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Treatment: Sex Therapy

Sex therapy is often helpful when a sexual problem has a psychological basis rather than a physical cause. The type of therapy used depends on your problem but often involves discussions with a sex therapist.

To overcome particular problems, the therapist may set exercises for you to practise at home, either by yourself or with your partner.

Discussion sessions

Discussing sexual problems with a trained sex therapist or counsellor can often help a couple to analyse and understand their relationship and sexual needs more clearly. It is important that both partners attend the therapy sessions. Each visit lasts about 1 hour, and several sessions may be necessary.

Counselling

Talking with a counsellor can help you to understand your relationship and deal with sexual problems.

Exercises

A sex therapist may assign you exercises to practise at home to improve the way in which you and your partner communicate. Exercises may include techniques such as sensate focus. This technique involves experiencing your partner simply through touch and is helpful for problems stemming from anxiety about performance.

Sensate focus technique

This technique involves discovering pleasure in your own body and that of your partner by means of touch rather than sexual intercourse.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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