The boundary between sexual counseling and sexual therapy is fluid. Sexual problems, however, do not necessarily require extensive therapy. A few sessions of sexual counseling are often all it takes to alleviate sexual symptoms.
The important thing is a willingness right from the outset to speak openly about sexuality and sexual problems. Talking about sexual problems at all can be a liberating experience, and is often the first step towards change. Apart from discussing a debilitating situation, another focus is on relativizing internalized sexual myths and expectations. Furthermore, sexual counseling clarifies the possible medical causes of sexual dysfunctions. Sexual counseling is solution-oriented, focusing on the desire for change and possible objectives.
Topics of sexual counseling can include:
- sexual problems and dysfunctions in men and women;
- fears, shame and insecurities connected to sexuality;
- strategies for dealing with physical changes;
- illness-related changes in sexuality;
- changes and sexual dysfunctions in old age.
Sexuality is partner-related. It is therefore very useful when both partners come to counseling. There are sometimes good reasons, however, for doing sexual counseling alone. Those who are not in a relationship, whose partner does not support the idea of counseling or who would simply prefer to address certain topics on their own can profit from individual sessions.