Sex therapy is a term you hear tossed around quite a bit, but it’s sort of confusing as to what a sex therapist actually is and what they do. If you’re already in therapy, why would you need a sex therapist?
Well, a sex therapist is different than a regular therapist in that he or she specializes in sexual issues. Many therapists don’t offer treatment of sexual concerns in their practices. Whether or not this has something to do with our Puritanical views on sex as a society is up for debate. It could also have to do with preference or a need for additional training.
Either way, sex therapy is a real thing and it is helping couples far and wide.
Are you having issues in your sex life and aren’t sure who to talk to or where to turn? Is the Internet turning up a bunch of articles that are vaguely helpful, but don’t have any actionable tips you can use?
Is the idea of talking to your partner about your sex life stomach churning?
If any of this is ringing true in your own life, you might be in need of sex therapy. Here is what you need to know.
What is sex therapy?
Sex therapy is a specialized form of therapy designed to help treat sexual problems, dysfunctions, and concerns. It’s like any other form of therapy, only for sex-based treatments. The therapist works with the client(s) to diagnose certain issues and then develops a treatment plan to tackle these issues.
It can be a wonderful process for those struggling with sexual difficulties, marital issues, sexual dissatisfaction and much more. A sex therapist is a clinician trained to help you with your most personal sexual troubles. When it comes to sex, we often don’t know how to address concerns nor do we feel equipped to discuss sexual concerns with our partners.
A sex therapist can be the conduit to greater sexual happiness and wellness.
If you think you’re in need, it’s probably best to try it out
If you have sexual concerns and are questioning whether or not you should see a sex therapist, we suggest giving it a try. Once you begin questioning your sex life and are able to pinpoint areas in which you are unhappy, you might be in need of some therapy.
There is nothing wrong with seeking assistance for your sex life. Most couples go through periods where sex therapy can be helpful. Whether you want more sex, less sex, are concerned about fantasies you’re having, want to change your relationship dynamic or anything else, sex therapy may be beneficial.
You’re not saying your relationship is broken by seeking therapy, you’re taking steps to make positive changes so that your relationship can thrive. You go, girl!
Therapy is something you need to want to do
This is a choice you need to make for yourself. If you’re attending with a partner, it is a choice both you and your partner need to make together. Therapy is a choice, first and foremost. Making improvements in your sex life is a decision, not a prison sentence.
If you go to therapy for a few sessions and decide it’s not for you, you don’t have to go back. Remember, the situation is always in your control. You call the shots.
What's the difference between a sex therapist and a sex coach?
If you’re reading this and thinking: What the heck is a sex coach? You wouldn't be alone. Sex coaching is a relatively new branch within the sexual health field. It essentially combines sex education, life coaching, and sex therapy into one unique practice.
A sex coach doesn’t focus on the deep backstory of your childhood, nor does he or she attempt to diagnose you with dysfunctions. Instead, a sex coach aims to set goals for your ideal sexual self and create game plans to reach those goals. You know how you have a coach to help you be a better swimmer, dancer, math student etc.? A sex coach is like that, but focused on your sex life.
It is a future-oriented practice aimed to help you have the sex life you want. A sex coach doesn’t pathologize and doesn’t “treat.” A sex coach is an advocate for your sex life, there to help you reach specific targets.
Keep in mind coaching and therapy are similar, but different. Neither is better than the other. It’s about what you need as an individual or couple. You can read more about coaching here or you can find one that fits your needs here.