Have you ever wondered what a sex therapist can help with? Surprisingly, a lot of things! But first—what is a sex therapist? Sex therapists are qualified mental health professionals who have received additional training in sexual concerns.
And before you assume that sex therapists are only for dire situations, a sex therapist can positively impact most people’s sexual wellness.
Do any of these sound like you?
- You’re tired of feeling too stressed out to enjoy sex
- Your sexual desire has been waning, and you’re worried for your relationship
- You’ve been wanting to try something new, but feel too embarrassed to tell your partner
These are all common concerns we experience at some point in our lives. And all are issues sex therapists help people overcome.
In fact, sex therapists can help improve your love life—even in ways you may not have considered.
Are you wondering if sex therapy can help you? Here are seven unexpected ways a sex therapist can help you and your relationships thrive.
1. Fill in Any Knowledge Gaps and Unpack Misconceptions
Just because sex is a common part of the human experience, doesn’t mean it’s easily understood. There’s a reason sex therapists get specialized training. No doubt—sex is complicated, and everyone’s experience is unique. Not everyone gets the same kind of sexual health education or grows up in a sex positive environment. Did you grow up being told that sexual pleasure is wrong? Or did you learn that the only “right” way to have sex was intercourse that leads to an orgasm?
A sex therapist is a sexual and mental health expert. This means they can:
- Help you unpack the misinformation and misconceptions around sex
- Answer any questions you have about anatomy, pleasure and sexual health
- Point you towards readings to fill those gaps of knowledge
You’ll learn things you just were never exposed to before. With the compassionate guidance of an expert, you have the opportunity to make powerful self insights.
2. Boost Your Confidence and Self-Esteem
One of the biggest benefits you’ll experience as a result of sex therapy is a major boost to your confidence. Sexuality is a core part of our lives. And when things aren’t going too well, you know how easy it is to feel bad about yourself.
Maybe over the years, you’ve lost touch with your identity as a sexual being. Maybe you feel ashamed and uncertain about your sexual interests. A key part of sex therapy includes assigned tasks from your therapist. These are done outside of the therapy sessions by yourself or with a partner.
These (fun!) homework assignments can include:
- Exploring touch with or without a partner
- Engaging in play
- Practicing communication skills
- Reading educational materials
These tasks require you to come face to face with things that may challenge you. But what you’re doing is learning and practicing new skills. And your therapist is there cheering you on. The more you practice the skills, the better you get. The better you get, the more confident you feel in your own abilities!
When you work with a therapist, you see yourself grow.
You’ll feel less shame, and greater self-compassion. Less uncertainty, and greater confidence.
3. Learn Mindfulness Techniques to Enhance Pleasure and Presence
Mindfulness is a powerful tool that your sex therapist can help you cultivate.
We’re often overworked and stressed from our daily lives. The stress we carry with us makes it impossible to enjoy ourselves when we’re having sex. Or worse—the stress prevents you from wanting sex in the first place.
A sex therapist can show you how to better focus your attention and manage that stress.
Sexual mindfulness can help improve your sexual wellbeing, enhance your relationship, and even boost your self esteem1.
You’ll learn to focus on your pleasure and how to let go of expectations. Expectations not only take you out of the moment, they can cause unnecessary anxiety and pressure.
A therapist can also show you how to use mindfulness techniques in your daily life. When you’re stressed out and distracted, making an intimate connection with your partner seems impossible.
Your therapist will help you break down those barriers to connection and pleasure. You’ll learn to manage your stress and feel more present with your partner—making meaningful connections possible.
4. Keep The Good Times Rolling
It’s true, most people don’t end up in therapy until they realize there’s a problem.
But therapy doesn’t always have to be about the negative.
A sex therapist can help you and your partner talk through things that are already working and even help you explore new interests. If you’re interested in diving into kink or BDSM, a therapist can help guide those conversations.
They can also clue you in on what to expect over time as your relationship grows. Change is inevitable, and eventually challenges come up during long term relationships.
Most commonly, sexual desire shifts— often decreasing over time2. Additionally, couples often encounter differences in sexual desire. A sex therapist can guide you on what to expect in your sex life through different points in your lives and relationships.
Thus, seeing a therapist when things are going well can help protect against future issues.
Going to therapy before you’re in a crisis is not as strange as it sounds. You go to your medical doctor for regular check ups on your physical health. Your mental health should be no different.
5. Help You Get the Medical Care You Need
Have you been dismissed time after time by doctors who don’t believe your sexual pain is real?
It’s a common story. Unfortunately, medical doctors often don’t have training in sexual pain disorders.
When you have sexual pain, or an illness that impacts your ability have pleasurable sex, the last thing you want to hear is “it’s just in your head.”
Rest assured, our sex therapists have the specialized training to properly diagnose your sexual issues.
Common conditions include:
- Vulvar vestibulitis
- Pelvic floor hypertonus
A sex therapist always gets to the root of your sexual concerns, and sometimes that involves medical issues. With experienced training, sex therapists are your partner in getting you the right diagnosis and working with your other medical providers to get the treatment you need.
Your therapist can help you come up with a plan to support both your psychological and physical wellbeing.
6. Facilitating Self Discovery
Sex therapy is not just for couples. Single people can benefit from seeing a sex therapist too!
Sexuality is a large part of our lives and depending on our past and the experiences we’ve had, we may be carrying shameful beliefs, anxieties, and trauma.
When we aren’t given a safe space to explore our sexual needs and identities, we aren’t able to become our best sexual selves.
Seeing a sex therapist when you’re single means investing in yourself. You’re committing to being the person you want to be. And you’ll be ready to be the partner you’d want to have.
Sometimes, individual mental health issues pop up after you’re in a relationship. And you might be worried that the relationship is in trouble, when in fact you have your own inner problems to address.
Maybe you have shame around your sexuality, and whenever your partner initiates sex you become highly anxious. That may have been less of an issue for you when you were single, but comes up now that you have a partner who craves frequent sexual intimacy.
A sex therapist helps you work through your individual struggles so you feel like your best sexual self, at any stage in life.
7. Feel Empowered as Your Own Self-Advocate
It can be hard to express your needs, especially when it comes to something so personal and stigmatized as sexual pleasure. But you deserve to experience the joy of sex.
Pleasure and intimacy are major things in life that bring us joy and fulfillment. A sex therapist will help you communicate your needs with your partner, and give you the tools to become an advocate for your needs.
Talking to your partner about your sexual desires and concerns can be scary, especially when you don’t know how they’ll react. Your therapist is your guide to building those communication skills.
Instead of worrying about fighting, you gain the skills to talk to your partner. Instead of fearing challenging conversations, you become open to them. You gain the confidence to advocate for your boundaries, needs, and desires.
You feel empowered to know what’s best for you.
Should You See a Sex Therapist? Yes!
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, you deserve to be your best sexual self. You don’t have to figure it out alone either.
Our therapists have specialized training in both couples and sex therapy, so you can be confident you’re in good hands.
You deserve a fulfilling sex life.
Are you ready to discover how a sex therapist can help you? Contact us today. We’re ready to answer all your questions.