Clarity Counseling Seattle

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Sex and Intimacy Therapy

How can we help you?

Of course you have questions! This is a good thing – questions mean that you are invested in the process. We've collected some commonly asked questions here for you to look through:

Sex and Intimacy Therapy

We completely understand this request. The reason why we're careful not to start someone with one of our therapists without first establishing a weekly or biweekly time slot that works for both you and the therapist is that there are very few openings in our schedules. So if we don't reserve one of those few available time slots for you right now then most likely the weekly or biweekly spot that's available now will be claimed by someone else by the time you've first met with the therapist.

Most times, the people who start with our therapists decide to work with them on an ongoing basis, so we want to avoid a scenario where you get started with a therapist, decide to work with them, but then find that they have no available time slot in their schedule that works with your own. In the past, we've had moments at the end of a first session that go something like this:

Client: "You're great, I can't wait to work with you! Let's get it in the books!"

Therapist: "Wonderful, well I'm excited to work with you too! So the spots I currently have available are every other Tuesday at 2pm and every Thursday at 9am...which would you like?" 

Client"Oh shoot, neither of those work for me."

So we need to first make sure that your availability and the availability of the therapist align, which means deciding on which weekly or biweekly time slot you'll be claiming.

It's worth noting that you're not signing a contract with us, so you can end therapy at any time. We just need to first make sure you have a weekly or biweekly day & time reserved for you before moving forward, which is why our intake coordinator will discuss with you during an initial intake call which time slot you'd like to sign up for, should you wish to continue working with your therapist on an ongoing basis after your initial session.

Given that telehealth is a great option, absolutely! So many of the people we've helped since Covid hit have been in locations that are often hours away from our Seattle office, allowing a great number of clients to receive needed services. Our therapy license does not extend outside of Washington State but it does allow us to help anyone within the state if they are open to using the telehealth approach, which has worked wonderfully for hundreds of couples and individuals over the past few years.

Typically people attend therapy for a number of months. How long you stay in therapy is completely up to you, as you're not signing a contract with us, but usually people find that they need to be in therapy longer than they initially thought they would have. And it's rare that people get what they need from therapy from just a few sessions, so if you do start with us then we encourage you to do so with the understanding that therapy is a process that takes a while.

The therapists in this practice work very hard in sessions to get you in and out of a course of therapy as soon as possible, but for most people it usually takes a while. People and relationships are complex!

What we know about therapy is that it simply can't meet your goals if therapy sessions don't occur at least every 2 weeks, so nearly all therapists everywhere will require that sessions have a frequency of either weekly or every other week to start.

You're very welcome to scale back your frequency later on but we always need to start treatment on a weekly or biweekly basis. People we work with have access to our online calendars, so at some point in therapy some folx decide to give up their weekly or biweekly time slot and instead start using our online calendar to book appointments at a frequency of their choosing.

Sex & Intimacy Therapy in Seattle

Not at all, and in fact many sex-related and intimacy-related issues such as low sex drive, problems bonding with sexual partners outside the bedroom, and so much more, have little to do with being in a partnered relationship. And if you are in a relationship but your partner is unable or unwilling to attend therapy with you, we can still work effectively on sex/intimacy challenges as an individual in therapy.

Man smiling | Seattle WA TherapyMen's Therapy in Seattle, WA

Male-identified individuals enter into counseling for a number of reasons, many of them the same as those that bring female-identified adults into therapy, but the following are issues we often work with men on:

Man sitting at desk writing in notebook | Therapy Seattle WAHere are some steps to ensure that you are getting the most of or your therapy sessions in Seattle, WA:

  1. Take some time after each session to review what was said and to really think about how to incorporate your therapy experience into your day-to-day life outside the therapy office.
  2. The most important work of therapy takes place in between sessions when the therapeutic hour is utilized outside of the therapist's office, so be sure to follow up on any tasks that were established in session.
  3. Be as honest with your therapist as you are willing, as he or she can't help you if you withhold important information.
  4. Trust that when moments in therapy are difficult, or the therapeutic work you do outside of the therapy session is difficult, that this is growth and positive change.

Book your next therapy session at Clarity Counseling Seattle

If you are looking for a new therapist, contact Clarity Counseling Seattle and we can discuss options for you. 

Woman sitting on yoga mat | Seattle WA CounselingThere are a couple of common reasons why the process of therapy can be ineffective or, at a minimum, disappointing. For some, they may not have been truly ready to perform the necessary work of facing up to and working on the real issues at play in their situation, and this resistance stunted the process of creating lasting change.

It is not uncommon for people, though well-intentioned, to seek therapy in hopes of changing those around them rather than working on themselves. Thankfully, it is usually the case that when we change ourselves, those around us change as well. 

Importance of Relationship Between Therapist and Client

For others, the pairing of client and therapist may simply not have been the right match. Though many therapists differ in their specific therapeutic approach, research shows that the single best determinant of success in therapy is the quality of the working relationship between therapist and client. *This applies to both individual and couples therapy.

Female therapist and male patient | Counseling SeattlePsychiatric medications are sometimes used along with talk therapy, usually when people are diagnosed with mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.

Therapy and Medications

It is commonly recommended that talk therapy be incorporated into one's treatment whenever psychiatric medications are being used, as the combination of talk therapy and medications tends to work well together. An antidepressant may lift a person's mood, for example, allowing them to participate more fully in psychotherapy and therefore bring about more lasting change.

We have working relationships with trusted doctors, naturopaths, and nurse practitioners (ARNPs) in the area who can do medication management with clients if medication is appropriate. 

Compass | Therapist Seattle WASex therapy works just like a typical individual or couples therapy session at our Seattle, WA counseling office - the focus is just on sex-related topics and is conducted by a therapist who is highly trained in this area. Clients are helped to talk through and understand the causes of their sex or intimacy challenges, as well as the known solutions to issues such as mismatched sexual desire between partners, low or no sex drive, overactive sex drive, sexless marriages, and more. Homework exercises are often given, as well as educational materials that help to bring the issue to its resolution.

Sex Therapy Governed by the AASECT

Sex therapy treatment is governed by the American Association of Sexual Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Sex Therapy does not ever involve physical instruction or observation of a sex act by the therapist. Sometimes folks have the misperception that there is any type of sexual activity that occurs in the therapy office, which is absolutely untrue. Persons participating in the session will always be clothed and maintain professional boundaries at all times.

Please reach out to us if you have other questions about sex therapy at our Seattle, WA office.

The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) has very stringent requirements for training and experience in the area of sex therapy. Sexual health professionals have rigorous standards for academic preparation, supervised training and consultation, field-related experience and applied skills.

Training for Sex Therapy

Sex therapists read a great deal of academic books, attend many (many!) hours of clinical trainings and workshops in this specialty, do peer consultation, and study under seasoned clinicians who are considered masters in this field. Personally, I (Justin Pere) have studied with and experienced this field through Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers at Seattle Pacific University and Dr. Stella Resnick in Los Angeles, California.

 

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