Mental Health
Jul 16, 2024

What is a sex therapist, and what do we do?

In an era of ever-growing sex positivity, it is obvious that Western cultures have witnessed a meaningful cultural and social transformation of sexuality in the years since the sexual revolution. The wave of change is ongoing today in various contexts existing within and outside of gender and sexuality at a gradual pace. We are seeing individuals passionately undo normative views surrounding sexuality, gender identity and relationships and reassembling them anew and in ways that go against “traditional” or “normal” ways of being. What inspired me to become a sex therapist was the cultural beliefs surrounding sex and sexuality. These form through medical, moral, and media messages and anything within the biopsychosocial umbrella and advocate that sexual health, education, pleasure, and well-being are innate human needs and rights.

Sexuality is breaking free from the constraints of procreation and the norms dictated by Heterosexism and the patriarchy. It's now a celebration of what brings us joy, excitement, and a profound affirmation of our unique identities. While societal shifts are welcoming these changes in certain contexts, individuals are still grappling with the complexities of navigating identity and sexual behaviour, cognitions and beliefs whether flying solo or exploring partnerships. So of course, mediating this ongoing change isn’t and never will be linear. Thus, I am here to mediate this transition, to assist individuals with any sexual dysfunctions or experiences, or to simply be there to discuss what’s on your mind through something called psychosexual therapy, or commonly referred to as sex therapy!

My profession can be labelled as a sexologist, sex therapist or psychosexual therapist. The sexologist title means that I have completed studies in human sexuality. And the title sex therapist, or also commonly known as psychosexual therapist means that I am a trained counsellor who provides counselling and psychotherapeutic services, specific to sexology and sexual issues.

Sex therapy combines counselling and psychotherapeutic approaches, incorporating cognitive, behavioural, and systemic intervention strategies to address issues in the realm of human sexuality, sexual function and sex related concerns, whilst also providing education and referrals should the client require it. The therapeutic process involves collaboration between the client and therapist to tackle sexual issues and help improve overall sexual wellbeing.

Is sex therapy for me?

Seeing a sex therapist may be helpful if struggling with desire, arousal orgasmic/ejaculatory disorders, pre and post STI and HIV testing counselling, genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorders, sexuality and co-morbidities, disability, and ageing, sexual skills coaching and helping re-write long learnt sexual script, desire discrepancy, sex education, sexual schemas and shame and LGBTQIA+SB support and gender affirming facilitation.

Disclaimer

The types of clients I do not see at this point in time are those struggling with paraphilias, sexual addictions (porn, masturbation, and sex), acute psychological, physical and sexual trauma.  

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