Advice From The Sexperts: Why Sex Therapy? How Can That Help?

In the video I explain a little about the difference between sex therapists and ‘regular’ therapists – i.e., licensed psychologists, social workers, counselors- including marriage counselors.  In a word: sex therapists are specialists.  You wouldn’t go to your family physician if you needed heart surgery, and you don’t go to a counselor for help with sexual problems if they aren’t trained and certified as sex therapists.  We have to learn about the medical side of sexual dysfunctions and master the special protocols indicated for treatment of each problems.  Even licensed marriage and family therapists – the people you would most expect to have this training – are ignorant about healing dysfunction.

The trouble is, many ‘generalist’ therapists don’t KNOW that they are ignorant.  Sex is still such a taboo topic that it isn’t addressed much in psychotherapy.  All of us, including therapists, grow up in a culture which is at one time exploitative of sex and on the other hand avoids open, realistic, frank talk about sex.   The ‘rationale’ for not talking about sex in therapy is that many therapists are taught that sexual problems are the result of relationship problems.  Solve the couple issues, the sex problems go away.

And sometimes that is true.  Sometimes couples have infrequent or no sex in their marriages because they are fighting too much about other issues and their fights are nasty.  Sometimes they have stopped loving each other.  When these things happen the couple needs a ‘generalist’ experienced in relationship counseling – or an attorney.

But there are lots of other scenarios in which sexual problems exist in otherwise happy couples, or where the sexual issues have CAUSED the relationship problems.  Here are a few:

  1. One partner or the other develops a medically based problem – Erectile Dysfunction, Female Sexual Pain Disorder, to name two – but ignorance about the nature of the problem leads to hurt or angry feelings and problems between the two people.
  2. The relationship can be perfectly happy but, because the partners haven’t ‘tended to’ their sexual relationship, it has withered or died.
  3. The couple neglected to prioritize their sex life, or didn’t know how to do this, and that led them to feel hurt, angry, rejected, blame each other – in short, have a lot of conflict.

If you fit any of those three patterns – consider seeing a sex therapist.

 

COMING SOON: TYPES OF DYSFUNCTIONS, CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS

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