February 10, 2024

What does a sex therapist do?

a therapist hands on top of a notebook



  • What is sex therapy?
  • The role of a sex therapist.
  • Common concerns addressed in sex therapy.
  • Approaches used in sex therapy.
  • A sex therapists approach to diversity. 
  • Finding a sex therapist.

Sexual health is an important part of both individual and relational well-being. At the same time, many people face challenges that impact their sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction. If you have been considering getting help from a sex therapist but are unsure what to expect, this article will help you have a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of a sex therapist and how a sex therapist can address your needs.

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What is sex therapy?

Sex therapy is a specialized branch of therapy dedicated to addressing sexual issues and sexuality concerns. In both individual an couple counseling, it provides a safe and supportive space to explore sexual challenges, learn healthier ways to get sexual need met, and enhance their overall sexual well-being and satisfaction.

Sexual therapy is not just for extreme sexual dysfunction; it can help anyone looking to improve their sex life. Whether you’re dealing with performance anxiety, relationship issues, or simply need adult sex education, a sex therapist can help.

The role of a sex therapist. 

A sex therapist helps clients navigate their sexual concerns. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Creating a safe and non-judgmental space: A sex therapist creates an safe and judgment free environment where you can openly discuss your sexual concerns. Trust and confidentiality are foundational aspects of a therapy relationship. 
  2. Assessing and diagnosing sexual issues: To make sure they are providing helpful feedback, a sex therapist will gather information through a comprehensive sexual history interview, so that they can identify the root causes of your concerns. Understanding any possible underlying issues is the first step toward finding solutions.
  3. Developing a treatment plan: Based on your unique needs and goals, a sex therapist will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. This plan may include various therapeutic approaches tailored to address your specific concerns.

Common concerns addresses in sex therapy. 

Sex therapists address a wide range of sexual issues; here are some of the common concerns addressed in sex therapy:

  • Erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Lack of desire or sexual aversion
  • Painful intercourse
  • Relationship issues affecting sexual satisfaction
  • Recovering from sexual trauma or infidelity 

Sex therapists have the expertise to help individuals and couples overcome these challenges and achieve healthier, more satisfying sex lives.

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Approaches used in sex therapy. 

The field of sexual therapy is continually evolving. To provide the best care, sex therapists engage in ongoing education and professional development, staying up-to-date with the latest research and advancements in the field. Currently, some of the most common approaches used by sex therapists to address sexuality concerns include:

  • Communication skills to improve understanding and intimacy
  • Sensate focus and mindfulness exercises to enhance physical and emotional connection
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy to change negative beliefs around sex
  • Adult sex education to provide information and guidance
  • Homework assignments to practice and reinforce therapeutic strategies

A sex therapists approach to diversity. 

Sometimes people are worried to talk to therapists abut sex because they aren’t sure whether they will be judged. It’s important to note that sex therapists are trained to work with diverse populations, including LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, individuals with disabilities, survivors of sexual trauma, older adults, and people from different cultural backgrounds. Sex therapists prioritize cultural sensitivity and inclusivity, ensuring that everyone receives the care they need and deserve

Finding a sex therapist.

If you’re considering seeing a sex therapist, it’s essential to find the right professional for your needs. Here are some tips:

​Your sexual health and well-being are essential aspects of your overall quality of life and relationship health. If you’re facing sexual concerns, seeking help from a sex therapist can help you have the sex life you desire. Sex therapists are dedicated to providing a safe, non-judgmental space to address your unique concerns and enhance your sexual satisfaction. Remember, you don’t have to face these issues alone, and finding the right sex therapist can make a significant difference in your life. Prioritize your sexual well-being and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you!

Looking to start Sex Therapy?

Elizabeth Polinsky Counseling provides online sex therapy to individuals and coupes looking to improve their sex lives throughout the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. Click the button below to schedule a complimentary consult. 

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.


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