What Happens During Sex Therapy?

For many couples fitting sex in between busy work schedules, taking care of the kids, and getting the chores done is hard enough, let alone identifying, communicating, and working on any issues regarding sex.

This is where sex therapy comes in.

You’d be surprised at the sheer number of people who have no idea what sex therapy is really like and harbor complete assortments of misconceptions about it.

In this piece, we’re going to explore what sex therapy is and what happens during sex therapy sessions. Let’s dive in.

What is Sex Therapy?

Modern sex therapy and its techniques were pioneered by sex researchers William Masters MD, and Virginia Johnson in the 1960s. It is a form of psychotherapy that uses talk therapy to help individuals and couples address personal, psychological, medical, and interpersonal factors that impact sexual satisfaction.

Sex therapy’s goal is to help people identify and overcome these physical and emotional challenges so that they may experience a pleasurable sex life and a satisfying relationship.

The Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction refers to any problem that prevents a person or a couple from experiencing satisfaction when engaging in sexual activity. It is fairly common, with about 43 percent of women and about 31 percent of men reporting some degree of sexual dysfunction.

Some common sexual dysfunctions include:

  • low libido
  • lack of interest
  • erectile dysfunction
  • premature ejaculation
  • lack of response to sexual stimulus
  • low confidence
  • inability to reach orgasm

A couple lying in bed and being playful with each other.


What Happens During Sex Therapy?

Individuals or couples work together with their therapist to talk through their possible sexual dysfunctions and work out effective coping mechanisms to help improve their responses that will lead to a healthier sex life.

In initial appointments, the therapist will either have a conversation with just you or with you and your partner together. They help guide and process what you’re experiencing.

Your therapist isn’t there to take any one person’s side or persuade anyone. Also, unlike what many people assume, no actual sex or sexual activity takes place during the session.

With each therapy session, the therapist will continue to help you work towards better acceptance and management of the concerns you may have that lead to sexual dysfunction. Like regular talk-based psychotherapy, sex therapy is an educational and supportive environment. It is specifically designed to comfort and encourage healthy changes.

Your therapist will probably give you assignments that you need to do before you come for the next appointment.

If you and your partner are having trouble with sex and intimacy but wish to improve your sex lives, you should consider professional sex therapy.

Azizeh Rezaiyan is a leading sex therapist and couple’s counselor in the Bay Area. She has extensive experience in sex therapy and marriage counseling in Palo Alto.

Call her at (650) 206-9973 for a free 20-minute consultation, or book an appointment.

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