ssues with sex and intimacy can affect your mental health, your sense of self, and your relationships. Although sex is generally a private topic, you don’t have to go through these challenges alone. Sex therapy can help you better understand yourself and connect more closely with your partner.
The Beverly Hills Therapy Group provides individual and couples sex therapy. Our goal is to help you work through any personal or relational challenges that are getting in the way of you feeling sexually free and fulfilled.
What Is Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is a form of mental health counseling that addresses your sexuality, your sexual desire, and your sexual relationships with others. Sexuality is an inherent part of the human experience, and any form of dysfunction can affect your mental and emotional health. The goal of sex therapy is to address your issues with sex and intimacy and promote healthy, happy sexual relationships.
Who Can Benefit From Seeing a Sex Therapist?
Anyone who feels confused, unsatisfied, or distressed about their sex life can go to sex therapy. You don’t need to meet certain criteria or face a specific challenge to benefit from this form of counseling.
Here Are Some of the Most Common Reasons That People Attend Sex Therapy
You feel like you and your partner aren’t connecting like you used to.
Intimacy is a core component of most romantic relationships, but unfortunately, some couples grow distant over time. As the passion of a new relationship starts to settle down, you might feel like you and your partner just don’t connect as strongly as you once did. Maybe you’re not having sex as frequently as you used to, or maybe you feel like sex is becoming a chore instead of an intimate shared experience.
Arousal and desire discrepancies can create tension and conflict in your relationship. One partner might feel rejected, and the other may feel unheard or invalidated. Sex therapy provides an opportunity for you and your partner to explore the issue in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. Your therapist will ensure that both of you get a chance to express your thoughts and that both partners truly listen to each other.
Sex therapy also offers a chance for couples to discuss different sexual experiences. One partner might be interested in exploring kinks, fetishes, or other novel experiences, but this can be a difficult conversation to bring up. Your sex therapist can help you and your partner discuss your sexual interests and make a plan for how to explore while ensuring both partners feel safe and supported.
Trust issues can play a major role in loss of sexual connection, too. Sex is a personal, intimate experience, and lack of trust or feelings of jealousy can stop you from fully embracing your partner in the moment. Sex therapy is a great way to acknowledge and work through insecurities or trust issues in your relationship.
You’ve never made your own sexuality or pleasure a priority.
Both partners need to feel satisfied in a healthy sexual relationship. If you’ve never made your own sexual pleasure a priority, you may feel a profound lack of fulfillment from intimacy. Whether you attend alone or with a partner, sex therapy can be an excellent opportunity to understand your own sexuality. You can explore what you enjoy, what you look for in a partner, and how you communicate your sexual wants and needs to another person. By fully understanding yourself sexually, you can find more satisfaction in your sexual relationships.
You can also receive a variety of sex education resources in sex therapy. A widespread lack of proper sex education has resulted in many adults not knowing how to have safe sex, not fully understanding the importance of consent, and not being familiar with their own anatomy. Sex therapy can provide you with vital information so that you can explore sexual experiences safely and confidently.
Sex therapy also addresses sexual anxiety, sexual repression, and conflicting values about your sexuality. You might want to enjoy sex without feeling shameful or guilty, but it’s difficult to let go of those emotions if you were taught that sex is wrong or taboo. If you feel insecure about your body or anxious about being intimate with another person, you can work through those concerns in sex therapy as well.
You’re exploring your sexual identity.
Sexuality and gender are incredibly complicated topics. Some people know exactly where they lie on the spectrum of sexuality, and others are far less sure of their identity. If you’re struggling with your sexuality, working through it with a sex therapist can be extremely valuable. Understanding and accepting your sexuality is a vulnerable experience, and you need to feel supported by someone who will accept you no matter what.
Sex therapy can help you explore and identify your sexuality, but it can also help you process the complex emotions that can arise as you work on accepting your identity. This can be especially important if you don’t feel supported by your friends or family. LGBT individuals who aren’t supported by their families and communities can face serious mental or emotional health risks, but checking in with a therapist can be helpful.
You’re trying to heal from past sexual trauma.
Sexual trauma leaves an emotional wound that will never fully heal. Working with a mental health counselor is a critical step toward overcoming trauma and achieving a sense of peace despite the painful events you went through.
Some survivors attend sex therapy if they feel that their trauma is interfering with their intimate life. Sex therapy can be an opportunity to process your trauma, develop healthy coping skills, and put protective measures in place so that you feel safe and secure in your current relationship.
What to Expect
Individuals and couples are often nervous to attend sex therapy because the topic so private. It’s normal to feel somewhat anxious or hesitant for your first therapy session, but your counselor’s goal is to help you feel safe. It’s important to work with a therapist you feel comfortable around so that you can speak openly about your thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
Like in other forms of mental health counseling, your therapist will help you identify your concerns, process negative emotions or beliefs, and make a plan to work toward your goals. In couples sex therapy, your counselor will help to promote open and honest communication between yourself and your partner. Sometimes, sex therapists assign their clients homework, which may involve practicing your communication skills, improving your sexual education, or experimenting sexually with your partner.
The Beverly Hills Therapy Group provides sex therapy for individuals and couples who want to rediscover their connection, explore their sexuality, or find more fulfillment and satisfaction in their sex lives. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with a sex therapist.