When to see a sex therapist
If you have a persistent sexual issue (such as a desire mismatch between partners , loss of lack of sexual desire, painful sex or an erectile problem) that isn't being resolved by traditional talk therapy, or your physician can't find physical cause for your problem, a properly trained sex therapist can help resolve your issue more effectively. General practitioners refer patients to specialists when their condition require specific expertise, so when you have a sexual issue, see a sex therapist. You will be dealing with your issue effectively and not suffering unnecessary damage to your relationship or self0esteem.
What To expect from meeting a sex therapist
Sex therapy is a specialized form of talk therapy that focuses on people’s concerns about their sexual functioning, expression or communication about sex. A sex therapist offers education, information about medical issues related to sexuality, practical actions to take, and coordinates treatment with other medical professionals.
Sex Therapy is a highly credentialed (regulated) profession, legitimately practiced only by a licensed mental health or medical professional (such as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychologist, Social Worker, Nurse Practitioner or MD) who has been awarded certification after extensive training beyond their mandatory professional license.
Not everyone who claims to practice sex therapy actually has adequate training:
The credentialing process for a certified sex therapist involves several years of very specific intensive course work, training, supervision, mentoring and approval by experienced members of The American Association of Educators, Counselors and Therapists. The AASECT website explains more about certification and the ethical responsibilities of sexuality professionals, as well as how to find one.
Sex therapy meetings are not medical exams. More like traditional talk therapy, they take place in a professional office and never involve any form of physical contact, nudity, or sexual behavior between therapist and client. While discussions with a sex therapist can be very frank, they will also be professional, respectful, and educational.
WHY I PRACTICE SEX THERAPy
As soon as I began practicing as a Marriage and Family Therapist, clients came to me for help with sexual issues. I found that more often than not,that when sexual issues were dealt with, conflicts in the relationship were much more easily resolved. Many of my clients badly needed information about sexuality, but were afraid to ask, or were members of sexual minorities looking for a knowledgeable therapist who wouldn't judge them. Since so many of my clients asked for help with sexual issues, I sought additional training and certification.
Most psychotherapists don't receive only minimal training in human sexuality, despite the number of us who work with couples. I use my backgrounds in both marriage and family therapy and sex therapy to resolve your issues, looking from many angles to be sure your goals are met.
We live in a culture that saturates us with sexual images and expectations, but where reliable information about healthy sexuality is hard to find. Admitting you don’t feel like having sex with your partner (or at all) carries a stigma, just like having desires outside the mainstream does. Too much emphasis on having or giving an orgasm can disconnect you from your own sexuality. I can help you achieve a more satisfying sex life by learning to recognize what works for you or you and your partner(s), educating you about healthy sexuality.
I work with relationships between individuals, couples, and families of every type, configuration, ethnic, gender and sexual background, from those who are sexually inexperienced or have yet to consummate their marriages, to those who place a high value on specific forms of sexual expression. I have a special interest in working with sexual and other minorities, people of mixed race, gender or orientation, those who are not easily categorized or don't want to be.
Since I've heard from so many of clients that they do not always feel adequately understood or taken seriously by the medical profession, I have educated myself to work with those who are sexually inexperienced, (who need reliable basic sexuality education and don't know where to find it), as well as those identify as polyamorous, kinky, alternative, gender-creative, those who want to enter those worlds, or those who have entered them and need a way to situate themselves. Those who are not easy categorized benefit from working with a professional who sees the world in a broader context, and does not see any sexual, cultural or spiritual practice as inherently problematic. I know from my clinical experience that when clients have a safe place that allows them to be who they are and work on relationship challenges, they find creative solutions. I am a Lesbian and Gay Affirmative, Poly-Friendly, and Kink-Aware Professional.
Here's some unsolicited feedback:
"I wanted to say thank you. I feel different and I can't quite put my finger on it, but something has changed in me… I can guarantee you're part of the reason for this change. Maybe it was that kiss [my partner and I had] ... which makes me even happier to think about, because if a kiss can do this, I'm excited for what more than a kiss will bring."