If you’re like most people raised and educated in the U.S., chances are you received very little “education” when it came to sexual health. Sure, there was probably a cursory unit in health class or biology spent on basic sexual anatomy, reproduction, and safe sex, and perhaps you even got the “birds and the bees” talk from a family member. But how open was the topic of sex in your school or family environment? Does the idea of having a conversation about sex make you cringe and turn bright red? Or are you down for that conversation any time, any place?
Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy that addresses common issues affecting sexual health and intimacy. Sex therapy is appropriate for anyone who wants to have a healthy and satisfying sex life, which, let’s face it, includes most of us.
At Simi Psychological Group, our qualified psychotherapists in Thousand Oaks will help you understand and overcome any problems you may be experiencing between the sheets. And we won’t shy away from the conversation. Why? Because it matters.
Keep reading to learn why therapists should incorporate sex therapy in counseling, and why we are your one-stop shop for sex therapy in Simi Valley!
Sexuality and the Self
“But I’m not even coming to therapy because of sex. Why talk about it?” It might not seem like a significant issue, and if your sex life is everything you want it to be, that’s awesome. However, it is still quite important that your therapist asks you about it.
The sexual self impacts self-image, confidence, and self-acceptance, and as such plays a key role in overall physical and emotional well-being. Sexual identity, sexuality, gender identity, and sexual orientation are part of the human journey.
Your sexual self and sexual experiences are part of your story. Good and bad, joyful or traumatic, exciting or boring…or all of the above.
As trusted professionals in sex therapy in Simi Valley, our therapists and psychologists will help you explore your sexuality in the therapy office, and offer a range of services to help you do so.
Sex and Intimacy
It’s been said that humans are sexual beings, and you’ve probably heard plenty about “sex drive”– otherwise known as libido, one’s enthusiasm and interest in sexual contact. Do human beings need sex? No. You won’t wither away and die without it (though there may be days it might feel that way). But our biologically driven libido does serve a purpose beyond the continuation of the species.
While human beings don’t require sex to survive, we DO have a psychological need for connection. Sexual intimacy is one way of meeting that human need for connection. A healthy and fulfilling sex life has a positive impact on well-being.
And the reverse is also true.
The lack of a healthy and fulfilling sex life affects emotional well-being in a multitude of ways. It’s quite common for people to find themselves struggling with sexual function or sexual health at one point or another in their lives. When that happens, sex therapy with a qualified mental health professional can help get you back up on that horse, so to speak.
Sex and Marriage
Married or unmarried, if you are in a committed relationship, sex matters. Sex is one of the most important ways to connect with and feel close to your partner. And science backs that up.
During sexual intimacy, those wonderful hormones called endorphins are released, which not only provide pleasure but enhance the bonding experience.
Oxytocin is one of those powerful hormones, and is often referred to as the “cuddle hormone” because of its connection to feelings of love, attachment, and emotional intimacy.
When sexual problems exist in the relationship, it is both painful and often difficult to acknowledge or talk about. But sex is one of the most common areas of contention and dissatisfaction among relationships, and problems in the bedroom too often lead to separation or divorce.
Among the sexual problems addressed in sex therapy are lack of desire, difficulty achieving orgasm, erectile dysfunction, pain during sex, and premature release.
Our psychologists in Thousand Oaks will address those issues with compassion and expertise, as they incorporate sex therapy in counseling and marital therapy with you. They will help you understand and talk about those issues safely, and help bring about resolution.
Being able to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about the sexual health of your relationship will strengthen your connection and deepen your commitment to one another.
Sex and Mental Health
Another primary reason therapists should incorporate sex therapy into counseling is the fact that, in the majority of mental health diagnoses that people struggle with, sexual health is affected.
If you’re seeking therapy for depression, anxiety, trauma/ PTSD, substance abuse, an eating disorder or struggle with body image, low self esteem or even ADHD, it may not occur to you to talk to your therapist about your sex life. After all, what does one have to do with the other?
Well, a lot, actually. Any and all of the above mental health issues can lead to problems in the bedroom, including lowered libido or lack of interest in sex, self-consciousness, erectile dysfunction, and sexual discomfort.
You may avoid sex with your partner, or feel your partner is avoiding sex with you.
You may find sex triggering if you have a history of trauma. You may feel undesirable. You may struggle with negative beliefs about sex and sexuality. You may be dealing with social stigma if you are part of a marginalized group.
And you may feel like you’re all alone.
Sexual issues may not feel like a priority, and to be honest, they frequently are not the most pressing concern when you’re battling significant mental health problems; but the connection between sexual health and overall physical and mental health cannot be ignored. To not include sex therapy in the counseling process would be a disservice to you and your partner.
Fortunately, we’ve got your back.
For sex therapy in Simi Valley, look no further than Simi Psychological Group, where our dedicated team of professionals understands that you deserve to live your best life, and we are here to help you achieve it.
Our team of licensed therapists In Thousand Oaks is here to support you, no matter what your therapeutic endeavor. At the Simi Psychological Group, we treat anxiety, depression, trauma, and more! Reach out today for a free consultation at (805) 842-1994.