Home Gesundheit Die Geheimnisse der Sexualtherapie

Die Geheimnisse der Sexualtherapie

von NFI Redaktion

Janice, 41, was unsatisfied with her husband Pat, 42. After several years of struggling to maintain an erection, Janice started to blame herself and lost confidence in her sexual appeal. She began to doubt the value of her marriage and decided to seek counseling from a sexual therapist.

Following her initial sessions with certified sexologist and sex educator Megan Andelloux, based in Rhode Island, Janice found the courage to ask Pat to see a doctor to rule out any underlying health issues. It turned out he had weight problems affecting blood flow, leading to erectile dysfunction. On Andelloux’s recommendation, the couple began to explore intimacy beyond just relying on erections, while Pat worked on losing weight and improving his overall health. For Janice and Pat, it was a fresh start. For Andelloux, it was just another day at the office.

Many couples start addressing relationship issues in traditional therapy settings with marriage counselors or therapists, says Andelloux. Sometimes, these professionals may lack expertise in issues related to sexuality, making a referral to a sexual therapist necessary.

While trained therapists, such as those with a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW), receive several hours of sexual training as part of their overall education, accredited sexual therapists build upon existing knowledge in social work, medicine, psychology, etc., or specific graduate work in sexuality.

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the central governing and accreditation body in this field, requires 90 hours of college-level coursework plus supervised clinical hours.

What happens in the offices of certified sexual educators, counselors, and therapists revolves around conversations, much like any other form of therapy and counseling. „We are not allowed to touch our clients and wouldn’t consider it,“ says Andelloux. „Sex does not take place in the practice of a sexual therapist.“

Her office is a place where clients struggling with any kind of sexual issues can feel completely safe and open in discussing and working through those issues. „It could be two people with differing desires,“ she says. „We see everything from couples dealing with aging and changes in sexual function, to women struggling with rape trauma in their sexual lives, to men worrying about the content of their fantasies and feeling ashamed. The range is vast.“

As a sexual educator, Andelloux’s work focuses on extensive conversations about sex and sexuality, including a common technique in traditional therapist practices: homework. For couples experiencing intimacy issues (a common problem), Andelloux may prescribe something called specific touch. „I might suggest touching your partner for ten minutes daily without it leading to sex,“ she says.

For Janice and Pat, the homework continues. „They are still together,“ says Andelloux. „He has lost weight and gained confidence, and they are working on both their sex life and their marriage.“

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