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Why should I consider sex therapy?

Jan L. Shifren, MD
Reproductive Endocrinology
Sexual problems are nearly always intertwined with psychological and relationship issues. As a result, treating the physical problem (if one is present) is only half the job. If sexual issues persist for any length of time, performance anxiety, anger, frustration, low self-esteem, lack of physical affection between you and your partner, and a sense of hopelessness can further harm your sex life. So can a tendency to blame yourself or your partner for the problem. Most people need help repairing the emotional distance created by the problem before they can regain a healthy sexual relationship.

Licensed sex therapists are particularly well suited to this task. Although they're qualified to understand the same broad emotional issues as individual or couples therapists, sex therapists have advanced training in addressing specific sexual problems, and they use a more targeted approach. Initially, underlying personal dilemmas and relationship conflicts are addressed mainly in the context of your sexual problems. As a result, sex therapy will probably return you to sexual functioning sooner than traditional counseling. However, as the sexual issue is being resolved, many people choose to continue working with the sex therapist to tackle deeper personal and relationship issues.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.