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Help! What’s a Sex Therapist?

Help! What’s a Sex Therapist?

Therapists come in all different shapes and sizes. There are many certifications and educational fields to navigate when looking for a mental health profession. With that in mind some therapists are best suited for certain problems. Some specialize in depression, some trauma, and others do a variety of work. It all depends on what the therapist knows and what they feel they can bring to the table for their clients.

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When clients come to me for guidance it’s usually because there is an issue that is sexual in nature, hence why I became a sex therapist. But with any taboo topic there come stereotypes and judgments that seem to plague my work. I’m here to set the record straight. What is sex therapy and why would I need a therapist like that? There are multiple reasons why someone would look for a sex therapist just like there are many reasons someone would want to work with a therapist in general. There could be intimacy issues in a relationship or a traumatic past that has manifested itself in the present.

Some other issues are, but not limited to, include:

• Erectile Dysfunction

• Lack of Desire/Interest

• Arousal Issues

• Premature Ejaculation

• Pain in Sexual Activity

• Anxiety/Panic Disorders with Sex

• Sexual Trauma

• Education

In a nutshell my work revolves around this definition:

A mental health therapist who provides systemic and contextual psychotherapy services to individuals, couples, families, or groups of people who are suffering from psychological, medical, or social issues of sexuality; including the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions within the scope of their practice. 

But what does it mean for clients who sit across from me in session? 

I deal with these issues in an open, honest, and educational way through a systemic approach, meaning I look at a variety of factors and influences unique to my client’s lives. I believe the best way to help create change for all of my clients are through education and frank discussion about sex without judgment. The last part for me is of utmost importance since we live in a word that only has negative views of sexuality. Being positive about sex not only changes the conversation but also helps create a safe space to dig deeper into issues like never before.

All of this is done through talk therapy–– we talk about the issues and I give homework for you to explore at your own pace. Please note that a certified and ethical sex therapist will never ask to have sex with you or to watch you partake in the act. If you know of this happening please contact your governing licensing board (AAMFT ).

The point of a sex therapist is not to embarrass or place undue burn on what it means to be a sexual human being, but to explore what it means to be free and open to our sexual sides in a safe manner. Exploration is key but not in session.

Sex is a journey. It will not be the same experience for everyone. Some people have a hard time with it, while others do not. We have to be open and honest, not only with our partners, but with ourselves about the act of sex. Having open conversations with our sexual partners will allow you to stay safe and get what you are looking for in sex. A sex therapist can help you with those conversations with others but most importantly with yourself.

If you are in the Atlanta, Georgia area and are interested in seeing me for therapy please visit my Sex Therapy page for more information.

Find @samanthaheuwagen​ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

4 thoughts on “Help! What’s a Sex Therapist?

  1. I totally agree when you said that a traumatic past can be a reason why someone would need to undergo sex therapy. It is what my friend is experiencing right now because she never knew that she would be harassed by her own boyfriend. She did not give the details anymore, but I am helping her find a therapist she could trust to help her heal emotionally.

  2. My niece is getting married soon and she doesn’t understand sex or its purpose. The few times that she has had sex before now have not been good for her and she doesn’t want to spend any time with her fiance in that way. As it is putting a strain on her relationship, I think she should go to sex therapy services. Your information that a sex therapist can help educate and explore the reasons for lack of desire is really helpful.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you found it useful and will pass it on to your niece. Sex does play a part in every relationship, but the people involved can define what that means to them as they go through life. If she’s open to therapy, I would also encourage her to talk to someone and perhaps even seek premarital couples therapy as well. Whatever happens, I think we can both agree she’s lucky to have you! Best of luck! -S

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