• Angie Gunn LCSW CST

What is Sex Therapy?

Therapy is old hat to most people, if you have not experienced it directly, you've at least seen dramatic portrayals of elongated couch laying sessions and the probing of your inner thoughts and feelings. But add the word sex before therapy and suddenly understanding of the concept is lost. Is it hands on? What can I talk about? What is the training required? This lack of clarity can prevent those in need from getting help, or addressing sexuality concerns with therapists who aren't trained in that specialization, like your couples therapist for example. While some general therapists are also sex trained, it's not a safe assumption across the board. Being treated by a sex specific therapist can facilitate healing and change in ethical and evidence based ways. So let's break it down. 

What sex therapy is:

* Licensed and training from an accredited body (ie: AASECT).

* Sex positive, accepting and supportive of sexual diversity and expression  (and if you come across one who isn't, try another!)

* Specific training in sexual and reproductive development, functioning, anatomy, arousal and practices across ages, genders, cultures, and subcultures

* Experienced in talking openly about sex, relationships, and the factors which impact sexuality between partners

* Understanding of the interplay between medical, psychological, and social factors which impact sexual functioning, including sexual pain and fears around dysfunction

* Knowledgeable in using different therapy approaches specifically to assess and address sexuality concerns

* Experience in HIV, STI prevention, sexual health and well-being

* Resource for understanding the vast array of sex or gender expression and relationship configurations including BDSM, fetish, consensual non-monogamy, swinging, asexuality, demisexuality etc.

* A place to explore differences in your sexuality from your partner, gaps in arousal, desire, orgasm, and how to find common ground

What sex therapy is not:

* Hands on sex or touching of any kind

* Opportunity to express or engage in sexual practices in session 

* Coaching and education about sexuality, although this can be included at times 

* Pushing a moral or religious agenda related to sexual practices

* Cosmo magazine style sex advice

Your sexual needs, expression, and challenges are important and valid. Contact us to get expert help and support from a trained therapist. We can work together to understand your needs and challenges, and set goals together. Long term, you have the potential to unlock countless pathways to pleasure within yourself and your relationships.

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