What is Sex Therapy?
“Sex Therapy is a subspecialty of psychotherapy, focusing on the specific concerns related to human sexuality,” according to the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Sex therapy is basically a specialty field of psychotherapy or “talk therapy” that focuses on addressing specific sexual concerns or sexual dysfunction. Sex therapists have acquired knowledge about sexual functioning and are trained to help people deal with sexual problems. The goal of sex therapy is to treat sexual problems affecting both individuals and couples so you can achieve a healthy and satisfying sex life.
Is Sex Therapy right for me?
If you have questions or concerns about the sexual aspects of your life or in your relationship; you can benefit from sex therapy. People seek sex therapy for many reasons. Usually concerns are related to either an emotional or physical aspect of a sexual issue, or many times both. Sometimes clients just want to know what is “normal” and get reassurance that their issues can be worked through. Generally, talking about sex and sexual issues can be difficult, embarrassing or shameful. We help bridge an environment of safety and trust so you can begin to work through your concerns.
Why choose a sex therapist over another therapist?
Sex therapists have training and experience to help you work through your sexual concerns and issues. Most therapists- even therapists who work with couples- report feeling uncomfortable talking about sex with their clients and therefore avoid addressing sexual issues. Sex therapists take couples one step further by focusing on the physical relationship.
What is a Certified Sex Therapist?
A certified sex therapist is a master’s level, licensed professional who has specialized training in the field of sex and sexuality. Seeking help from a sex therapist for sexual issues is much like going to a medical specialist, such as a Cardiologist, for heart issues. Sex therapists are trained to provide comprehensive assessments, diagnosis, education and treatment to both couples and individual for all their sexual concern. The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is a governing organization that provides certification to therapists. AASECT credentials sexual health professionals onTHE BASIS OF rigorous standards for ethical and academic preparation, supervised training and consultation, in addition to clinical experience.
What Happens in Sex Therapy?
The process of Sex Therapy is similar to any other psychotherapy process. The therapist will meet with you individually, or as a couple, in an office setting. We begin by asking you about the history of your current sexual concerns; physical, emotional and psychological; and what we can help you with. We will explore what you’ve tried, what is working, not working, and what you would like to change. With couples, we usually begin by working together, then after a few sessions we may meet with each partner individually as well. Together we come up with treatment goals tailored to meet your specific needs.
Once we have clearly stated goals, we begin to work toward making healthy, positive change. We will spend time understanding your feelings and ideas about sex. Your therapist will educate you on your specific issues and options for change. This educational process may occur through reading materials, watching educational audio-visual material, discussion in therapy or attending suggested workshops. With permission, we may also communicate with other health professional such as physicians or counselors involved with your care. Often therapy assignments, or “homework” will be recommended by your therapist to be practiced individually or as a couple in the privacy of one’s home between sessions. The homework can be as general as communication exercises or as specific as actual sexual experiences, depending your progress in therapy and level of comfort.
It is important to note that sex therapy never involves nudity, physical or sexual activity of any kind in our office, or contact outside of the office. You will never be asked to video-tape or take pictures of any sexual acts, or discuss any part of your sex life that you are not prepared or comfortable discussing. You can be assured that all interactions taking place in the therapist’s office will be respectful and appropriate.
If I’m in a relationship, should my partner come to therapy?
It really depends on what your seeking help for. Every situation is unique. If the issues you’re struggling with affect both partners, couples usually attend sex therapy together. We will want to glean information from both partners and understand each side’s perspective. The therapist may recommend that you both come in for the first session in order to decide the best course of action. Sometimes individuals come in alone for the first session to work on a specific issue before involving their partner or spouse. Again each situation is different and your therapist can help guide the process.
If my partner does not to attend therapy, can you help us?
Yes, therapy can still help. Through sex therapy, you can explore your sexuality and work on your sexual concerns 1:1 with the therapist. With new understanding and insight change can happen, even if your partner is not present in therapy. Sometimes the changes seen will influence the unwilling partner to join in.
Do I need to be in a relationship to attend sex therapy?
Absolutely not! Getting help for your sexual issues is not dependent on whether you are in a relationship. In fact, there are some sexual issues that can be more effectively treated through individual therapy.
How long will it take to resolve my sexual problems in therapy?
There is no one size fits all here; there are many factors to consider in sex therapy. Most people come for weekly session initially, then wean off as we begin to work on the therapy goals. However, it is difficult to predict the length of time it will take to meet your goals. Once we discuss your specific concerns, we will talk about treatment and together design a plan to meet your therapy needs and goals.
Is medication a substitute for sex therapy?
Typically medication is not a substitute for therapy. There are some medications to help people with their sexual functioning. However if the sexual issue is emotional or psychological, medications can be less effective. Also, for some sexual issues there are no medications available. Some research shows that sex therapy alone, or in combination with medications, is the best course of treatment. We will collaborate with your medical provider to make sure you are receiving the most effective treatments available.
Does a sex therapist also provide marriage or couples counseling?
Yes, our therapists are trained in marriage and family therapy. We look at the entirety of the couple relationship. Many times problems in the relationship cause disruptions and difficulties in the sex life. Sexual issues are usually not isolated events, therefore it is necessary to treat the whole couple.
Can I use my insurance for sex therapy sessions?
Yes, in most cases we accept health insurance for your sex therapy sessions. One important consideration is that to submit a claim to your insurance, we need to make a clinical diagnosis. For privacy reasons, some people do not want a sexual health diagnosis on their records. If you have concerns or questions about insurance coverage, please talk with your therapist to get further clarity.
Call us at
MNCCC is open and accepting new clients. We are still seeing clients in-office; however in light of the COVID-19 situation we also offer online video/tele-therapy sessions. We have a HIPAA compliant tele-therapy platform in place and have been offering online therapy as part of our regular practice for over a year. We will help guide you through the process and assist you in getting set up for online sessions.
To register online click the button below; or contact our office for registration assistance.
Londonderry Office Park
5780 Lincoln Drive #250
Edina, MN 55436
7835 Main Street N. #220
Maple Grove, MN 55369