- Has anxiety or not being able to perform as you used to caused issues in your sex life?
- Are you dealing with traumatic events that have changed your relationship dynamic (i.e., cheating, infertility issues)?
- Are you struggling with communicating with your sex partner/s?
- Has not feeling good about your body deterred you from experiencing healthy sex?
If any of these sound familiar to you, it could be time to try sex and couples counseling. You deserve happy relationships and a healthy sex life, and sex and couples counseling can help.
As we grow older, we might experience decreased sexual intimacy as a result of changing life roles or even problems with arousal and dysfunction. It’s important that we can talk openly and address these things since sex is such a huge part of who we are. That’s exactly what we do in integrative sex and couples therapy – we resolve issues regarding communication, anxiety, sexual energy, self-concept, and barriers to desire and arousal.
Sex and Relationship Issues Happen to Most of Us
There are lots of reasons we experience decreased sexual connection – we get busy, we get bored, and we experience sexual traumas. Sex is a crucial part of health and wellness, and it’s important to process these things with someone who specializes in these areas.
Sometimes we think we’re the only ones, but there are lots of other people who experience what we experience – in fact, sexual pleasure issues are estimated to affect about 43% of women and 31% of men, according to a study by Rosen in 2000. Sex and relationship issues happen and, with the help of an experienced sex and couples counselor, we can get you to where you want to be.
Sex and Couples Counseling Can Help You Regain Pleasure and Satisfaction
In sex and couples counseling, we work on discovering the roots of the problems using lots of communication. You will be encouraged to complete homework assignments with your partner or partners as well. We’ll discuss the success and the struggles you had with the homework, and I’ll likely assign new tasks at the following session.
We discuss a whole range of topics in sex therapy, from your sexual history to mental health, relationships with family, trauma, your sex habits. Why? Because to engage in sexual activity is human, as human as eating, sleeping, and breathing. We are sexual beings, and it is part of human nature. So often in counseling we ignore that part of ourselves or think it’s too inappropriate to discuss. Culturally we may have been taught that sex is “bad” in some way or that we should be embarrassed about it. In sex therapy, it’s our job to uncover what those preconceived notions are, especially if it’s problematic to our lives.
There are two kinds of energies in relationships — compassion and eroticism, or what we can refer to as Eros. The opposite of Eros is Thanatos, or death, so if you are alive you have Eros. The compassion is defined as the caring for each other, working together as one team, raising children perhaps, taking care of life responsibilities, going to the movies, spending time with your families. The Eros is the sexual energy — romance, kissing, sex, intimacy. Eros is a part of being alive, yet we don’t talk about it too often. We might even feel ashamed of it due to cultural issues, familial morals, or being traumatized in the relationship (i.e., lied to, cheated on). In sex and couples counseling, we resolve issues concerning compassion and Eros.
Specific interventions we may focus on include Imago Therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), sensate-focused therapy (i.e., mindfulness for sex), and making referrals to other professionals as needed, such as pelvic floor therapists, physicians, and gynecologists.
Some Questions You May Have About Sex and Couples Counseling…
- Who can attend couples and sex therapy?
- Anyone – individuals, couples, those involved non-monogamous relationships, vanilla or kinky.
- Does the therapist touch the clients?
- Nope, just talking.
- Will I be expected to engage in sexual activities during the session?
- Not at all. You just may be asked to complete homework involving sex outside of the sessions. We will then discuss how it went at the next session.
- What will the therapist think of me?
- As always, no judgement. Truly. We talk about tough stuff at times, and it’s all good. I’m here to help you.
Is It Too Late to Try Sex and Couples Counseling?
Life issues aren’t easy to navigate, and it can be a difficult decision to reach out for help. For instance, you might wonder – is it too late to try sex and couples counseling? The answer is no, any time in your life journey is a perfect time to start with a sex and couples counselor. All relationships go through rough patches, and it is not the issues themselves which determine the success rate of relationships. Rather, it’s the commitment of the people involved to understanding and working through these issues. You don’t need to wait until you can’t take it anymore or the relationship is nearing its end. Many people try couples counseling at some point in their lives and at various times – in a 2017 study involving 1,000 couples, 49% said they had attended some form of counseling with their partner, with 57% of those who had attended therapy being married between 3 and 5 years (The State of Marriage Counseling, 2017).
What If I Don’t Want to Share My Personal Problems with a Stranger?
Another issue is, you may not want to share your personal problems with a stranger. I get that. Getting involved in counseling, whether on the individual or relationship level, requires bravery and vulnerability. There is no such thing as too much information in sex and couples counseling. Talking about intimate and private things can feel embarrassing, especially talking to a complete stranger. You can always tell me as much or as little as you want to tell me. I am an independently licensed counselor who is trained in Sex and Integrative Couples Counseling, as well as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and ally of the kink community, so I’m used to talking about things like porn, low sexual desire, and infidelity. I’ll take steps to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
What if My Partner Doesn’t Want to Attend?
That’s okay because sex and couples counseling is for individuals, too. We can work to address individual and relationship issues either way. Change often happens when we can begin to look inward, so this type of counseling can still help you and your partner/s if you are willing to engage in some self-reflection and commitment to change.
You Can Have a Happy and Healthy Sex Life
You deserve happy relationships and fulfilling sex lives, so let’s get you there.
According to research done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, families and couples who have attended family or couples therapy sessions indicate high levels of patient satisfaction (GuideDoc, 2021). Over 98 percent of those surveyed reported that they received good or excellent couples therapy, and over 97 percent of those surveyed said they got the help they needed. After working with a marriage or family therapist, 93 percent of patients said they had more effective tools for dealing with their problems.
If you’d like to know more about me and about sex and couples counseling in general, check out my weekly blog on traumatherapycompany.com. I also offer 15-minute phone consultations to answer any questions you may have – give me a call at 330.397.9878, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started; I always return messages the same day. You deserve happy relationships and a healthy sex life, so let’s get you there.
GuideDoc, R. T. (2021, January 18). Does marriage counseling work? 10 surprising Statistics & Facts. GuideDoc. Retrieved August 29, 2022, from https://guidedoc.com/does-marriage-counseling-work-statistics-facts
- Rosen, C. Brown, J. Heiman, S. Leiblum, C. Meston, R. Shabsigh, D. Ferguson, R. D’Agostino (2000) The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI): A Multidimensional
Self-Report Instrument for the Assessment of Female Sexual Function, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 26:2, 191-208, DOI: 10.1080/009262300278597
The State of Marriage Counseling | MidAmerica Nazarene University. (2017, November 3).
MidAmerica Nazarene University.