I am so excited to be bringing this specialization into my practice as it is one that I have been very interested in for many years. In particular, I have a specialized interest in helping couples to bridge the sexual disconnect that is all too common during pregnancy and postpartum, however I find sex to be an ongoing issue in many relationships and would love to help you work through this.
What is Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is a form of therapy that is focused on helping individuals and couples resolve sexual difficulties, including performance anxiety, mismatched desire and relationship problems. For your therapy sessions you will meet with me in the office-you may choose to attend our sessions alone or bring your partner with you.
As with all types of therapy it is not unusual to feel a bit anxious when seeing a sex therapist, especially for the first time. Many people can feel embarrassed or awkward when talking about sex at all, so discussing it with a stranger may feel awkward. However, this is a normal part of my day and I am very familiar with ways to set you at ease and help you feel comfortable. We will typically start with some general questions about you, your life, your relationships and move into more detailed information about sexual background, sex education, beliefs about sex, and your specific sexual concerns.
One important thing to note is sex therapy is simply talk therapy. There is never any form of physical or sexual contact among clients and your therapist.
As we move along in our sex therapy work I will typically assign “homework” which will entail practical activities that you can complete in the privacy of their own home.
This will of course be a dialogue and you will never be asked to do anything that is too far outside your comfort zone. That said just to give you some ideas of how this might work some homework might include the following:
• Experimentation. If you and your partner are feeling a bit in a sexual rut there could be suggestions to try different activities, such as role playing or using sex toys, to increase your desire. Sometimes couples may need to adjust their sexual routine or positions.
• Sensate focus. This is a fun technique for many couples that is designed to build trust and intimacy while reducing anxiety. It is a very low pressure way of connecting where you and your partner may progress through three stages, starting with nonsexual touching, progressing to genital touching, and, usually, ending with penetration.
• Education. Sometimes, it may become clear that you are lacking in some information about how to connect sexual with your partner, how your body functions during sexual activity or ways to increase sexual pleasure. Through our work I might suggest books or other resources for you to take in this information.
• Communication strategies. Once they know what they desire one more area that I often encourage my clients to develop some skills in is communication-particularly practicing what they want or need sexually or emotionally in a relationship.
You can have great success with sex therapy when you are committed to the process. If you are willing to put in the effort, either alone or with a partner, you can reach your sexual goals.
I am currently working on my certification through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (ASSECT) This is at minimum an 18 month process including 90 hours in academic course work in sexual health and pleasure. In addition to it requires intensive supervision meaning I am continuing working with an expert in the field (the lovely Kristen Lilla ) for ongoing support with anything and everything related to sex.