basis.
As a specialised sex therapist, I work with clients to:
- Overcome sexual problems – I assist clients in overcoming problems such as low desire, inability to orgasm, painful sex, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Many of these issues have psychological roots, and I will work with you to uncover and heal the mental and emotional wounds underlying these problems. I will also provide you with a series of practical exercises to complete to overcome the physical problems.
- Improve sexual performance – I help clients to become better lovers by working with them to uncover some of the psychological issues preventing them from reaching their sexual potential. Counselling may focus upon learning new techniques, exploring sexual fantasies and addressing intimacy issues.
- Build sexual confidence – I help clients to appreciate their bodies and their sexuality and to learn new ways of enjoying solo and partner sex. I teach clients body awareness and masturbation exercises, which they can practice at home, and I use DVDs and educational materials to expand my clients' sexual repertoire.
- Overcome sex addiction – whilst a positive interest and engagement in all things sexual is healthy, some clients find that sex takes over their lives in a way that they find detrimental. I work with clients to identify the origins of their sex addiction and to learn new ways to manage and control it, so that they can once again develop a healthy attitude to sex.
Coming to sex therapy for the first time can feel like an enormous step to take, and it is important to know what to expect from the therapist. I will spend the first session exploring the issue you would like to address and taking your personal history. I will help you to set goals for the work together. During subsequent sessions, I will work with you to reach these goals, using talking therapy, teaching psychosexual techniques and setting practical exercises for homework. No sexual touch or nudity takes place during the therapy sessions. If the client has not sought previous medical advice about a sexual dysfunction, I may suggest a referral to an appropriate medical professional.
If you would like a more detailed description of what happens during sex therapy, you may be interested in my book, 'Three in a Bed: Conversations with a Sex Therapist', which is a fly-on-the-wall account of my work with five fictitious clients.
Harley Street, Central London - Kingston upon Thames, Surrey - Barnes, Southwest London