Whether you’re an adult in a relationship or single, sex therapy is for everyone who wants to improve their sexual satisfaction and communication skills. Many people have misconceptions about sex therapy, based on what they see on TV or movies, but it’s a common form of psychotherapy that helps people resolve concerns about their sexuality and relationships.
The first step is an intake appointment where you meet with a therapist and go over your treatment plan. Sessions may be done individually or as a couple, depending on your needs and the nature of your concerns. Your sex therapist will also likely take a medical history to rule out any physiological issues that might be contributing to your challenges, and may recommend psychiatric care in addition to or in lieu of sex therapy.
In sex therapy, like all talk therapy, your therapist will use a supportive and collaborative approach to address your concerns and help you find coping mechanisms that work for you. They will help you practice communication strategies, and encourage you to be open about your feelings and experiences in your relationship or with yourself. They will also help you identify and tackle underlying psychological concerns that are contributing to your sexual dysfunction, such as fear of intimacy, shame around sexual desire or sexual expression, or trauma.
Sex therapists are also trained to have a non-pathologizing approach towards sexual challenges, which means that they will help you to reframe these as solvable, finite situations and not untreatable diseases. They will also help you to explore your sexual desires and prioritize them in the same way that you might do when planning your next vacation or a romantic night out.