Q: What is sex therapy?
A: Like most other forms of psychotherapy, sex therapy is a targeted form of talk therapy. It focuses on education and treatment of sexual concerns. Sex therapy allows you to focus on concerns regarding sexual functioning, intimacy, and feelings. This can include modalities such as individual, couples, or group therapy. Sex therapy has been practiced for centuries, dating back to ancient Greece, Rome, India, and China. William Masters and Virginia Johnson helped bring the topic of sexual health to the table in their landmark research dating back to the 1960's.
Q: I've heard the terms sex counseling and sex therapy. Are they the same?
This is a common question. In fact, many people use the terms sex counseling and sex therapy interchangeably. Both counselors and therapists hold respective licenses to practice in their state of choice. They may help individuals work through difficulties within a wide range of mental health concerns. There are some distinct differences, however. Sex counseling involves working with an individual or couple to identify specific psychological concerns while assisting in a variety of problem solving strategies. An example of this would be learning adaptive communication skills to address a specific problem or concern. This is not to say that communication skills training is solely a counseling issue. In fact, many skilled sex therapists will draw upon communication skills to facilitate healthy sexual relationships. Broadly speaking, sex therapy involves a deeper look into the specific cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral components surrounding a specific psychological or sexual concern. Your therapist will work with you by increasing your psychological awareness as it relates to your social, societal, medical, legal, religious, spiritual, financial, or family-of-origin concerns.
Q: How do I know if sex therapy is right for me?
A: Many individuals and couples experience some form of sexual concern within their lives. It is important to initiate this conversation with your doctor. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to wait. Sexual concerns do not occur exclusively. They can have significant negative impacts on your quality of life, indirectly affecting your work, family, friends, or partnered relationship.
There are times where sex therapy may not be recommended. In these circumstances, Dr. Nederostek will discuss your therapeutic options and work with you to develop a workable solution. Examples of this may include postponing treatment or referral to another provider.
Q: Am I too old for sex therapy?
A: Sex therapy has no upper age limit. Many folks enjoy a healthy sex life well into their 70's, 80's & 90's. Individuals often refine their sexual self at various stages of their life. Those later in life tend to cease sexual activity due to the lack of a willing and able partner. In fact, we never cease to be sexual beings throughout our life.
Q: What can I expect out of my first session?
A: Your first session is considered a diagnostic interview. In addition to reviewing your intake forms, you will also be asked additional questions to better understand the nature of your sexual concern. These questions may involve an indepth examination into your medical/health, relational, spiritual, social, financial, psychological, legal, work/school, and familial history. Sexual difficulties can be considered complex, including interactions among many aspects of your life. It is important to learn more about the reasons you are choosing to participate in sex therapy at this given time.
Q: Will there be any intimate contact during my session?
A: Sex therapy does not involve physical forms of contact, nudity, or other sexual behaviors with your therapist. Your therapist may address a variety of sexual exercises to be practiced in the privacy of your own home. By nature, openly discussing sexual topics can be viewed by some as highly intimate. However, these discussions with your sex therapist are done in a professional manner, engendering warmth, compassion, and respect.
Q: What should I expect to get out of sex therapy?
A: This answer is highly unique to each individual or couple. Your therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific sexual concerns. Establishing treatment goals will be essential to monitoring your progress in sex therapy. You may also find that sex therapy can be very educational. Learning more about how our bodies function sexually is a key element towards your treatment.
Q: How do I know what to look for in choosing a sex therapist?
A: Choosing your therapist is a very important decision. Knowing what to look for can help make this process less daunting. Your first step is to ask questions. What type of education did this individual receive? What is this therapist's theoretical orientation? Is my therapist AASECT-certified? With regards to the later, AASECT stands for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. It is considered the gold standard for those practicing sex therapy. Dr. Nederostek has been proud to hold AASECT-Certification as a Sex Therapist since 2013. Please click here to review this AASECT standard.
Ultimately, not every therapist will be a good fit for you. It is important to ask these and many other questions to your therapist to determine if this is an individual with whom you would feel comfortable.
Q: I find myself fantasizing throughout the day. Is there anything wrong with me?
A: Fantasy is a very natural occurring and healthy event. Many people fantasize about fancier vehicles, exquisite homes, vacation spots, and even sex. This can include sexual activity with your partner, an idealized individual, or even yourself. Fantasies are unique in that we all have the ability to fantasize. Sharing fantasies with your partner can not only be stimulating but can also create a heightened sense of emotional intimacy.
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