What type of sex therapy do you think you need?
While often unfairly percieved as a sex service, sexual therapy covers many areas of human experience. These include psychological aspects, relational skills, vulnerability practice and of course sexual expression and communication.
While more and more individuals and couples are looking to improve their intimate and sexual life, it’s common to be confused as to what professional is the most suitable for your needs. In this blog we will introduce the different types of professionals whose offerings can enrich and deepen your bedroom time.
There are two main approaches to sexual healing:
Relationship issues, for which the couple will reach out to a psychologist or psychotherapist; or sexual issues, for which they will seek out sexual therapy.
Therapists in both of these fields would often refer their clients to work with other specialists. Psychotherapist might not be competent to help with specific sexual dysfunctions and physical sexual trama symptoms, while sex therapist might not be trained to work with childhood traumas. Yet, both specialists would be able to offer insight into your particular difficulty and be able to direct you in the right way.
It is most important to recognise the root of the problem and address it.
Sexual counselling or sexual psychetherapy
Sexual counselling or sexual psychetherapy treats sexual dysfunction, intimacy and emotional issues. The client speaks with a mental health professional, who is looking into behavioral patterns, childhood traumas, relational imprints and shadows.
This type of therapy can give powerful insights into certain behaviors, being drawn to or attracting certain partners and situations, and using sexuality as coping or avoidance mechanisms. Getting an objective view of yourself and your relationship can then inspire you to take practical steps and change old habits.
Sex Coaching involves an experiential approach to treating sexuality and intimacy-related difficulties by practically obtaining new skills.
A sex coach will guide you through practical steps and supervise you to help your brain create new pathways. Coaching sessions might involve physical touch (such as holding hands or hugging), homework and exercises to practice and assimilate new bodily experiences. Coaching is a guiding practice to build new experiences. It is the opposite of counseling or therapy. The main focus is on deconstructing unhealthy patterns to prepare space for new ones.
Somatic Sex Therapy
Somatic sex therapy helps regulate and support the nervous system in moments of overwhelm and confusion, and can be most helpful in moments of crisis.
Somatic sex therapy works with physical body sensations to create a sense of safety within the body. It's the most appropriate starting point for people who have PTSD, or experience physiological symptoms during intimate and sexual encounters. It’s also helpful for people who don't feel much pleasure during sex.
Working with a somatic therapist is essential for those who want to increase their capacity to feel pleasure during sex and orgasm.
Tantric Bodywork or Tantric massage
Also Known as Yoni Massage / Lingam Massage, in Tantric massage therapy the practitioner uses massage techniques to manipulate the client’s physical body (including genitals), as well as energetic bodies. The practitioner finds pathways to enhance the sexual experience and to introduce new ways of feeling sexual energy by having a direct, felt sense experience.
Tantric massage is recommended for someone who has seen or actively seeing a psychotherapist and/or somatic therapist. The practice can help to “unpack” their experience and support the integration of the body/mind process.
Tantric bodywork targets and successfully helps to acquire new somatic know-how and create a positive memory. In a way, it offers faster results than coaching yet the results may not be as long-lasting, if the practice is not repeated either with a practitioner or independently.
It’s worthy to keep in mind that Tantric bodywork due to its direct work with the nervous system is prone to suddenly activate negative past memories and traumas (sexual, emotional). To avoid possible re-traumatisation as a result of the treatment, choose a practitioner who has trauma resolution skills.
Sexual surrogate therapy is a complex practice, that offers a blend of sexual coaching, somatic therapy, tantric massage and relational therapy. The practitioner helps the client in building a healthy relationship with their sexuality and the ability to create a healthy relationship with others. Sexual education, coaching, sexual practices and relationship skills are all all part of working with a sexual surrogate.
A sexual surrogate creates a container where the client can try and practice being in a healthy sexual relationship. Such a therapist works in tandem with a psychotherapist to offer complete support to a client. Sessions might include full sexual engagement, if appropriate, and have a very clearly defined timeframe.
How to Decide which Sexual Healing Practice is Right for You?
Each type of practice has its focus and may offer different benefits. Someone who’s feeling shy about sexuality might prefer starting from talking therapy and moving towards a more hands-on approach. Those feeling more comfortable and adventurous with their sexuality may choose a more practical method (coaching or tantric massage) but might need to look into sexual counselling if encountering the same obstacles regularly.
Where to Start with Sexual Healing
The first step is to recognise the root of your particular struggle. However, you don’t have to do it on your own. In fact, in many cases, because of different mental patterns and traumas - you may not be able to see all sides of the problem you’re experiencing.
An initial session with any of the above practitioners can be helpful in pinpointing the best direction to approach your issue. Seeking professional help might be the fastest and most effective way to bring ease, joy, connection and love in your relationship and bedroom.
Welcome to book an intro call with Julia to learn what type f therapy would benefit you the most.
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