Sex therapy is considered an effective form of psychotherapy, beneficial for both couples and people of all sexual orientations and genders. Talk therapy, which is a combination of cognitive behavioral interventions and counseling, is also being considered. Mustering up the courage to schedule your first sex therapy session can be nerve-wracking. Knowing that you will discuss one of the most personal and precious parts of your life with a virtual stranger can be intimidating.
Understanding the therapeutic process can help alleviate your fears and concerns.
Therapy is a human relationship, a safe and trusting relationship in which the therapist sincerely listens to what you have to say. Many of your deepest intentions may not even be conscious of you when you begin therapy. Issues you bring into sessions, such as communication, conflict, trust, power and control, performance or desire issues, will be explored, and the therapist will help you determine the issue.
Therapy is not about the therapist solving your problems. Therapy is not a medical process, although some would like us to believe that it follows the same pattern. It is a reciprocal relationship in which the therapist helps you identify your goals and path to more fulfilling sex life. Many clients come to their first therapy session and are surprised that the therapist is not a perfect, wise, and completely healed person. Your therapist will be in the process of working, just like you. A good therapist learns as much about himself as you do through therapy.
When you tell your story, the therapist will want to understand how you make sense of your problems. The therapist should not be judgmental. The therapist works to help you understand why you behave in ways that harm yourself or others or why you may be making decisions outside of your value system. The therapist will help you know what you want from your sex and how to love in a way that matters to you.
If you have had individual sex therapy or couples therapy in the past, a sex therapist may be more directive and ask more questions than a traditional therapist. Sexual problems can be highly complex and include relationship problems, physical problems, and problems with identity and personal preferences. The details involved in this complexity require the therapist to ask specific and direct questions.
Please note that this may seem awkward at first. As you get used to talking about these personal topics, you will feel comfortable. When you are comfortable, you will begin to see the barriers you have put up in front of you.