What is Sex Therapy?
When you seek out sex therapy, you need to look for a relationship or marriage counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist who uses specialised clinical skills and theoretical knowledge about human sexuality. In addition to having post-graduate training in couples and marriage counselling, we get specific sex therapy training to help you deal with your sexual difficulties or concerns.
Sex therapists are qualified counsellors or healthcare professionals who have had extensive training in human sexuality, in addition to being well-trained couples and marriage counsellors and therapists.
Sexual issues can often cause distress and conflict in relationships and sex therapists can assist you with these difficulties.
Some sexual concerns include:
- Lack of sexual knowledge or education
- Believing wrong/harmful information about sex from the media or religious institutions
- Struggle to understand sex, desire, eroticism, privacy versus secrecy
- Erectile and/or ejaculation difficulties
- Performance anxiety and lack of confidence
- Problems reaching orgasm
- Low sexual desire concerns for both men and women
- Intimacy problems
- Relationship and marriage difficulties
- Painful sex or intercourse
- Sexual problems or changes due to illness, ageing, surgery or stress
- Compulsive sexual behaviours, or out of control sexual behaviours (wrongly called sexual addiction)
- Sexual trauma
- Questioning your sexual identity, orientation or preferences
- LGBTQI issues
- Gender identity issues
- Interest in kink
- Cross dressing or other fetishes
I’m a specialized and expertly trained therapist working for your best interests. I have worked with heterosexual as well as LGBTQI people for decades and am competent in working with many sex and sexuality issues.
What Does a Sex Therapist Do?
Watch internationally recognised sex therapy expert Dr. Marty Klein explain this in the 3 minute video below.
What Is the Focus in Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is a specialized form of professional counselling that focuses on addressing the sexual concerns, sexual functioning and sexual expression of human beings. Many people have problems with sexual issues at some point in their life and these issues can often cause distress and unhappiness within their relationships.
Studies have shown that a positive relationship between your therapist and you is very important for effective therapy so it is important to choose carefully.
In Australia sex therapy is not regulated yet by the government. This means untrained and inexperienced people can call themselves sex therapists. Beware of untrained therapists. Ask them about their post-graduate training in sex therapy. My training in models of counselling and in sex therapy is on this page. I have professional indemnity insurance and am committed to upholding the PACFA strict code of conduct.
ASSERT NSW (Australian Society of Sex Educators, Researchers & Therapists) has a list of accredited professional members who have to comply with rigorous criteria. They have to show evidence of high level skills as practicing sex therapy counsellors or therapists, have ongoing supervision and engage in further education such as workshops, conferences, seminars and reading academic journals or books related to sex therapy.
For more information about the criteria, please click on this link.
What Happens in a Sex Therapy Session?
I will take a detailed history by asking questions in order to get an idea about your concerns and to help you get a better understanding of it. I will develop strategies and goals to work with these issues and a treatment plan will be co-constructed with you.
Each therapy session is completely confidential. Sex therapy is not “just talking.” Each appointment I give homework and reading to complete between sessions. This could include completing exercises or questionnaires, erotic exploration, reading or watching educational resources relating to our discussions and the presenting issue.
Homework is an integral part of therapy – it offers you the chance to practice new skills and try out different strategies. It is important – change won’t usually happen without trying something new; ideally most people want to phase out old unhelpful habits and bring in better ones.
In subsequent sessions, the at-home exercises are discussed and difficulties explored. Therapy can help the individual or couple explore their thinking and behaviour around sex and their relationship, and “re-learn” more satisfying sexual interaction.
I have many ways that I can help you
There are many different therapeutic models used by sex therapists in Australia. I show my models of counselling on this page . Please feel free to ask me more by contacting me.
There are no rules as to which modality/models your therapist will use but what is important is that the therapy suits you and you can see that things are improving. This should happen early in the therapy.
I am an accredited sex therapist and am are listed by area on the ASSERT NSW website under Find a Practitioner.
Be Proactive About Sex in Your Relationship
As the hormone-related drive for sex decreases with busy-ness and age, having sex requires more planning, creativity and open discussion that comes from loving, authentic relationship. With testosterone – the hormone responsible for desire – diminished, and oestrogen – the hormone responsible for heightened sensitivity, sexual pleasure and increased strength of orgasm – bottoming out post-birth, during illness, stress, post-baby and at menopause, passion may be ignited by oxytocin, the love and bonding hormone.
Set aside one or two hours for a “sex/intimacy date” every one or two weeks. Prioritise this part of your relationship. If you want a good, satisfying sex life, first create the basics of a strong relationship – good, kind communication and negotiation/problem solving skills combined with a loving, intimate connection to each other. Then anything else that turns you on, like sex toys, shared porn, bondage etc adds spice, fun and variety.
Let’s ditch the word “foreplay”
Sex educator & therapist Dr. Laurie Mintz says that “Foreplay” is totally misunderstood as the thing you do before the “real” act. Expand your concept of sex to any activity which brings connection & pleasure. It can begin as the previous sexual encounter ends, with tender words and gestures that are followed up by love notes, flowers, hugging, touching and flirting. These increase anticipation and the flow of oxytocin until you’re ready for the next encounter. In sex, as in all things, liberating yourself from past rules and behaviours can contribute immeasurably to life. Don’t limit your physical interaction only to sex. With your partner, there is a huge array of loving and erotic touch that we can learn to give and receive.
You deserve the best trained relationship coaches if you’re planning to invest time and money in your sexual health and relationships. If you’re not ready to book an appointment, call us on 0421 961 687 to book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you.
Adapted from ASSERT NSW.