What is Sex Therapy?
People often wonder what sex therapy is. How is it different from psychotherapy? Does it involve physical touch with the therapist? When can someone benefit from sex therapy?
Let’s begin with defining sexual health. The World Health Organization defined it as the “integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexual being in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication, and love.” Sexual health involves much more then the physical act of sex. Sex therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy that deals with sexual health.
A sex therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has completed a minimum of two years post-graduate training and an intensive training program and supervision focused on human sexuality and clinical treatment of sexual issues. The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists is the professional organization in the US that certifies professionals who have completed the requires specialized training.
Sex therapy may include talk therapy, education, skills training, and awareness practices to enhance sensual experiences. Unlike what is sometimes seen in popular films, a sex therapist does not have sex with clients. Some of the concerns that may be improved with sex therapy include low desire, sexual pain, erectile issues, sexual functioning after illness, relationship problems or past history of trauma that inhibit sex and desire.