Why a sex therapist, over other therapy?
Sex therapy addresses our most personal and important expressions and connections. Training specific to these intimate issues is a field of study distinct and separate from that of counselling psychology.
Sex therapists undergo rigorous preparation for accepting without judgment all forms of sexual expression. It is this bias-free, sex positive attitude that sets sex therapists apart and makes them ideally suited to navigate the shame and guilt-ridden issues of sexuality.
Our society waffles between titillation and fear of sex. We don’t talk about sex, at least not in a constructive and informed manner. A sex therapist’s office is a place where you can ask the questions you’ve wondered about, and know that you’ll receive accurate and current information in answer.
Think you’re different from most ‘normal’ folks? A sex therapist welcomes you, too, and will likely put your fears to rest as you come to understand the rather universal idea that everyone else knows something we don’t, and that that idea is flawed.
We all have ‘stuff’ about sex. Sex therapy is a place where you can unpack, and repack, that stuff so that you enjoy happier and healthier expression.
Is sex therapy covered by my insurance plan?
Sometimes. I am reimbursable by some, but not all, extended health care plans as a Registered Clinical Counsellor or as a clinical psychotherapist. You'll need to check with your individual plan regarding coverage. I will send you a professional receipt (that does not mention sex therapy) for you to supply to your carrier.
How will sex therapy benefit me?
Sex therapy will offer you:
Straight-forward discussion addressing your questions or concerns about any aspect of your sexuality
Compassionate mindful support to heal distress and untangle internal conflicts about your sexuality
Help with compulsive or dishonest behaviors, and support to express your sexuality confidently.
Tools to uncover and understand your specific desires and skills to learn how to negotiate with a partner for what you do and do not want.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Sex therapy will help you with those problems and issues that you have trouble solving by yourself. If you are distressed by an aspect of your sexuality or your relationship that does not respond to self help methods, seeking help from someone non-judgmental, informed, and enthusiastic about good sexual health is the sensible route to take.
Though talking to our friends or reading issue-focused books may prove sufficient to sort out uncomplicated situations, we often find that sexuality, and our hesitation to talk openly about it, can require a level of expertise surpassed by talking or reading. Sex therapy provides you with a forum where you can express anything (really!) in full confidence, and trust that you’ll receive accurate, current and practical guidance regarding how to deal with your circumstances.
If what you’ve been doing is not bringing you relief, consider contacting me for some sensible sex therapy.
My goal as a sex therapist is to help you accept your particular brand of sexual excitement and to explore options regarding how best to weave those preferences into the fabric of your life. Regardless of whether you are single or in relationship, my primary focus is to support you in feeling good about yourself and your sexuality.
What is included in an evaluation?
The first time we meet face-to-face, we will have already shared our initial phone call, and you will have sent me the answers to your first visit homework questions. I will have already reviewed those and prepared appropriate resources for our session.
Each person brings different issues to therapy, and I work with whatever you bring me. I will add to this knowledge a sex history, problem assessment, and evaluation of what has and has not helped you in the past.
By the end of the first session, you will have a solid idea of what to expect going forward, what is problematic and what is not, how to address the thorny aspects of your issues, and be motivated by the personal goals we establish.
You will decide how often you want to meet, and who you might want to include in the process. If you want me to communicate with anyone else, such as your health care provider or perhaps another counsellor or therapist, I will have you sign a Consent for Release of Confidential Information so that can begin.
We will discuss any financial concerns you may have, and I will provide you with a receipt. We’ll schedule our next appointment and discuss any questions you have about your homework for our next session. read more
What is a first or typical session like?
A number of clients have shared with me their reactions to their initial sex therapy visit. It might be instructive to those of you considering therapy to hear what they had to say.
A man in his mid-fifties told me that the pre-session homework I ask of everyone had been enormously helpful. This involves answering two simple questions: “What are the problems?” and “What would need to happen for you to know the problems have been resolved?” He explained how this exercise had focused him, even before our first meeting, on the precise nature of his troubles and on his goals. He added that the questions reminded him that this appointment was dedicated solely to talking about him, which he had been avoiding for ages. This brought up mixed feelings of trepidation and relief.
Another new client, a woman in her thirties, disillusioned by the disconnection between the myth of happily-ever-after and the reality of maintaining a real-life relationship, shared her relief that she had found a place where she could admit her fears and doubts to someone who would not judge her. Though her friends offered a comfortable place to vent and share good times, they could not give her a neutral and confidential ear. She also appreciated learning accurate information about her body and its sexual functioning.
Then there was the couple who had grown so estranged that visiting me marked their last attempt to save their marriage. I noticed that they did not touch or even make eye contact. They were still emotionally connected and got along well, but it had been a long time since they had experienced any intimacy. I asked them if they would do exercises at home. They admitted they had not like the idea—felt it was juvenile and pointless—but they agreed. Their willingness to risk feeling awkward and vulnerable with each other signalled their willingness to change the character of their relationship.
Sometimes people come in just because they need a safe place to talk about something. It can be difficult to find someone non-judgmental and uninvolved, especially regarding sex. Clients generally tell me they feel a bit anxious when they first arrive, but that it doesn’t last long.
Other times clients need accurate information and want help in determining how that information best applies to their lives. Often that can be sorted out in a session or two. Still, it can feel a bit humbling to admit we don’t know something about sex. We all want to be knowledgeable about something that’s supposed to “come naturally.” I try to make the learning fun and relaxed.
Still other times clients come in who feel quite hopeless about their sexual situation. They arrive bursting with questions and emotions. I can hardly give them information and support fast enough and I watch their anxiety dissolve as the session progresses. Their body language and even their breathing change over the course of the visit. I hear phrases like “I never thought of it that way before” and “I wish I’d come in ages ago.”
Few people have contacted a sex therapist before. I’m used to that. I appreciate the trust put in me as folks stretch their boundaries to learn more about their sexuality and relationships. I hope this peek into what initial sessions can be like helps you to feel comfortable in approaching the process of sex therapy with anticipation. It can be an exciting adventure. After all, the potential reward is great sex for the rest of your life!