An Overview of Intimacy Therapy

Author Amanda Caswell
May 6, 2020

Couples seeking a fulfilling sex life is natural and healthy. The frequency at which couples have sex is associated with happiness as physical and emotional intimacy are a natural and essential parts of well-being. Although research shows that married couples have sex approximately 58 times a year, it’s not always the amount of sex that is the underlying problem.  Sexual challenges such as low libido, lack of interest, sexual dysfunction, low confidence, inability to reach orgasm, and other factors can cause rifts in an otherwise happy relationship.  Intimacy therapy, often known as sex therapy, may be helpful to couples hoping to overcome their sexual challenges and improve their sexual satisfaction.

intimacy therapy

What is Intimacy Therapy?

Intimacy therapy is for couples and individuals to openly discuss and explore their feelings. This form of talk therapy is designed to help clients address various types of factors impacting their sexual satisfaction. The licensed therapist will focus on personal, psychological, medical, and other interpersonal issues with couples and individually with each partner. The exploratory process supports the improvement of sexual relationships as couples being to acknowledge their subtle and often ignored or unnoticed emotions. It also provides the opportunity for couples to manage their uncomfortable and strong feelings more effectively.

Despite what Hollywood movies and friends may have you believe, an intimacy therapist will not suggest a threesome to spice things up, force you reveal your past sexual escapades to your spouse, or shame you for your sexual issues. Everyone keeps their clothes on during the sessions and the therapist does not teach sexual positions or show anyone how to have sex. The ultimate goal of intimacy therapy is to support couples to overcome roadblocks in their physical and emotional relationship for a happier relationship and a more pleasurable sex life together.

Who it’s For?

It is common for both men and women to experience sexual dysfunction. In fact, studies show that 31 percent of men and 43 percent of women have experienced some sort of sexual dysfunction throughout their lifetimes. Yet for those experiencing a sexual problem, often the last thing they want to do is talk about it.

If embarrassment or shame is keeping you from seeking professional help, know that sexual health is a vital part of overall physical and emotional well being. Intimacy therapy is intended to get to the bottom of any and all sexual issues and reverse them. Many couples have discovered the enormous benefit of the guidance of a licensed intimacy therapist.

If you are questioning whether intimacy therapy is right for you, start by analyzing the parts of your life most affected by your emotions. If your emotional health and quality of life are significantly impacted by your sexual dysfunction, then it is a good time to see an intimacy therapist. Similarly, if you are having trouble communicating with your partner or feel a lack of intimacy, this serious personal concern necessitates a sex therapist to resolve your needs.

How it Works

Similar to any other type of psychotherapy, intimacy therapy treats one or more conditions by talking through fears, worries, anxieties, feelings, and experiences. Couples work together with the therapist to find coping mechanisms crucial to improving future responses for a healthier and enjoyable sex life.  

The initial session will be either one partner at a time or the couple together. But it is imperative to understand that the therapist is there to guide both individuals through challenges. They are not there to take one partner’s side or to persuade either person. With each session, your intimacy therapist will encourage and nurture the skills you need to better manage and accept the concerns obstructing sexual fulfillment. Intimacy therapy, like all forms of talk therapy, is both supportive and educational. It is meant to encourage change by providing comfort and assurance.  

If your therapist suspects that the dysfunction you or your partner is experience caused by a medical concern, they may suggest you reach out to your physician. Your intimacy therapist and doctor can work together to find signs and symptoms contributing to greater sexual issues.  After each session, you and your partner will likely be given “homework” to do before your next appointment. These assignments are simply opportunities to remember and utilize what you have discussed with your therapist.

Who Provides It

While remaining in the comfort of your own home, you and your partner can see an intimacy therapist. Online therapy is more affordable, discrete, and convenient than traditional intimacy therapy. Based on your schedule, without ever going into a therapist’s office, you can receive the treatment you need from a licensed intimacy therapist. Through phone and video conversations and even text messages, you can receive help 24/7 at home or on the go.

Author Amanda Caswell

Amanda is a wellness writer & enthusiast with over 12 years experience writing in the industry. She has a bachelors degree in Creative Writing from NYU. She is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American School of Nutrition & Personal Training. Amanda is also a celebrity publicist.

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