Find a Sex Therapist

by Harley Therapy
Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

Struggle with getting close to someone? Feel like you are not interested in sex?

Couples don’t necessarily just naturally have a great sex life. Instead, sexual incompatibility and other intimacy issues can place a great deal of stress on a relationship. Speaking to a qualified therapist can help resolve these issues and improve the health of the relationship.

What is a Sex Therapist?

Before you start your search, it’s important to understand what a sex therapist is and what they do.

A sex therapist is a professional trained to help couples or individuals have a healthy, satisfying sex life. They provide a safe, comfortable space for couples to talk about their issues. The therapist will usually ask guiding questions, moderate communication, recommend specific exercises and more.

Sex therapists are similar to couples’ therapists, but there are a few key differences. Both types of therapists help couples understand and resolve conflicts in their relationships. However, while a relationship therapist focuses on a broad range of emotional issues, a sex therapist typically focuses only on sex-related problems.

The first session with the sex therapist will likely be an evaluation. The therapist will ask each individual what challenges they’re facing in the relationship and what outcome they hope to achieve.

The five steps to finding a sex therapist

Determine Your Goals

The first step to finding a sex therapist doesn’t directly involve the therapist. Instead, you’ll need to determine your specific goals for therapy. What are the current problems in your relationship? What ultimate outcome do you hope to achieve? The clearer you’re able to articulate your ideas and goals, the more effectively the therapist will be able to help you.

Don’t worry if you’re not exactly sure what your goals are. During the first session, the therapist can help you clarify your needs. Goals will usually be pretty specific and concrete.

Undergo a Medical Exam

You’ll want to visit a medical professional either before you visit the therapist or shortly after your first session. Many sexual problems are physical in nature rather than psychological. A medical exam can help determine the exact cause of a variety of sexual problems including erectile dysfunction, pain during sex and other issues.

Start with a visit to your general practitioner. If necessary, they might refer you to a specialist. Keep in mind that even if the cause of the problem is physical, you’ll likely still want to seek out a sex therapist. They’ll be able to help you develop strategies related to the medical issues. That’s why seeking out a proper diagnosis is so important – it provides valuable information for the therapist to work with.

Seek Recommendations

Generally, people have no issue asking their friends for recommendations when seeking out a variety of professionals. Need home repairs? Ask a friend about the contractor they recently hired. Have a dental need? Ask a friend if they have a dentist they like.

However, asking for a recommendation for sex therapist can be much more complicated. Most people are reluctant to discuss intimate relationship issues with a friend. Doing so can feel embarrassing and awkward. Fortunately, other options are available. Many doctors who specialize in sex-related medical issues will know a variety of qualified sex therapists they’re able to recommend. Your insurance provider can also be a good source of recommendations.

Harley Therapy's Guarantee

If you don't feel satisfied with your child's first session for any reason, we'll offer you a session with an alternative therapist at our expense.

Questions to ask during your first therapy session for sexual issues

By nature, sex therapy is intimate and personal. Finding a therapist you’re comfortable with will have a dramatic impact on the success of the therapy. During the initial meeting, you’ll want to ask a few questions about the therapist’s background and treatment methods. Topics you’ll want to discuss include:

  • The therapist’s educational background
  • Any memberships they have in professional organizations
  • Their experience treating issues similar to yours

Keep in mind each therapist will have a slightly different approach to therapy. You’ll want to ask about the specific techniques the therapy will involve.

Make sure you also understand the time commitment required. How often will you need to see the therapist? What time commitment is required outside of the therapy sessions? Is there an estimated time when you can expect to see results?

Sex therapy is used to treat a specific problem. In many cases, results can occur rather quickly. The clearer your goal is, the faster results will typically occur. While each individual is different, you should expect to see significant progress after eight to 10 sessions. Otherwise, you might want to get a second opinion from a different therapist.

How do you know if you need a sex therapist?

Sexual issues can be both physical and mental in nature. Sex involves a variety of complicated physical processes such as achieving an erection and proper vaginal lubrication. Additionally, emotions such as stress, anxiety, and depression can negatively impact a person’s sex life.

Additionally, many sexual issues can be caused by past traumas and abuse. Molestation and other inappropriate actions in childhood can have effects that last well into adulthood. While a traditional therapist can certainly help deal with these issues in general, a sex therapist is the best option for improving your current sex life.

Common sexual health issues handled by a sex therapist include:

  • Painful penetration
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Performance anxiety
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Vaginismus

While these are all physical issues, the therapist can help will a variety of emotional issues, too. Performance anxiety, gender identity, sexual incompatibility, orgasm difficulties, and other non-physical areas you are experiencing issues with are also common reasons to visit a sex therapist.

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How to find a sex therapist:

A qualified, professional therapist will work with you to examine your thoughts and behaviours and improve how you feel. You will build a relationship based on trust, giving you the confidence to share your feelings and emotions with them. Your counsellor will listen to all that you have to share with empathy and openness.

An experienced therapist or counsellor like those listed on the Harley Therapy platform can help you to manage your symptoms and find your own way forward.

Filter our qualified, professional and vetted therapists by cost, location, availability and approach so you can find and book the best therapist or counsellor for you here.

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