A sex therapist uses knowledge of psychology and physiology to provide therapy to people who have concerns about intimacy, sexual feelings and sexual functions. Sex therapy is a form of psychotherapy, according to WebMD. Professionals who provide the treatment are licensed therapists who may have training as social workers, psychologists or physicians. By earning a graduate degree and obtaining certification from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), a qualified professional prepares to offer sex therapy to those who request it.
Understanding the Tools of the Trade
Talking is the tool that a sex therapist uses to assist clients, and the ability to understand personal issues aids in the process. In a quiet setting, a therapist may conduct individual therapy or joint therapy that includes a client’s partner. The process of talking through issues is effective for any adult at any age or sexual preference. Therapists do not touch clients in any way, and no one disrobes or dresses in any way other than normal.
The initial duty of a sex therapist is to establish good communication and trust with a client. Anticipating that clients are likely to feel awkward about expressing feelings regarding sex and intimacy, an experienced therapist knows how to calm fears and establish a relaxed atmosphere. Reluctant clients soon learn to follow a therapist’s lead in identifying sexual concerns.
Gaining Information about Clients
In a trusting relationship, clients are invited to provide information that assists a therapist in developing a course of treatment. Personal history that a sex therapist needs to know includes these:
• a description of the problem and when it started
• status of the condition
• previous treatments and outcomes
• causes of stress
• recent changes in life style
• medical conditions, medicines and supplements
Understanding physiological impacts on a client’s physical well being may lead a therapist to recommend treatment by a medical doctor. Resolving issues that are related to psychological matters are typically within a therapist’s practice area, and the treatment regimen usually requires a number of sessions within a relatively short term.
Learning the Ropes from Experience Therapists
Helping clients deal with personal issues is a taxing occupation, and it requires a great amount of giving. Accepting the trust of a client is an intense experience that lets a therapist draw on years of training that provides the needed skills.
Through the benefit of having years of experience, a sex therapist is prepared to offer trusted advice. By understanding a therapist’s counsel that change is a normal part of life, clients learn that maturity creates differences in sexual needs. A therapist assists clients in accepting change as a natural force.
A therapist’s treatment program often includes emphasizing that intimate relationships are challenging, especially those that are long term. Encouraging clients to place a priority on the importance of maintaining relationships is one of many ways that a sex therapist performs successfully.
Giving More than Receiving
A sex therapist uses training, life experiences and a desire to help others in a profession that allows them to achieve desired goals. A willingness to give more than one receives s a hallmark of a successful sex therapist.