People in any form of relationship structure; whether it be monogamous couples, conscious/ethical non-monogamous or any form of polyamorous relationships seek relationship therapy for whole number of reasons, and sexual issues can be one of them.
Psychosexual therapy or as it’s commonly known, ‘sex therapy’ is recommended when people are experiencing sexual difficulties that are causing distress in their relationship/s.
Some common issues that may warrant sex therapy include varying sexual desire, sexual pain, difficulties with arousal, and any relationship problems related to sex. Sex therapy can also be helpful for those who want to improve their sexual satisfaction, sexual pleasure and overall relationship and is important to seek as soon as possible, as sexual difficulties can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, and disconnection if left unresolved.
A trained sex therapist can help identify and address the underlying issues contributing to their sexual difficulties, and work with them to develop a plan for improvement.
10 things you should know about sex therapy:
- Sex therapy is a type of therapy that addresses sexual issues and concerns, including those in relationships.
- It is a collaborative process between the therapist and the client/s.
- Sex therapy may involve individual and/or joint sessions, as well as homework assignments.
- Sex therapy is based on open communication and respect for both partners.
- Sex therapy can help couples improve their sexual satisfaction and overall relationship.
- Sex therapy is not just about fixing sexual problems, but also about improving intimacy and connection.
- Sex therapy is confidential and private.
- A qualified therapist who specializes in sex therapy should be licensed and formally trained in human sexuality.
- Couples should feel comfortable discussing intimate topics and should be willing to actively participate in therapy.
- Sex therapy for couples is not a quick fix or a magic solution to all relationship issues.
In addition, it is not about placing blame or finding faults in either partner, but rather a collaborative and non-judgmental process. It is not solely focused on physical intimacy, but also addresses emotional, psychological, and relational aspects of a couple’s sexual well-being.
A word of caution:
When seeking any form of sex therapy or couples/relationship therapy, it is important to consider your personal safety. By doing your homework on your therapist and making sure they are registered with a legislative body such as the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), SA Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) or any other local or international ethical and legal body, as these organisations have ethical and legal rules which therapists must abide by.
Sadly, like any profession there are people who claim to be relationship or sex therapists who are not trained or registered with a governing body causing harm to people. Because of this it is important to check that they have qualifications of a therapist and are experienced in working with relationship and sexual issues.
As sex therapy involves discussing sensitive and intimate topics consent and respect for everyone’s comfort level are essential. Please bear in mind that this form of therapy does NOT involve intimate touch, performing sexual acts in the therapist’s room or with the therapist. Sex therapy is a ‘talk-therapy’, however you may be given homework to do on your own or with your partner/s.
Qualifications: BA(Hons) Psychosocial (UEL, UK), MA Couns. Psych. (Wits)