What is sex therapy?

Sex therapy is a way of helping people with sexual problems. Humans are complex and sex is not simply about how someone’s body functions sexually. Instead, it is inextricably linked with our emotions, our mental health and how we feel about our relationship, if we are in one.

Sex therapy addresses both the physiological and psychological aspects of sexual dysfunction. For example, as well as looking at physical health conditions and medication that can affect sexual functioning, a sex therapist supports a client or couple to explore communication difficulties, conflicts and unmet needs in a relationship.

A sex therapist can see individuals or couples, providing a safe and confidential space to listen carefully as the client describes their sexual problems. There is a thorough assessment to see whether these are caused by psychological or physical factors – or both – and a treatment plan is then developed.

Sex therapy often has quite a behavioural approach and the goals of therapy are clear, which means session are tend to be quite focused with a clear treatment plan. This is slightly different from more general therapy that allows the client to explore issues in an open ended and less structured way.