Sex therapy can help you get on track and reclaim your sexual identity and sexual journey, whether alone or with a partner(s). It can also enhance your current sexual functioning and guide you into the next stage of your sexual development.
Sex therapy is a sex-positive therapeutic approach that addresses sex, sexuality, gender, and intimacy issues and aims to construct healthy sexual identities and relationships for clients at the SHAW Center for Healing in Austin, Texas.
What is Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is a type of therapy conducted by a Licensed Mental Health Professional with additional training and certification as a sex therapist that uses established models of therapy and behavioral interventions to facilitate change around sex, sexuality, gender, and intimacy. Sex therapy often looks very similar to regular mental health therapy except it has a sexual health, sexuality, sexual behavior, gender, and intimacy focus. Sex therapy focuses on improving the entire person, not just their sexuality, but pays special and qualified attention to issues of sex, sexuality, gender issues, and intimacy.
Do I/We Need Sex Therapy?
We believe that everyone needs sex therapy! Sex and sexuality is one of the only things in our development that we are expected from our culture to just know how to do, be “good” at, and feel good about, with little or no training, education, knowledge, or experience. And when you add attachment issues, addiction, trauma, or any other issues, often times our sexual journey can get distorted, damaged, derailed, or delayed.
Sex therapy can help you get on track and reclaim your sexual identity and sexual journey, whether alone or with a partner(s). It can also enhance your current sexual functioning and guide you into the next stage of your sexual development. Sex therapy can help stable couples regain or create a healthy and satisfying sexual relationship. It is our belief that everyone can benefit from sex therapy.
What kind of issues or concerns does Sex Therapy address?
Sex therapy works to address a variety of issues including the following:
What is NOT Sex Therapy?
It isn’t always clear to the average consumer what sex therapy is and is not. Sex therapy is therapy that focuses on sexuality, gender, and intimacy issues. Sex therapy is not a hands on experience, meaning, a sex therapist does not have sex with their clients, does not observe any type of sexual interactions with their clients, and does not interact with their clients in a sexual way. Sometimes sex therapy gets confused with sex work, which many of our clients struggle with within the context of their out-of-control sexual behavior and/or sex addiction. Sex therapy is not sex work, sexual surrogacy, surrogate partner therapy, somatic bodywork, etc. - it is mental health therapy with a sexuality, gender, and intimacy focus.
How can Sex Therapy help me?
Sex therapy is a sex positive approach to sexuality, meaning, we have an attitude that believes that all consensual sexual activities are fundamentally healthy and pleasurable and we encourage sexual pleasure and experimentation. Sometimes attachment issues, emotional and affect dysregulation, trauma, addiction, and other issues can distort and damage our views of consent, what is healthy, pleasure, and experimentation. Sex therapy aims to help tease out all those issues and work towards a level of self-acceptance within ones own sexual identity.
Sex therapy can help resolve sexual dysfunctions or perceived sexual vulnerabilities. If in recovery, sex therapy can help you establish healthy sexuality either after or concurrently during a period of recovery and sobriety. Sex therapy can help a stable couple build or rebuild a sexual identity that is positive and satisfying.
Readiness is always a factor in sex therapy. While there is no time like the present, often times it is important that other factors are attended to before starting or while doing a course of sex therapy. Your sex therapist will help you assess and evaluate what those factors are and how to go about treating them in order to get the maximum benefit from your course of therapy. For example, a high conflict couple that has not stabilized in couples therapy would likely not benefit from a course of sex therapy without attending to relationship issues first. Likewise, a newly sober sex addict might just be living one day at a time and it might not be the right time to address healthy sexuality while trying to maintain just the basic level of sobriety.
How can Sex Therapy Compliment Sex Addiction Treatment?
Sex addiction and out-of-control sexual behavior usually have co-occurring sexual functioning concerns- the interesting part is sometimes it is the “chicken or the egg” phenomena- sex addiction can contribute to a new or existing sexual functioning or sexuality concern or could also be a causal factor in the development of out-of-control sexual behavior. Regardless of how they interact, we have found that they do, and sex therapy is often an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Additionally, sex addiction has notorious affected not only the addicts’ sexual functioning and sexuality but also the partner(s) of the addict. Sex therapy can help to restore and/or create healthy sexual functioning in partners and relationships that have been affected by sex addiction.
Recovery and sobriety do a great job at helping people stop destructive sexual behaviors, but often times another layer is needed to help create healthy sexual behaviors and a healthy sexual identity. Sex therapy is that next step in your recovery.
Begin your journey today toward emotional, physical, spiritual intelligence, & erotic intelligence.
The S.H.A.W. Program
Sexual Health and Wellness Program
Groups, Workshops, & Intensive Retreats
Expert Assessment & Testing