Psychosexual therapy is a way of treating sexual difficulties using a variety of approaches. You can come as a couple or as an individual and the initial consultation will involve an exploration of your issues. If there are indications some medical interventions are necessary first your therapist will recommend you see your GP for these. Unless your therapist is medically trained you will not be asked to be examined or show anything in the room. From a relationship and sex psychotherapeutic point of view both aspects are interlinked. The approach in terms of treatment is largely cognitive behavioural in order to facilitate change but your therapist also draws on psychodynamic, attachment and other theoretical ideas to help understand what is happening.
Common reasons for people choosing sex therapy can range from erectile problems including rapid or delayed ejaculation, pain during intercourse, inability to have penetration (vaginismus), desire and arousal difficulties in both sexes and orgasmic problems. I also see people who are suffering from hypersexuality (more commonly thought as sex addiction) and their partners. There are also other reasons such as recovering from sexual trauma, from childhood or as adults and concerns over sexual orientation.
A detailed history will be taken as part of the information gathering from each individual in a separate session. When this is complete the programme is compiled to suit the circumstances and therapy begins. Most clients will have some work to do on their own or as a couple in the week between sessions. There are a variety of tasks that can be given, some are physical, some talking, some reading as well as some input on education around the arousal cycle and anatomy and products that may assist in achieving goals set by the clients. It is meant to help people to reconnect with their sexual selves and rediscover sex as something which can be fun and intimate and new again.
Most couples want to know how long it will take. This is entirely dependent on the individual circumstances, self motivation and time available for working on the therapy. It happens that some clients come just for a one off session that has reassured them enough to no longer have the views they held before. Others attend for around 8- 16 weeks often spread over a longer time frame as once things start to progress couples need time to put the new learning into practice. The majority of people, say it improves the whole nature of their relationships not just in the sexual arena.
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