Contrary to the general mindset, there’s nothing weird, aberrant, bizarre or perverted going on behind the door to a sex therapist’s office. In the world of counselling, sex therapy is not dissimilar from other forms of psychological counselling.
Barbara Bartlik, MD, a psychiatrist and sex therapist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City said, “Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy that also takes into account possible physical problems. When a couple comes in with a sexual problem, we try to figure out how each of them could be contributing to the issue. We examine behaviour, gradually interpret that for them, and come up with solutions”.
Masters & Johnson, the pioneers of sex therapy, hypothesised back in the 1950s that talking alone wasn’t enough to resolve sexual issues. “The obvious thing is that you’re dealing with the human body so you can’t just talk about how you feel; you’ve got to work on the physical level as well,” says Myles.
Emotional issues that are usually underlying sexual problems are intercepted in Sex Therapy sessions and different behavioural techniques are applied to deal with the presenting physical symptoms.
Some of the issues that can be addressed with a sex therapist are; Lack of Desire, Erectile dysfunction in both males and females, Premature Ejaculation and even Painful Intercourse. Most clients come for this category of therapy when they are desperate and certain emotional plus behavioural changes as a couple usually show an increase in their sex lives.
Things to Remember
Just like all counselling practices, sessions with a sex therapist are completely confidential and no details discussed in that one hour can be shared with the world.
2. Not compulsory for both the partners to be present
Even though it’s beneficial for both the partners to be present for sex therapy sessions, however, it is not mandatory.
3. Clothes are kept on throughout the session
Under no circumstances is a sex therapist allowed to touch you or ask you to remove any layers of clothes during the session. “Sex therapists don’t touch their patients unless they are gynaecologists or urologists and a physical exam involved,” explains Bartlik, coauthor of Integrative Sexual Health.