We all have sexual baggage. Because our culture has a love-hate relationship with all things sexual, people get mixed messages about what is right and wrong, good or bad, when it comes to sex. This causes considerable conflict and shame. Shame keeps people silent. You would be surprised how many couples have never had a conversation about sex! Ever.
They’ve never shared their sexual fantasies, sexual preferences, and sexual expectations. They never give feedback or ask for what they want. On rare occasions, they’ve never seen each other naked with the lights on. They pretend. They lie. They avoid. They fake. They go through the motions. But they never dare speak honestly about sex.
If you are one of the lucky ones who is comfortable with your sexuality, this may seem hard to believe. If you and your partner can rattle off each others’ sexual fantasies and know exactly what drives each other crazy—good for you! You don’t need me. But many couples don’t share your good fortune. They need assistance to discuss sexual material. They are at a loss.
So what really happens in sex therapy? Well, for starters, you should know that sex is not part of sex therapy. Sex therapy is a legitimate form of traditional psychotherapy (talk therapy) with a focus on sexual feelings, attitudes, behaviors, and education. I use a client’s sexual and developmental history as a backdrop to interpret current sexual function, expectations, and satisfaction.
Professional sex therapy never requires the removal of clothing or touching between therapist and client. Provocative material may be discussed; and intimate topics may be explored, but professional therapy never includes any sexual contact.
Many people find the idea of discussing their most intimate sexual feelings with a complete stranger to be intimidating. Especially if sex was taboo in their family of origin. The single-most rewarding piece of feedback I receive year after year is how comfortable (and liberating) it is to talk about sex with me. I have developed my own clinical model to help clients feel comfortable discussing sexual material. I call my model the Comfort-Inducing Sexual Dialogue (CISD). Please see my about page on www.KimberlyResnickAnderson.com.
Sex Therapy at Clinical Concepts in Sexual Health provides couples and individuals the rare opportunity to:
- Explore your unique sexuality and the role it plays in your life
- Make connections between your sexual development, family history, and your sexual values
- Understand what shaped your sexual script and how flexible (or inflexible) it is
- Explore the messages you internalized about sex from peers, parents, religion, and the media
- Understand what turns you on (and why)
- Overcome sexual shame (this one is a “toughie”)
- “Make peace” with your sexuality (regardless of your erotic script)
- Learn to embrace and celebrate your sexuality
- Explore how non-sexual dynamics affect your sex drive
- Learn to communicate openly about your sexual fantasies, preferences, and expectations
- Honor your sexuality in a way that feels comfortable to you and others
- Receive appropriate referrals for medical and psychiatric consultations when indicated (I partner with psychiatrists, OB/GYNs, Urologists, Endocrinologists, Oncologists, and Cardiologists as necessary)
- Receive evidence-based interventions
- Identify themes and patterns from your past that are affecting your current relationships and sexual function
- Honor the legacy of your “sexual story”
Intense, huh? Yes, this work is extremely powerful – but well worth it! So how do you know if you are a good candidate for sex therapy? It is simple – If you have conflict or questions regarding any aspect of your sexuality (plus motivation to grow and curiosity to understand yourself better), then you are a good candidate for sex therapy/and or coaching.