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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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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