“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
What is Sex Therapy
As a sex therapist, clients often ask me what happens in a sex therapy session. Sex therapy is a counselling experience where the client has identified their problem as a sexual one.
Unlike other types of counselling, sex therapy focuses on human sexuality and intimacy, facets of our lives that are often difficult to discuss. It bases on an open conversation in a comfortable non-judgmental atmosphere where single women or couples, no matter what their sexual orientation, can feel safe. It is essential to state that in a sex therapy session, there is no touching, or there are no sexual acts performed. Most of my clients believe they are the only ones having sexual problems. They think their friends and colleagues have great sex lives. These days there are so many unrealistic expectations of what normal sexual behaviour should be that they are bewildered. The media does not help either, by portraying sex as pervert and hot and making it look like everyone has lots of it, except them.
What will Sex Therapy Help You with
Sex therapy helps women resolve issues such as:
- Mismatched Libidos
- Female Low Desire
- Female Sexual Aversion
- Low Arousal
- Persistent Arousal
- Orgasm Difficulties
- Vaginismus & Dyspareunia
- Sex & Aging
- Gender Issues
- Sexual Orientation Issues
- Sexual Assault/Abuse
- Sexual Addiction/Compulsion
- Relationship Difficulties
- Other sexual health issues
Relationship counselling embraces the concept that sex will get better as the relationship problems are solved. However, I don’t believe that, as it’s my experience that unresolved sexual issues are harmful. Sex therapy focuses on improving the individual relationship and sex life by addressing the problems in both areas at the same time. If more people would go to sex therapy as soon as a problem arose, there might be less heartache and divorces down the road. Through sex therapy, we can discuss desire discrepancies, intimacy issues, jealousies, infidelities, lack of sex education and other related relationship problems.
Sometimes the fear of confronting the issue and perhaps discovering that they are not compatible is so powerful that some couples delay asking for help. They might have easily solved their problems, but by waiting too long they suffer for years, and by then it’s often too late to save the relationship.
What can You Expect from Sex Therapy
When I counsel woman or couples, both have the opportunity to talk about their issues with the other. They often can’t solve them on their own because the hurt, anger, disappointment, accusations and fighting have led to stop talking altogether.
As I am incredibly aware of how anxious clients may feel talking about such intimate issues with a stranger, making them feel comfortable and relaxed is a priority.
The first session usually takes about 1.5 hours. We discuss what they believe the issue is when the problem started, was their relationship once a happier one, why do they think the problem happened, and have they tried to resolve it on their own? Also, crucially, what do they expect to get out of the session?
There is a sense of safety in a counselling room that allows people to divulge and express themselves rather than staying silent; even anger is allowed. Often couples start telling each other things they usually wouldn’t, simply because I am in the room as the mediator.
After seeing them as a couple, I sometimes see each of them separately for a confidential session. This time alone often helps individuals answer the tougher questions more honestly and clearly. Anything discussed in this session is strictly confidential and won’t be brought up in the next couple session, if they don’t want it to be.
I have rarely encountered a problem between two people that I didn’t feel was somehow workable and resolvable. I am a solution-focused therapist and often two to five sessions are enough to get excellent results. By taking a detailed history I can identify and clarify the issue, help to get a better understanding of them and together we can develop the right strategies.
How the Sex Therapy Works
Most sexual health concerns or relationship issues do not get better on their own. It requires some commitment from you and the sex therapist. I will guide you through the process, will motivate you and most importantly I will be there for your support. I will also provide you with useful skills that you can implement and use throughout your life.
In order for the sex therapy sessions to be most effective I will give you some behavioural tasks or home work exercises, which will be conducted in the privacy of your own home.
These tasks may consist of:
- Specific behavioural tasks to work on your intimacy
- Specific techniques to work on your sexuality concerns
- Anxiety reduction/relaxation techniques
- Relationship specific tasks
- Communication exercises
What can I expect in a relationship counselling session?
Awakening program is excellent for individuals in a relationship. If you have found “Couples Counselling” to be prone to causing more arguments you wouldn’t be alone in that. This is not to say it isn’t of great value to many couples out there. We are merely offering a fresh approach, and we believe that is often better when one person in a relationship chooses to create subtle, positive ripples within the relationship, for the greater good.
We are recommending a general interview at the beginning of the counselling, of getting to know the couple’s individual needs and some history of the relationship. Then an approach can be tailored to suit them. Marriage and relationship counselling often involves a blend of joint and solo counselling sessions, depending on your personal therapeutic needs. A counsellor may need to be a bridge between the two at times, and there may be issues that some people are sensitive about discussing in front of their partner. The client is given a private and confidential space to discuss their concerns and find ways in which to deal with them. Together we will develop realistic goals and expectations of marriage and their marital partner.
Seek help early and see results faster
If you are going through a difficult time right now, then you may already be considering counselling, but are hesitant in taking on the challenge. Counselling and therapy are unfortunately, still considered to be the last resort for people who are mentally disturbed and unstable. Although this is accurate in a way, you may be in your situation living in an abusive relationship or trying to come to terms with the break-up of your relationship, or marriage.
Research indicates that couples counselling is more successful when couples seek expert help early. Studies suggest that the average couple endures six years of unhappiness before considering professional advice. Too often, they will opt to split up. The sooner you can start working on improving your relationship, the better.
Acting now and entering into a counselling or life coaching situation might very well be a giant leap out of your comfort zone, but as many before you, you may never look back.