What is Sex Therapy?

Vancouver couples counselling and sex therapy

Sex Therapy. You might be picturing the scenes from Meet the Fockers of an office filled with sexual statues or books or where Roz teaches a large group of aging people new sexual positions on yoga mats. Or, you might be thinking nudity or confusing it with sexual surrogacy. Well, it’s nothing like that, and never involves nudity. Okay, the office surrounded by sex books isn’t completely off track, but that’s about where the similarities end.

 Sex therapy is really just…therapy. While the term, sex therapy, isn’t regulated, people who work in sex therapy are usually trained as clinical counsellors or psychologists. However, most therapists receive little, if any, training or education in human sexuality. This can lead to discomfort in discussing issues around sexuality or sex, which we know is a very important aspect of many people’s general well-being. As a sex therapist, I have both the experience and training as a general clinical counsellor coupled with experience working with sexuality and sexual issues and continued training in sex therapy.

 The number one thing that sex therapy isn’t and will never involve is nudity. Sex therapy is rooted in talk therapy; it’s non-touch, it’s educational. So rest assured, the discomfort of sex therapy comes from being fully transparent with another person and possibly telling them aspects of yourself you haven’t admitted to anyone else, maybe not even yourself before.

 Sex therapy can best be described as therapy related to sexuality. This can vary so widely because each of us views our sexuality and engages with sex in vastly different ways. This can range from couples who are trying to re-engage after years of being together and falling into a monotonous pattern or younger partners who are struggling with a discrepancy in how often they want to have sex, which happens to be the number one reason couples can end up in my office. Couples sex therapy also doesn’t have to mean something your relationship is doomed or your sex life is dead, and really can happen at any stage in a relationship. If you are the place where you’re feeling doomed, well, that just means you care about the relationship enough to have taken the step to come and see a sex therapist. As a sex therapist particularly interested in polyamory, couples who are either opening up or transitioning to an open relationship or polyamory for the first time may end up coming to see me or even couples who have been polyamorous their entire relationship but are needing some help to figure out the bumps in the road.

Sex therapy also isn’t just for couples, individuals can see a sex therapist on their own. Women, or individuals with vulvas and clitorises, may be struggling with pain during sexual activity, difficulty orgasming (either during partnered activity or in all circumstances), or low interest or desire. Men, on the other hand, or those with penises, can struggle with erectile dysfunction, delayed or premature ejaculation, or low desire as well. A sex therapist sees it all: coming to terms with your sexuality, struggles with gender identity, sexual preferences, including kink or paraphilias; the list goes on and on. If it’s sex related, we can talk about it.

While this can sound so varied and exciting, most sex therapy is…well, vanilla (pardon the pun). It could involve conversations around kink and polyamory but most often, couples and individuals that come to see a sex therapist are filled with anxiety and distress and just want to figure out how to be together and accept their sexualities.

 

Still unsure if sex therapy is right for you? Contact me today for a 15-minute free phone consultation and we can discuss if I can help you!