What is Sex Therapy or Sexuality Counseling?
Sexuality can be scary or intimidating for adults and children to talk about or confront. We may bring our own baggage and hangups into important conversations with partners, children, parents, or friends and at times people need help accessing more intimate parts of their selves. The conversations may be uncomfortable or seem impossible. However, open and compassionate communication about sexuality issues can be deeply healing.
Sex therapy is a branch of talk therapy wherein the individual explores aspects regarding their sexuality. Sex can be considered a taboo topic in many cultures, so sex therapy aims to speak freely and comfortably about those concerns and explore underlying causes of dysfunction or relational concerns. Sex therapy is usually talk therapy, but may involve other modalities such art or other modes of personal expression*. If you need help learning about, understanding, or discussing your own, your partner’s, or your child’s sexuality, counseling, therapy, or education may be useful tools to help you understand each other or yourself. Sex therapy or sexuality counseling can be useful for individuals as well as couples.
Topics addressed in sex therapy or sexuality counseling may include:
Health and/or medical issues, including past or current medical issues
Processing past trauma
Questions about specific sexual behaviors
Sexual development concerns
Sexual functioning past and present
Mental health concerns affecting sexuality, including anxiety, depression, anger, shame, or guilt
*Sexual contact will not occur in the therapeutic space, either between clients or between the client and the therapist. Most therapists’ ethical codes prohibit outside relationships with current or former clients. Sexual and romantic relationships with clients are expressly prohibited and any engagement in these relationships is an ethical violation on the part of the therapist. Your comfort level with the therapist is an integral part of the healing process, and it would be an ethical and potentially legal violation if a client ever felt coerced into a sexual relationship with a therapist.