Sex therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy that helps individuals understand and enhance their relationship with sex and pleasure. Building on the principles of traditional talk therapy, it covers a broad spectrum of sexual topics. Individuals learn to understand their sexual desires and become more confident in communicating with their partners.
While some find individual sessions more beneficial, others opt for couples sex therapy. Despite 90% of healthcare professionals recognizing the significance of addressing sexuality in healthcare, people are often hesitant to address it.
This article delves into the benefits of online sex therapy, outlining what to expect during therapy sessions and how it can enhance both your relationships and personal health.
Table of Contents
How Does Sex Therapy Work?
While sex therapists utilize various techniques, a prevalent foundation for many therapists is the PLISSIT model, which consists of four steps. These steps begin with general information gathering and progressively narrow down to specific interventions tailored to the patient’s needs:
- Permission: Many sexual issues stem from anxiety, guilt, or inhibitions. Thus, a therapist can often address your distress by using their professional authority to validate and seek permission to talk about the concerns.
- Limited Information: Often, giving patients correct information about their bodies can improve their sexual function. Many have wrong ideas about how their body works, causing false expectations. At this stage, therapists provide patients with accurate anatomical and physiological knowledge.
- Specific Suggestions: This step introduces practical exercises tailored to every client’s needs and history. Many of the exercises in this category involve sensate focus. This video elaborates on the effectiveness of these exercises:
- Intensive Therapy: This final step often involves addressing complex root causes, which may necessitate long-term intervention. In some cases, referral to another specialist for more targeted issues might be required.
Is Online Sex Therapy Right for You?
Sex therapy tackles various sexual challenges affecting individuals and relationships. Here are some signs that you might benefit from seeing a sex therapist:
Individuals facing sexual dysfunction should look into sex therapy. This covers a range of persistent issues related to sex, including:
- Erectile disorder
- Delayed ejaculation
- Premature ejaculation
- Low libido
- Female orgasmic disorder
- Genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder
- Substance/medication-induced sexual dysfunction
A study indicates that sexual trauma can profoundly impact sexual functioning. Such trauma can lead to various sexual challenges, including:
- Difficulty achieving orgasm
- A fear of physical touch.
To address these challenges, sex therapists evaluate the patient’s medical history and any related incidents they describe. From this comprehensive assessment, therapists can diagnose the issue and develop a tailored treatment plan.
Why Choose Online Sex Therapy?
A study from The Knowledge Centre for the Health Services highlighted that sexological interventions have positive effects on sexual health. Online sex therapy’s rise in popularity is primarily due to its ease of connecting with trained therapists, offering the same level of support as in-person sessions. Some reasons people opt for online sex therapy include:
1. Enhanced Convenience and Accessibility
Unlike traditional methods, online sex therapy offers enhanced convenience and accessibility. For many, the familiar surroundings of their own space can facilitate deeper introspection and a sense of safety compared to an external office setting.
Accessing therapy from home not only offers privacy but also boosts comfort, making a long-term commitment to therapy more likely.
2. Reduced Fears and Anxiety
Many individuals worry about satisfying their partners in intimate situations. Online sex therapy is beneficial in addressing these fears privately. Therapists employ various methods to help individuals overcome insecurities and enhance their sexual experiences. Moreover, they always foster an online environment of empathy, security, and trust to address any concerns.
3. Collaborative Approach
Online sex therapy is a joint effort between you and your therapist. After understanding your history and experiences, the therapist will provide insights, suggest alternate viewpoints, and pose thought-provoking questions.
They might occasionally challenge your thoughts or actions, suggesting new methods when progress seems halted. Rather than directing you, therapists act as supportive companions on your therapeutic journey.
4. Helps Overcome The Stigma
Online sex therapy provides a safe and private platform to address sexual and intimacy concerns. Engaging online ensures you’re working with a trained therapist who values your concerns. This approach lets you seek guidance in a judgment-free environment, ensuring privacy and confidentiality.
Tips for Choosing The Right Sex Therapist
A key predictor of successful sex therapy is the relationship between you and the therapist. Here are a few things you should do when looking for online sex therapists:
- Search Through Online Directories: If you’re looking for online sex therapy, don’t hesitate to ask your potential therapists about their experience and certifications. Some online directories can prove to be good resources for this:
- The American Association of Sex Counselors Educators and Therapists (AASECT)
- American College of Sexologists
- Look For a Connection: Online sex therapy covers delicate subjects like sex addiction. It’s essential to choose a therapist whose communication style matches your comfort level and with whom you can forge a connection.
- Assess Your Therapist: Many online sex therapists provide introductory sessions. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet with the therapist, discuss your concerns, and ask any questions.
- Get Reviews: Consider seeking sex therapist recommendations from family, friends, or even your primary care physician. Trusted individuals in your life can often provide valuable insights based on their experiences. Moreover, healthcare professionals typically have a network of therapists they can recommend for specific needs.
Preparing For Your First Online Sex Therapy Session
Before your initial session, it’s beneficial to discuss certain topics with both your partner and the therapist. This ensures that during your sessions, you can concentrate on addressing the core issues rather than administrative details. Beginning this journey might feel daunting, but several steps can help you prepare, such as:
1. Go With The Right Expectations
Discussing sex might feel uneasy. However, since communication is central to psychotherapy, active participation is essential. With commitment and realistic expectations, you can witness positive shifts over time. Your therapist might inquire about:
- Health and sexual contexts
- Sex education
- Sexual beliefs
- Any sexual expectations
2. Talk About Treatment Plan
Talk to your therapist about a tentative treatment plan. Typically, whether as couples, groups, or individuals, 6-8 sessions of sex therapy are undertaken to achieve a specific goal. Although the duration can vary, it comes down to the unique needs of the individual or couple.
3. Reflect and Make Notes
Preparing some notes in advance is highly effective. You can jot down your objectives and concerns and communicate them to your therapist. Ponder your relationship with your sexuality, your body, past sexual experiences, and your pleasure. If you feel anxious during your first session can you utilize some relaxation techniques like:
- Deep Breathing
- Emotional regulation