Sex therapy or sexual health counselling is a professional service offered by a qualified therapist experienced to deal with issues relating to sexuality and sexual functioning. Sex therapy can assist you in understanding the issues and help you achieve your goals. Therapy may include homework for you to complete between sessions as part of the process in reaching your desired outcome.
Sexology is the scientific study of human sexuality. Sexology also includes human sexual interests, sexual development, sexual relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, behaviours and functions.
Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence (1).
The working definition of sexuality is:
“A central aspect of being human throughout life encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, practices, roles and relationships. While sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed. Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors”.
We see a doctor when we are sick, an optometrist to have our eyes checked or a dentist for our teeth so it makes sense to see a sex therapist when we are having issues relating specifically to our sexual health. Our sexual health is just as important as our general health and wellbeing. Sex therapy is for all ages, genders, sexual orientation, religion and cultural backgrounds. Some of the reasons a person might see a sex therapist can include sexual abuse or trauma, difficulty reaching orgasm, erection or ejaculation issues, infidelity, mismatched libido, low desire, changes in sexual functioning due to ageing, education or sexual concerns as a result of illness or surgery.
Some of the reasons people see a sex therapist include but not exclusive too:
- Couples with sexual intimacy issues.
- Individuals distressed from a sexual transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis.
- Individuals confused/distressed about their sexual identity.
- People who are dissatisfied with their sexual functioning.
- Couples wanting to work on their communication skills and education about sexuality.
A sexual history is taken and an assessment is made of the presenting problem. The therapist works with the client/s on a treatment plan tailored to the client/s needs and goals. As well as work through the emotional factors that may be contributing to the issues, clients may be required to do homework in the privacy of their home to help re-learn sexual techniques and behaviours. Resources may also be provided or recommended as part of the therapy.
All information provided by the client during a session is confidential, unless there was concern that someone is at risk of serious harm. If this was the case there would be a discussion with the client about the concerns and the process that is required to be taken.
Heidi is member of Australian Society of Sex Educators (SASS) and abide by their Codes of Ethics and principles of good practice.
You do not need a referral.
Heidi is not eligible to offer Medicare rebates. You need to check with your private health fund as to whether you are entitled to any rebates. When speaking to your health fund ask about counselling services.
Sex therapy does not involve any physical contact or sexual activity. Sex therapy is a professional service providing support, counselling and education for adolescents, couples or singles who are experiencing issues or distress relating to their sexual health. World Health Organisation