The Difference Between Couples Therapy and Sex Therapy

couples therapy

A survey conducted by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists revealed that almost 98% of the respondents were extremely satisfied with the results of couples therapy, says an article on GuideDoc. Seeking the right help is crucial for both your mental as well as sexual health. And, those who have sought any form of counseling or therapy do report benefits in terms of their relationships, as well as better performance in the workplace!

Couples Therapy and Sex Therapy can be perceived as similar, yet are different in several ways.

Is Sex Therapy the Same as Couples Therapy?

Not exactly. Couples therapists help you address various challenges and issues you might be facing in terms of your emotional relationship with your partner. It could touch upon the sexual aspect too. However, the subject of intimacy might not come up at all, if it isn’t one of the issues that are affecting the relationship.

On the other hand, sex therapy is focused on issues specifically related to your sex life, regardless of whether the sexual contact is with a long-term partner, one-night stands or any other form of sexual interaction. Certified sex therapists are highly qualified and experienced psychotherapists, who can help you overcome various sexual dysfunctions, completely or partially, says an expert at the Institute for Personal Growth.

In couples therapy, it is mandatory for both partners to participate. Many therapists also meet each individual separately and then as a couple, while maintaining complete confidentiality of whatever was shared during the individual sessions. Joint counseling is a key aspect of this type of therapy.

Sex Therapy is a more focused branch of therapy. A general therapist does not qualify as a sex therapist because they might not have the expertise or training. Also, this type of therapy can be \ offered via individual counseling. For example, men with erectile dysfunction could seek therapy without requiring their partner to be a part of the session.

Specific Issues Addressed in Sex Therapy

  • Decreased libido and loss of sexual desire due to stress, anxiety and so on.
  • Sexual trauma and low pain tolerance, resulting in painful intercourse.
  • Difficulty in getting an erection or reaching a climax.
  • Differences in sexual preferences and how to deal with them.

Specific Issues Addressed in Couple’s Therapy

  • Relationship building via effective communication.
  • How to handle differences in opinion.
  • Voicing your issues openly to help understand each other’s viewpoints.
  • Anger and frustration management.

Most of the times, couples seeking therapy are just two healthy people, stressing over a common issue, says an article on Insider. So, always remember, it is the two of you versus the problem and not one individual versus another.


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