Sometimes relationships reach a place where it seems impossible to iron out issues together as a couple. What once was a happy, mostly smooth-running dynamic, becomes full of disagreements and a sex life that is far from perfect. This is when couples can benefit from the guidance of a relationship and psychosexual therapist.
How can relationship and psychosexual therapy help?
Relationship therapy, couples counseling or marital therapy is a branch of therapy that deals with the issues that arise in relationships and how to resolve them. These can include anything from infidelity, lack of communication to sexual issues.
Issues of a more physical nature, regarding sex and sexuality, however, can often best be managed using psychosexual therapy. With this type of therapy, therapists have a greater understanding of the physical issues relating to sex, as well as the psychological issues.
What issues does psychosexual therapy cover?
Psychosexual therapy covers a wide range of issues. These include premature ejaculation, loss of libido, pain on intercourse (Dyspareunia), sex addiction, erectile difficulties, problems experiencing orgasms, pain in sexual areas (Vulvudynia), fetish issues, lack of enjoyment of sex and improving sexual and body confidence.
How are relationship and sexual issues treated?
Medication can be used for some sexual problems such as Viagra for erectile dysfunction but this is usually recommended in conjunction with psychotherapy to address any psychological issues. Estrogen is also commonly used for women with sexual problems relating to hormones. Sometimes treating other underlying issues which may be affecting relationships, such as depression with an anti-depressant might be appropriate too.
Counseling & Therapy.
Psychosexual therapy treats the causes as well as the symptoms. Couples have the opportunity to explore why a problem may have arisen and, where appropriate, will be given a specific treatment programme to help overcome the difficulties faced. Some sexual problems are purely physical, perhaps resulting from a disability, illness or medication side-effect. Others are purely psychological, originating in negative childhood messages or sexual trauma for example. Of course relationship issues can also cause sexual problems. The majority of problems have a combination of physical and psychological elements.
Usually a couple will work together with a counselor on an individual basis and group intervention if required used as an additional treatment. In group therapy individuals or couples bring their relationship or sexual problems to a setting where they can safely discuss their issues and be heard by others in similar situations. The programme usually combines psycho-educational, psychotherapeutic and experiential principles that will provide the basis for a lifetime of comfortable communication. Above all else, the group dynamic is meant to be a safe place in which you may explore your beliefs and attitudes.