Sex therapy can be used to treat many sexual disorders

Sex therapy can be used to treat many sexual disorders

Sex therapy can be used to treat many sexual disorders   

Accurate statistics on the prevalence of sexual issues are hard to establish for numerous reasons. We know that:

  • Some conditions remain under-reported (many people don’t seek treatment)
  • Some data is based on self-reported, subjective findings making it hard to compare data because of the subjectivity
  • For some conditions more research is still needed
  • On occasion, the methodology instruments used and the participant group may alter the accuracy of the findings

None-the-less, taking all research into account, it would seem that sexual dysfunctions are highly prevalent in the community, perhaps affecting about 43% of women and 31% of men (Rosen,R.C.)

The full list of sexual dysfunctions is extensive however these are some of the more common conditions presenting in clinical practice:

  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (low interest in sex, low libido, low sexual desire)
  • Hyperactive sexual (high interest in sex, sexual addiction)
  • Sexual arousal disorder (difficulty getting or maintaining adequate arousal)
  • Erectile dysfunction (difficulty getting or maintaining an erection)
  • Female orgasmic disorder (difficulty reaching orgasms)
  • Premature ejaculation (PE). Also referred to as rapid ejaculation (RE) (ejaculating in under normal timeframe).
  • Delayed ejaculation (DE) (difficulty reaching ejaculation)
  • Sexual pain disorders (experiencing pain or discomfort during sex)

Sexual dysfunction may be categorised into disorders relating to difficulty managing: desire; arousal; erection; orgasm; or pain during sexual engagement.

They can be lifelong (have always presented) or acquired (it didn’t always present and has developed somewhere along the lifespan). The issue may also be generalised (occurring in all situations) or may be unique to only certain partners or situations.

The causes of sexual problems

Establishing the cause(s) of the issue can often be difficult as sometimes there is a single driving factor, but at other times there may be multiple factors that serve to keep the problem in place. Possible drivers include:

  • A range of biological issues (acquired during the lifespan or congenital)
  • Family-of-origin attitudes towards sex
  • Past trauma
  • Current stressors (work, family, friends etc)
  • Psychological states of mind (including depression and anxiety)
  • Cultural influences
  • Current relationship quality
  • Past relationship occurrences
  • Sex education/sexual knowledge, and sexual compatibility
  • Body image issues relating to self
  • Self-esteem, general attitude and mood
  • Ability to sexually communicate (getting needs met, feelings of powerlessness etc)
  • Medications (over 100 currently known to impact on sexual functioning)
  • Menopause and aging. No impact for many people but research evidences that there may be impact for a percentage of the population

How sex therapy can help

Sandra Leiblum states in her book The Principles and Practices of Sex Therapy that sex therapy sometimes provides dramatic successes where the individual and/or the couple experience resolution in many of the initial areas of concern. However, there are times when the causes of the issue are numerous and far more complicated.

The role of the Sex Therapist is to complete a blueprint of all aspects of the issue, when it presents and what’s different about times when it does not present, timelines, the percentage of the time the condition presents, a brief history on other significant events that may have happened, details on general health and what has been tried in the past to manage the issue.

Once a driving factor has been identified a therapeutic plan can be established and implemented. Therapeutic approaches may include: implementing new ways of thinking (changing thought processes), physical exercises to complete at home, relationship counselling, managing intrusive aspects of the past or referral to a medical professional for further biological investigation. The pathway is totally dependant on the client and the condition. The length of therapy required also depends on the nature of the condition and the complexity.

The paramount point to note is that the sex therapy process should not be a stressful one.  Remember that sex therapists enter the field with a genuine interest in helping people achieve a happier sex life – this is what they discuss in their day to day work. Your sex therapist should help you feel relaxed enough to be able to discuss all aspects of your sexual discomfort to help you move forward and lead a rich, full and meaningful intimate life.

The causes of sexual problems

Establishing the cause(s) of the issue can often be difficult as sometimes there is a single driving factor but at other times there may be multiple factors that serve to keep the problem in place. Possible drivers include:

  • A range of biological issues (acquired during the lifespan or congenital)
  • Family-of-origin attitudes towards sex
  • Past trauma
  • Current stressors (work, family, friends etc)
  • Psychological states of mind (including depression and anxiety)
  • Cultural influences
  • Current relationship quality
  • Past relationship occurrences
  • Sex education/sexual knowledge, and sexual compatibility
  • Body image issues relating to self
  • Self-esteem, general attitude and mood
  • Ability to sexually communicate (getting needs met, feelings of powerlessness etc)
  • Medications (over 100 currently known to impact on sexual functioning)
  • Menopause and aging. No impact for many people but research evidences that there may be impact for a percentage of the population

How sex therapy can help

Sandra Leiblum states in her book The Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy that sex therapy sometimes provides dramatic successes where the individual and/or the couple experience resolution in all of the initial areas of concern. However, there are times when the causes of the issue are numerous and far more complicated.

The role of the Sex Therapist is to complete a blueprint of all aspects of the issue, when it presents, what’s different about times when it does not present, timelines when the issue first appeared and what percentage of the time the condition presents. A brief history is taken on other significant events that may may have happened as well as details on general health and what has been tried in the past to manage the issue.

Once a driving factor has been identified a therapeutic plan can be established and implemented. Therapeutic approaches may include :implementing new ways of thinking (changing thought processes),physical exercises to complete at home,relationship counselling, managing intrusive aspects of the past,or referral to a medical professional for further biological investigation. The pathway is totally dependant on the client and the condition and the length of therapy required also depends on the nature of the condition and the complexity.

The paramount point to note is that the sex therapy process should not be a stressful one remember that sex therapists enter the field with a genuine interest in helping people to achieve a happier sex life this is what they discuss in their day to day work. Your sex therapist should help you feel relaxed enough to be able to discuss all aspects of your sexual discomfort to help you move forward and lead a rich, full and meaningful intimate life.

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http://www.therapylounge.com.au/dating-losers/

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