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What is sex therapy?

Sex therapy is psychotherapy, or talk therapy, focused on helping an individual or a couple address their sexual concerns. Sex therapy is often most effective when combined with couple therapy, as sexual concerns are often relational in nature. However, individual sex therapy can still be highly effective for many sexual concerns. Sometimes, sexual concerns may be all that you are looking to address during your time in treatment, but oftentimes, it is only one aspect of why you are seeking help. Psychotherapists must first obtain a master's degree where they learn to treat a broad range of general issues, such as depression, anxiety and trauma, before they go on to develop specialized knowledge in treating sexual and relational issues. Becoming a Certified Sex Therapist with the Board of Examiners in Sex Therapy and Counselling in Ontario is a rigorous process involving additional training, supervision and examination. In sex therapy, you may expect to:


  • Feel comfortable openly talking about your sexual concerns

  • Feel respected, heard and understood

  • Be free of judgement

  • Collaboratively determine the best course of treatment with your therapist, which may sometimes involve EMDR, CBT, couple therapy, communication training or mindfulness techniques, to name a few.

  • Have your therapist ask direct questions about your sexual thoughts, feelings, behaviours and sexual history for the purpose of helping you to address your concerns

  • Answer as much as you feel comfortable

  • Be assigned behavioural homework, sometimes on your own and sometimes with your partner(s)

  • Have your therapist may recommend couple therapy whenever appropriate

  • Sometimes have your therapist recommend that you speak with a physician to rule out physical causes for the sexual concern(s) in question

  • Some have your therapist recommend pelvic floor physiotherapy as a complement to or alternative for sex therapy.

  • Get accurate information about your body and sexuality that is embedded within a sex-positive framework

  • Feel more comfortable with your sexuality

What concerns can i/we hope to address?

  • Enhancing sexual intimacy

  • Opening up

  • Low sexual desire

  • Desire discrepancies

  • Navigating kinks & fetishes

  • Performance anxiety

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Premature ejaculation

  • Delayed ejaculation or orgasm

  • Anorgasmia (difficulty with orgasm)

  • Fertility-related concerns

  • Sexual shame/negativity 

  • Sexually-related fears and phobias

  • Sexual assertiveness & communication

  • Self-acceptance

  • Women's sexuality

  • Men's sexuality

  • Lack of sexual knowledge

  • Body image

  • Embracing pleasure

We recommend that you start with weekly or bi-weekly 50-minute sessions (1-4 sessions) to complete the sexual history assessment, assess the nature of the problem and determine whether you may need a physical assessment by a physician or pelvic floor physiotherapist. When you have behavioural homework assigned, we recommend booking an appointment that leaves you with enough time to complete the homework between sessions. If you are experiencing sexual pain, we recommend that you cease the sexual activities associated with the pain, and book an appointment with a physician in conjunction to starting sex therapy. 

How often should I/we attend?

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