Sex therapy is usually solution focused. This means that the sex therapist will try to help you develop a clearly defined issue and the goal of therapy will be to work on that issue and resolve it, or find a way to make whatever problems it causes have less of an impact on your life and sex life. Commonly sex therapy will focus on a sexual dysfunction or major sexual communication problems between partners.
Sex therapy is usually brief, lasting anywhere from a few sessions to more than a dozen sessions.
Sex therapy is usually directive. Sex therapists will be be active, asking questions and often giving direct suggestions, homework exercises, and information in an effort to support your goals for the therapy.
As a term and practice, sex therapy is not federally regulated, which means that anyone can call themselves a sex therapist. There are several organizations that offer certification for sex therapists, and while it is no guarantee that you will have a positive experience with them, it is recommended that you see a sex therapy who has been certified by a reputable organization. In the United States both the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists and the American Board of Sexology certify sex therapists.
- Individuals wanting to deal with sexual identity issues
- Couples wanting to increase sexual intimacy
- People who want to deal with sexual inhibitions
- People who are dissatisfied with their sexual functioning
- Couples wanting to increase their communication about sexuality
- Sexual trauma
- Lack of orgasm
- Difficulties with erections or ejaculation
- Problems with differing levels of desire in a couple
- Difficulties resulting from infidelities
- Sexual concerns as a result of illness or surgery
This list is not exhaustive, and if you think you are interested in talking with a sex therapist, most will spend at least a short time on the phone with you to determine whether or not they are the appropriate person to be meeting with.