Sex/Intimacy Therapy in Seattle

Close up of couple holding hands | Counseling Seattle WAHere are some statements we often hear from the individuals and couples we help:

"Sex gradually became less frequent."
"Keeping my erection is hit and miss."
"I
ntercourse hurts after a while."
"We're
best friends, we enjoy each other’s company and communicate well, except around sex."
"Sex
used to be natural and spontaneous but now is laborious, routine, and limited to intercourse."
"
Initiating sex feels like stepping onto a minefield!"
"We don’t seem to connect anymore."
"There’s no more passion."
"
We remember when sex seemed effortless, but now we are bored, disgruntled and disappointed."
"I’m worried it takes too long for her to reach orgasm."

By the time people present for treatment, partners are often frustrated, discouraged, and pessimistic that any treatment can help them, particularly psychotherapy. How can just talking about a sexual or intimacy problem produce results? Often, individuals and couples have tried to solve their sexual issues on their own using information found on the Internet or from books.

Skepticism and fear about therapy helping with sex and intimacy-related issues is completely normal and something we encounter with most individuals or couples of all genders and orientations seeking sex therapy. Feelings of hopelessness are totally natural given the amount of energy you may have already put into improving the situation.

Added to that skepticism is the reality that sex and intimacy are topics loaded with meaning and vulnerability, making them very difficult for most of us to even talk about. Between 35 and 50 percent of people will experience a long-term sexual issue at some point, thus while it may not always be easy to bring up the topic of sexual concerns, they are certainly not uncommon.

A sex therapist is a clinician who has been specially trained to work skillfully and compassionately with individuals and couples of all genders and orientations, without bias. Treatment approaches and methods used in sex therapy are all based on principles, techniques, and research that is governed by the American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Sex Therapy does not ever involve physical instruction or observation of any type of a sex act by the therapist. While this may already be quite obvious, misconceptions about sex therapy abound so please know that any educational materials or homework is completed outside of the session and all persons participating in the session will always be clothed and maintain professional boundaries at all times.

Sex/Intimacy Therapy is conducted just like a typical therapy session. We look at relevant areas of your life, with me helping guide you into talking about your relationship if you are in one, your sexual history, as well as any problems you are experiencing. In a safe, supportive, and professional environment we figure out the true causes of the issue(s) and we help you to understand how to specifically address those issues.

couple touching foreheads | Therapist SeattleSex/Intimacy therapy is for individual men or women within a relationship, men or women not currently in a relationship, and certainly for couples.

Issues commonly addressed in sex therapy include:

  • Optimizing sexual experiences with your partner (from great to optimal!)
  • Low sexual desire in men or women
  • Mismatched desire/libido in a couple
  • Erectile problems
  • Rapid/premature ejaculation
  • Inability to reach orgasm, either currently or throughout your life
  • Recovery from infidelity and the reestablishment of trust and intimacy
  • Out of control sexual behavior
  • Desire to improve communication, satisfaction, and overall sexual intimacy with a partner
  • Questions or confusion about your sexual orientation or expression
  • Blending of spiritual/religious moral beliefs with a healthy expression of sexuality

The identified problem sometimes turns out not to be sexual in nature, instead stemming from other common struggles such as miscommunication, anxiety, depression, chronic illness, or relationship distress. We help with resources, education, exercises, and discussion for the individual or couple and support the process with problem-solving and encouragement.

While treatment is uniquely tailored to the individual or couple with interventions that work on the problem, sex therapy is always based on established science-based approaches that have been helping men and women with sexual issues for many decades.

Questions about sex therapy are common...please let us know if we can clarify anything for you!