Challenges in Intimate Sexual Relationships
Intimate relationships are inherently important to us as individuals.  The quality of this intimacy varies within
relationships and across time.   The very nature of this intimacy makes it difficult to discuss for some.  
However, all of us deserve to have happy and healthy intimate relationships. When problems interfere and
reduce the potential for intimacy, quality of life is affected.

Sexual problems can be categorized into five main areas.  These are:  

- Sexual desire – having a low or unmatched sex drive.
Sexual aversion – being fearful and avoidant of sexual relations.
Arousal disorders – getting or maintaining an erection for males or arousal (lubrication) problems for
Orgasmic disorders – premature or delayed ejaculation or difficulty reaching orgasm.
Pain disorders – pain with penetration or contact such as vaginismus (inability to relax the muscles
surrounding the vaginal opening) or dyspareunia (painful intercourse).

In addition, sexual compulsion, fetishism, concerns over sexual orientation, or problems resulting after sexual
abuse are examples of other concerns individuals may experience which can affect their ability to have a
happy and healthy intimate sexual relationship.  

What is Sex Therapy?
Sex Therapy is a scientifically based treatment approach.  It is relatively brief and has a specific focus of
alleviating specific concerns.  

Sex therapy, because of its intimate nature, usually involves partners.  However, a partner is not required for
some procedures to be effective.

Sometimes there are “homework” assignments that are to be completed by the couple in the privacy of their
own home.  These assignments speed up the therapeutic process and provide information about both the
nature of the problem and issues that are inherent in the relationship.  

However, sex therapy is not just for those with dysfunctions.  It can help  navigate non-normative sexual

What causes Sexual Dysfunctions?
Sexual dysfunctions are caused by a delicate interaction between biology, social factors, and personal
factors.  These factors affect the quality of relationships and in turn are affected by qualities of the
relationship.  Based on this interaction, treatment oftentimes involves working with other medical
professionals to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Who goes to a Sex Therapist?
Individuals and couples seek sex therapy when relationships are affected by sexual issues.  Sometimes sexual
problems can affect a relationship and sometimes problems within the relationship can create sexual
problems.  Either way, both are affected and quality of life is reduced.

What to expect in Sex Therapy
Issues brought up in therapy will be confidential!!  However, there are some legal exceptions to this
confidentiality such as preventing harm to someone or when legally directed by a court of law.  If you use
third party payment or insurance your records and treatment plan will be available to them as well.   

You can expect to talk about very personal issues in a very explicit and frank manner.  This level of
discussion is in itself very intimate.  For some, this level of explicitness can be uncomfortable until trust and
safety are established.  This is one of the first issues to be brought up.  You may not have ever discussed
personal issues with anyone in this manner before.  

You can expect to be treated with respect in a non-judgmental way.  You may expect to be challenged and
confronted by important issues.  Education surrounding sexual behaviors and attitudes may be a component
of treatment.

You may expect that a physical examination by your doctor may be required to identify any
physiological/medical issues.  

Overt sexual activities will never be conducted in the therapy office.  Sexual contact with therapists is
considered unethical and will never take place even after therapy has ended.  

You can expect that sex therapy is based on the assumption that sex is a positive and vital component of
healthy intimate relationships.  

Paying for Services
Each practitioner establishes his or her own payment plan.  Each practitioner individual applies and is
individually accepted into insurance plan and network providers lists.  Additionally, each healthcare/insurance
plan carries it own criteria for what is covered and what reimbursement specifics it will accept.  For
instance, some plans require you to first pay a deductible.  Some plans do not cover couples' therapy or
family therapy.  Many plans do not cover treatment sexual dysfunctions without having a "medically
necessary" criteria.  Some plans require you to utilize Employee Assistance Services (EAP) before authorizing
(approving) services.

We recommend that you contact your insurance/health care for your healthcare particulars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Challenges in Intimate
Sexual Relationships - Sexual
Sexual desire
Sexual aversion
Arousal disorders
Orgasmic disorder\s
Pain disorders

What is Sex Therapy?

What causes Sexual

Who goes to a Sex Therapist?

What to expect in Sex Therapy
Paying for Services
10 Tips to Improve
Your Sex Life

Toll Free

Toll Free