Sex Therapy


Sex is an integral part of who we are as human beings. It affects important areas in our lives like self-confidence and relationships. When it's struggling, own minds struggle too.

Physical issues during sex often require medical attention, but sometimes there are underlying psychological causes that contribute to it. Seeing a sex therapist could really help in these cases.
Find a therapist who can help you with sexual issues

As featured in...

WE CAN HELP YOU WITH SEXUAL ISSUES

If you have any sexual issues, it may help you to talk to a therapist. Here's a selection of the verified and qualified therapists on PlusGuidance who can help you identify and work with you to overcome this. Most of them offer consultations.


What is sex therapy?

Sex therapy is the process by which you, either in a solitary session or with your partner, discuss difficulties relating to or associated with sex. A qualified sex therapist determines the cause of your sexual issues, whether medical, psychological or both, and helps address the underlying issues. Sex therapists are usually counsellors, doctors or other healthcare professionals who have also had training in dealing specifically with issues related to sex.

Sex therapists generally provide sex therapy for couples or for individuals, so you can have therapy on your own or with your partner. You may get exercises to work on with your partner in your own time, to improve certain key areas you’re struggling with. Alternatively, it may be you need to address personal issues like self-esteem or depression that’s affecting your sex life.

Why is sex counselling important?

Problems in your sex life can cause a lot of distress, bitterness and unhappiness. At the same time, sex often feels so personal that it’s hard to admit to friends, trusted loved ones, or even your partner if you’re struggling with sex in some way. This is where sex therapy (sometimes called sex counselling) can be really useful, as you are dealing with a professional who is nonjudgmental and knows a lot about sex issues, so you won’t have to hold back what’s on your mind. A sex therapist is trained to work productively with sexual issues, so you will come away from each session with a clear action plan.

Sex Therapy is for anyone experiencing sexual issues - men, women, non-binary, and other genders. Ultimately, a satisfactory sex life will also make you a happier person.

What issues does sex therapy typically deal with?

Statistically, 1 in 10 men have a problem related to having sex, whilst sexual problems affect around 1/3 of young and middle-aged women, and around half of older women. Here is a list of the some of the issues that sex therapists deal with:

  • Relationship/communication issues
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Sex addiction
  • Long-term aversion to sex or unhappy virginity in older age
  • Pornography addiction
  • Sexual confidence issues

Men

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Difficulties reaching an orgasm/ejaculation
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Pain during sex

Women

  • Unable to become aroused
  • Problems having an orgasm
  • Pain during sex
  • Painful spasm of the vagina (vaginismus)

Does sex therapy work?

In your first sex therapy session, you will be asked to describe and talk about your problems. The first session is usually a little longer, and can take up to 1 ½ hours. The sex therapist will initially try to determine whether the issue is caused by a medical condition or has psychological causes. This helps in determining the action/treatment plan for the course of sessions to come.

When the problem is determined, the therapist can try to explain the underlying physical causes or mechanisms that cause the sexual problem to happen, and help get to the bottom of the psychological causes (as applicable).

Your therapist may devise a ‘personal growth programme’ for you to follow over a period of time, and give you weekly/regular exercises, ‘sexperiments’ or other tasks to address the sexual issues (with or without your partner). In sessions, you may talk about your progress since last session, and try to get to the bottom of sticking points.

If the problem is related to a personal psychological issue such as past abuse, anxiety, trauma or depression, your sex therapist will help you deal with this too.

It is important to note that your therapist will never ask you to practice anything sexually with or in front of the therapist. Such exercises are for you to do in your own time with your partner or yourself, in your own comfort zone.

Effectiveness

  • In two-thirds of cases, sex therapy either cures the sexual issue or leads to significant improvements.
  • A CBT programme for people with sexual dysfunction was effective: “The results demonstrated that, after therapy, respondents experienced lower levels of sexual dysfunction, more positive attitudes toward sex, perceptions that sex was more enjoyable, fewer affected aspects of sexual dysfunction in their relationship, and a lower likelihood of perceiving themselves as a sexual failure.”
  • Women who completed an online programme for their sexual dysfunction reported improved sexual and relationship functioning.
  • Predictors of successful online sex therapy include problem severity, partner problems, baseline sexual desire and satisfaction, and importantly - therapeutic relationship. So tailoring the therapy programme to the client’s needs is a good thing in sex therapy.

Conclusion

Once you have found a sex therapist, they will suggest to you how frequently it’s best to have sessions in your individual case. It could for example be weekly, every other week or monthly.

In many cases, it takes 10-20 sessions to properly solve the issues. But a first full session is really needed here to determine how long is best for the client, and/or whether medical treatment is needed.

The UK has a few governing bodies that provide further advice on seeking help for sexual issues, in particular the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) and Institute of Psychosexual Medicine. Some of our therapists are members of these organisations.

So, what about sex therapy on the NHS? Well, unfortunately sex therapy is not offered in all areas of the UK, so you can’t always get a referral for it from your GP. It is definitely worth asking, though, so the first step might be making an appointment with your GP. Do bear in mind that the referral process can take a long time (months in many cases), whereas with PlusGuidance, you can go straight to a sex therapist if you have a hunch this is what you need. No waiting lists or intermediary (like a GP) - also your qualified sex therapist will usually know if you need medical treatment from elsewhere instead/as well.


Let us help you choose a therapist

"I had some consultations and then found the therapist I’m now working successfully with. PlusGuidance is giving people opportunities that just haven’t existed before - a new way to approach mental health treatment."

- Rohan

Why Use PlusGuidance

If what we describe above sounds like you, it may be worth talking to a qualified therapist who can help you work your way through this. PlusGuidance is a convenient way to get access to the right therapist for you. The website has therapists offering marriage counselling and other therapies, so you’re bound to find the right one for you.

PlusGuidance also offers you four ways to have sessions with your preferred therapist: online video, voice calls or messaging. All online communications are secure and comply with the highest standards of data protection.

BENEFITS OF PLUSGUIDANCE

Get the support you need at a time and place that is convenient to you

Get access to a therapist right away, no long waiting lists

Browse through our extensive list of therapists and find one that feels right for you

Safe and confidential

FIND A THERAPIST

Browse our therapists to find one that is right for you and then decide whether you want to engage with them online via video, voice or messaging



Browse therapists now
HIPAA compliant
HITECH compliant

What is your current challenge?