Facebook Pixel

Tykia Murray: Sex Therapy: Your Ace in the Hole

Rate This

Visiting my local bookstore, I invariably wander into Self-Help; it houses the Sexual Health section. With all those pink and red and black sexual manuals and encyclopedias by Dr. John Smith or Dr. Jane Doe, we should never ever need to see an actual therapist, right?

Well, it depends on who you are and the problem you’re trying to solve with a book. Some sexual issues require a more hands-on approach (no pun intended) and that’s where a sex therapist comes in.

A sex therapist works one-on-one with couples and individuals to diagnose and treat sexual dysfunction. Sexual problems almost always have a psychological element: Anxiety, low self-esteem, and guilt may all come as a result of sexual dysfunction and make the primary problem worse. Sex therapists are trained and certified psychologists or psychiatrists, so they understand emotional issues as well as specific sexual problems. Most qualified sex therapists will belong to the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists.

The course of sex therapy treatment is “goal focused.” This usually means short-term. By initially answering a series of questions about your medical, mental, and sexual history, you and your therapist will work together to set goals and identify the appropriate treatment for your condition. It is a very collaborative process; no sitting back and expecting your therapist to solve your problems for you.

The easiest way to find a sex therapist is with a referral from your doctor. So keep your gynecologist or general practitioner in the know about any sexual concerns. You may also contact the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists at www.aasect.org or the American Board of Sexology at www.americanboardofsexology.com.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Great article on sex therapy and great clarity on the issues that bring a couple into treatment. I'm a couples therapist and sex therapist and agree that so many couples are reluctant to face sexual issues, which can be critical to sustaining a healthy relationship together.
Adam Sheck

August 11, 2009 - 2:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

Tykia - thanks for mentioning us in your EmpowerHER column. I wonder if you know we are coming to hold our annual conference in Phoenix next month?

Check it out at www.aasect.org.

Stephen Conley, PhD, Executive Director, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists

Join us in Glendale/Phoenix, Arizona for the 41st Annual Conference,
“Some Like It Hot: The Cutting Edge in Sex Education, Counseling, Therapy & Medicine!”, May 13 - 17, 2009 Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa For more information, visit www.aasect.org/annualcon.asp

April 14, 2009 - 6:55am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Sex & Relationships

Get Email Updates

Resource Centers

Sex & Relationships Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!