Sex therapists are trained to address a wide range of sexual concerns, whether in couples therapy or individual sessions. These include: erectile dysfunction, sexual dissatisfaction, painful intercourse, issues with masturbation or incontinence, and other challenges related to sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, sex therapists may be able to assist individuals who have underlying mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, which can impact their sex life.
When pursuing sex therapy, it is important to find a practitioner who is licensed and certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). Some practitioners also hold advanced degrees in psychology, counseling, medicine, social work, or marriage and family therapy. If you’re looking for a sex therapist, start your search with a quick online search or by calling your insurance company, which should be able to provide a list of practitioners in your area.
Once you’ve found a practitioner, your first session will likely consist of an introduction and discussion around your main concerns. Your sex therapist will ask questions about your relationship with your partner, your sexual history and experiences, and how you prioritize intimacy, touch, and sex. The therapist will use this information to create a treatment plan and set measurable goals. While most people seek sex therapy as part of a couple, you can also go on your own if that’s what’s best for you. Choosing to go alone can help you practice communicating your needs and desires, which is often the root of sexual problems.