One of the first things a sex therapist will do, besides asking why you are there, is to take a sexual and familial history. They will be looking for things that may contribute to the reason you are there and to get a picture of who you are, where you have come from and what you have experienced. Sexologists come from a biopsychosocial perspective and will look at a variety of things that may be impacting on you sexually.
Issues with sexual or gender identity (LGBTIQ+), relationships (Poly), or lifestyles (Kink, BDSM) may require counselling, education and linking with other like-minded people.
Sexual issues or dysfunctions can have several causes:
- Biological (physical) due to illness, accident, medications or organic causes
- Psychological (mental) due to emotions and thoughts, mental illness and stress
- Social (environmental) relationships, knowledge, experience, culture, faith and other external influences.
They can also fall into several categories:
- Desire (thinking of or wanting to have sex)
- Arousal (erectile dysfunction, arousal disorders)
- Function(orgasm disorders, premature ejaculation)
The sex therapist will explore the issue further by defining it as:
- Lifelong (self explanatory, had it all your life) or acquired (have not always had it)
- Generalised ( in every situation, alone and partnered) or situational (happens in certain situations)
All of this information gathering will take time, some therapists may take several sessions to gather all they need to make a diagnosis and treatment plan while others may have a longer first session.
Treatment may require medical tests to ascertain biological causes, changes in medications, exploring relationships and messages about sex the person has taken on board, levels of sexuality education and sex knowledge, the impact of values and morals as well as the thoughts and emotions the person holds about sex and the issue they are experiencing.
There may be sessions providing sexological education, because lets admit it we probably did not get very much when we were younger, and we often don't know what we don't know.
Sometimes there are take home activities, to do alone or with your partner, these may be about increasing communication, intimacy, or sexual response.
So if you are experiencing any issues with your sexuality linking with a Sexologist might be just what you need to help you resolve what ever is bothering you.