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Last Updated: September 30, 2019
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Sexual Therapy - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

What is Sexual Therapy? What does a sex therapist do? What techniques are used in sex therapy? How does sex therapy work? What are the side effects of sex therapy? Benefits of sex therapy: How much does a sex therapist charge per session in India? How effective is sex therapy? What are the alternatives to sex therapy?

What is Sexual Therapy?

Most people are afraid of sexual therapies, but it is a great way of treating emotionally driven sexual problems. Many individuals suffer from sexual problems, but none wants to talk about it. Sex therapy has been devised in such a manner that it helps a couple in getting at the bottom of sexual problems and subsequently dealing with them. Sex therapy is like any other forms of counselling where you can work with a psychologist or psychiatrist or marriage counsellor.

Such professionals help in dealing with a host of sex-related issues for both men and women including low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and others. Sometimes it so happens that one partner is suffering from the sexual disputes, but a lack of communication leads to misunderstanding and deterioration of the relationship. Sex therapy is crucial to the treatment of sexual dysfunction in the case of patients who do not suffer from any physiological problems causing sex issues. Even though the patient is undergoing any comprehensive treatment, the sexual therapy helps the patient to learn more about the act so that they can enjoy in physical indulgences.

What does a sex therapist do?

A sex therapist can be so many things which include a psychiatrist, a therapist, psychologist or a social worker. The sex therapist ar the doctors who aware people about sexuality on the basis of personal opinion and experience. Sex therapy is talk therapy and there are no treatments done.

A sex therapist does counseling and solves the problems of the person regarding their sex life. A person goes to the sex therapist and tells about the problem he/she is facing. The therapist talks about all those problems and also gives homework which helps in resolving the problem. The homework includes:

  • Experimentation:

    If a couple is experiencing changes or difficulty in their sexual that they can try different types of experiments like using different positions, or by role-playing or using different sex toys. All these things can be done to make the person comfortable who is suffering from health issues.

  • Sensate focus:

    This technique is advised by the doctor to build trust among the couple and reduce anxiety. In this, the couple goes through three different stages. The first stage is non-sexual touching, the second stage progresses through genital touch and the third stage is penetration.

  • Education:

    Having a proper sex education is very important. If a person is not educated properly then they will not be aware of the autonomous functioning of the body and how the body gradually changes. Thus, the therapist helps the person to gain knowledge and also helps in resolving the problem.

  • Communication strategies:

    The therapist help people building emotionally and also tell them to communicate with their partners regarding their sexual problem.

What techniques are used in sex therapy?

These are the techniques which are involved in sex therapy:

  • Mutual Responsibility: The sexual problem is the responsibility of both the partners regardless of who is the actual responsible person. Thus the therapy is important for both the partners.
  • Identifying Emotion: The therapist helps the patient to express and identify their emotions and they also help them to identify if there is any past event which is interfering in the arousal of the sexual feeling.
  • Change in attitude: The therapist helps the patients in changing their belief about sexuality which prevents sexual desires.
  • Eliminating the performance pressure: It is one of the most important therapies as in this the couple are taught a series of sensual tasks which does not involve intercourse and or orgasm but they just have to touch each other in order and arise feelings for each other.
  • Addressing physical and medical factors: In this therapy, any physical or medical factor regarding the sexual problems are treated.
  • Changing lifestyle: Have a bad and destructive lifestyle can affect a person’s sexual desire and also interfere in the relation of a person.
  • Increasing sexual and general communication skills: In this general training is given to increasing communication skills regarding sexual activity or problems among the couple.

How does sex therapy work?

Contrary to popular beliefs that sex therapy involves performing embarrassing acts, it is actually a treatment where the professional helps you overcome the difficulties by talking to you. It is accomplished by communicating with the patient about the issues and offering methods of rehabilitation from the sex-related problems. The therapist would collect a detailed history of the couple’s journey and document it. This will help the doctor in formulating individual goals as well as therapeutic interventions for overcoming the problems.

The responsibility of the expert also includes exploring the psychological side of the act of sex. The patient comes to recognize the emotional turmoil that may have been contributing towards erectile dysfunction, low libido and a host of other common sex problems. The transformative approach to the treatment aims at comprehending the biological, psychological, relational and pharmacological sides of sexual issues. The sex therapy typically starts with the knowledge of performance anxiety and then progresses towards teaching the concerned couple how to communicate about individual sexual wants and needs.

