As the name suggests, sex therapy is talk therapy that focuses on sexual intimacy. A person can choose to attend sex therapy as an individual or with a partner. Sessions may take place in a therapist’s office, on the phone or via online telehealth services. Session frequency and length will vary based on the challenges and goals of the client.
The first session will likely begin with the therapist asking some general questions, such as what type of sex you like to engage in and how often. Afterward, you’ll discuss the issues that brought you to sex therapy, and a treatment plan will be mapped out.
Depending on your specific challenges, your sex therapist will tailor the sessions to you and your partner’s unique needs. During these conversations, you’ll be encouraged to be open and honest. The therapist is not going to judge you and all conversations are confidential.
As with all types of talk therapy, you’ll likely be asked to discuss past experiences. The therapist will ask about your relationship with your partner, how often you engage in sexual acts and your masturbation patterns. You’ll also be asked about any sexual trauma you’ve experienced.
Ms Mourikis and Ms Heuwagen say that people who identify as women often seek sex therapists to address shame, anxiety and lack of confidence around their body. Men, meanwhile, often struggle with communication issues, pelvic pain and erection problems. Some sex therapists specialise in certain areas, such as helping couples with relationship problems, addressing sexual trauma or working through high or low desire.