Sexual therapy is a framework for dealing with sexual issues in a holistic way, usually during a number of sessions. The procedure is basically no different than the one used in sexual counseling. It begins with a conversation to understand the sexual symptom and set a therapeutic objective. In subsequent sessions we work towards this objective with the help of systemic interventions. The procedure is solution-oriented and attempts to broaden the narrow perspective that often accompanies sexual problems. The main focus is to activate resources for developing potential alternatives and hence a new understanding of sexuality.
If a sexual issue is based on a partner conflict, it is helpful if both partners agree to participate in sexual therapy. Individual therapy is recommended for those who are not in a relationship or if one of the partners refuses couples therapy.
Sexual therapy often revolves around
- sexual problems and dysfunctions (pleasure, arousal and orgasm disorders, pain and vaginismus);
- partnership conflicts;
- breach of trust, e.g., in the form of affairs, contact with prostitutes, consumption of pornography, and hidden homosexual or heterosexual relationships;
- unfulfilled desires, fantasies, and sexual preferences that are not acted out;
- conflicts regarding sexual orientation.
Therapeutic assistance for non-heterosexual women and men in the process of coming out is aimed at providing a safe space for exploring, establishing and affirming one’s sexual orientation. Never is it about trying to change it!