Who would see a sex therapist?

Any couple who is facing challenges in their personal relationship must consider sexual therapy regardless of their age and years of being together. It is primarily helpful in case of patients suffering from non-consummation, low sex drive, premature ejaculation, undesired sexual fetishes, pain while having sex, erectile dysfunction, lack of confidence in intercourse, problems in recovering from sexual assault and other problems stemming from tiredness and stress.

Since it is a process of counselling, there is no need to be afraid of any side effects. It is definitely a big decision to seek someone else’s assistance in matters pertaining to the couple’s private life. But with the course of time, the sexual therapy tends to strengthen the bond that the couple shares with each other.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

As there are little or no side effects associated with sexual therapy, anyone can look for assistance from an expert. There are no restrictions regarding opting for the treatment. Some people think that they would have to take off their clothes during the treatment. But this is absolutely wrong. Under no circumstances will the therapist ask the couple to take off their clothes. Thus, there is nothing to worry about choosing sexual therapy.

What are the side effects of sex therapy?

There are no side effects associated with sexual therapy. Since the sexual therapy is more of a counselling session rather than involving any medication it can be safely taken by anyone who is facing problems with sex.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The sexual therapy is an ongoing procedure and the concerned patient tends to improve bit by bit with each treatment session. It is important to stick to the guidelines instructed by the expert. These include activities, exercises, and teaching relaxing methods. The couple should also communicate with each other during sexual activities in order to help and stand by each other during moments of crisis.

How long does it take to recover?

Sexual therapy needs rigorous evaluation including a medical as well as psychological examination. The reason for sexual therapy often lies in psychogenic basis or somatic basis. The most common instance of sexual problems is erectile dysfunction which is also referred to as impotence. It involves on the first level, circulatory problems and in the second level, it involves performance anxiety. The expert will work through the steps and help you to recover gradually. It takes about 3 months to a few years depending on the issues.

Benefits of sex therapy:

The benefits of sex therapy are as follows:

Developing appropriate and realistic goals: in this realistic reasons for not having a good sexual life which can be in most of the cases age. All these problems are addressed during counseling. The therapist gives knowledge about how aging interferes in the sexual life of people and also tell how they can cope up with the problems.

  • Exploring sexual fantasies: The therapist helps the patient in many ways. They guide the patients to explore their sexual fantasies and can recommend erotica or other stimulation methods.
  • Cueing exercise: If a person is not going through a good sexual life then cueing exercise is recommended which helps a person to remember good sex days and positive emotions about sex.
  • Sensate focus exercise: During this exercise couples are first made comfortable with each other by touching other non-sexually. This helps them to develop trust and feel safe together. After this step is completed they can lead to having a better sex life together.
  • Addressing sexual boredom: At some point of time couples get bored of the same sexual routine thus, it can dampen the desire. Thus the therapist brings up this idea to spice up the sexual desires.

How much does a sex therapist charge per session in India?

The consultation fees vary among professionals but it is generally affordable for people from all strata of society. But the patient may have to come for several visits depending on the problems. During the early phases, the patient may have to come once in a month which slowly reduces to once in 3 months. For patients who are experiencing problems due to past trauma or violation of their rights to privacy, the treatment may take longer and is costlier than the patients suffering from common sexual ailments.

How effective is sex therapy?

The results of sexual therapy are permanent if the patient can keep in mind the instructions given by the doctor. The therapist may suggest something for attuning the partner to the sensation of the act. The goal of the treatment is to experience sensation rather than reaching orgasm. It is important to note that sex therapy can assist in the problems that are emotional and mental in nature. It cannot help in case of physical limitations that are causing sexual dysfunction.

What are the alternatives to sex therapy?

The alternatives to sexual therapy include treatment for the physical limitations in the act of intercourse. However, the sexual therapy forms a critical part of the treatment since it helps the patient to cope up with the challenges emotionally. And since the psychology of the patient plays an important role in determining the progress of the patient, it is recommended to opt for the sexual therapy along with other treatment options, if needed.

Key Highlights

Safety: Very High

Effectiveness: Medium

Timeliness: Medium

Relative Risk: Very Low

Side Effects: Very Low

Recovery Time: Medium

Price Range: Varies from case to case

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Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Sexology
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