Sex Therapy & Couples Therapy
What is Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is for individuals and couples (monogamous or ethical non-monogamy).
It is a specialty in the field of psychotherapy, tailored to psychological, physical, and spiritual/cultural sexual challenges.
Sex therapy demonstrates and prioritizes consent, safety, and trust. Sex therapy does not involve any kind of physical touch during sessions.
Sex therapy uses similar techniques in psychotherapy such as mindfulness, somatic, psychodynamic, gestalt, attachment, behavioral, relational, motivational interviewing, and person-centered. However, these approaches are utilized through a diverse and sex-positive lens. Sex therapy works collaboratively with other professionals as needed. Some referrals may include a vulvar pain specialist, sexual medicine doctor, pelvic floor physical therapist, or alternative wellness services.
What can be expected of the first sex therapy session:
At the first appointment, you will meet with the therapist and go over practices and policies such as confidentiality. The therapist will ask questions about the reason you are seeking therapy. Some questions may include but are not limited to the level of desire, sexual pain, arousal, satisfaction, relationships, willingness or consent violations, and cultural background. The therapist asks for your consent to discuss questions and will not violate your comfort if you are not ready to answer. The therapist will utilize a holistic approach to understand you as a whole being. A holistic approach in counseling involves exploring intersectionalities (biological, psychological, sociocultural) that influence you.
What kind of challenges does sex therapy address?
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Communication and Connection
- Mismatched Desire
- Non-sexual Relationship
- Ethical Non-Monogamy
- Separation & Divorce
- Intersectionality impacts on sexuality, desire, sexual rights, pleasure, access, and expression.
- Sexual Abuse or Trauma
- Gender & Sexual Diversity
- Pain during sex
- Lack of sexual desire
- Premature ejaculation
- Erectile challenges
- Lack of lubrication
- Difficulty communication around sexual and relationship matters
- Reduced Libido
- sexual anxiety
- Difficulty with orgasm
Do I need to be in a relationship to be in sex therapy?
No, sex therapy does not require you to be in a relationship. Sex Therapy can be for individuals with sexual concerns.
If you are in a relationship, your partner’s presence in therapy is case by case. Some challenges involve both partners being present, whereas some situations may be more appropriate for you to have your own therapy.
Does sex therapy involve couples counseling?
Yes, sex therapy can involve couples counseling. Sex therapy and couples counseling are both specialties in psychotherapy that may integrate. Whether it is with communication, connection, parenting, finances, or sex, the field of sex therapy involves training in couples therapy.
I have never been to a counselor. How do I start?
Taking the first step to starting counseling takes courage and we’re glad you have started the journey! You can start by submitting an appointment request on our website or by contacting us at (503) 966-1556 / email: [email protected]. You can schedule a free phone consultation to talk to a counselor about your concerns and decide if our services are the right fit for you.
Recommended Articles & Books
- Happiness, Desire, Pleasure… and Mindfulness by Martha Kauppi
- Intimacy and Your 5 Senses: How to Invite Eroticism into Your Relationship When You’re Feeling Depleted by Esther Perel and Mary Alice Fein
- Why Do Sexual Taboos Make Up Our Sexual Fantasies by Esther Perel and Mary Alice Fein
- How to Get the Most From Your Couples Therapy by The Couples Institute
- 6 Big Signs Sex Therapy Can Improve Your Life by Maegan Megginson
- Sacred Sexuality + More Heart Space in Your Sex Life by Jacqueline Mendez
- What is Your Love Language? By Meg Luce
- Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
- She Comes First by Ian Kerner Passionista by Ian Kerner
- The State of Affairs by Esther Perel Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel
To learn more about our Sex & couple’s therapist, Melika Watson, please click this link.