A surprisingly large number of people experience sexual problems at some point in their lives but find it difficult to acknowledge or address this. However, such problems can be relatively easily resolved with psychosexual therapy. Life changes,work-related stress, emotional difficulties, illness, pregnancy and parenthood may trigger undesirable changes in a person's sexual behaviour. In some instances the individual may encounter long standing underlying difficulties that become problematic in the context of a new relationship - or as a result of some change in their partner's sexual response towards them. When a person's sex life is no longer enjoyable or active, sex therapy can help unlock the difficulties by changing unhelpful sexual behaviours and attitudes, setting realistic goals in relation to sex and accomplishing these.
Sex therapy takes a structured approach through weekly sessions that specifically address the client's sexual difficulties. The therapist devises a home-exercise programme which the client follows at least three times a week in line with individual progress. Clients will never be asked to perform sexual tasks during the therapy sessions.
Individual and couples equally can embark on a course of sex therapy. However, if a client is in a relationship it is preferable and more effective that both parties attend the therapy sessions.
At Sloane Psychology we offer individual and couple sex therapy based on cognitive behavioural principles. Dr Tina Grigoriou has received specialist training in treating sexual difficulties. These difficulties are:
· Low Desire
· Difficulties with erections
· Premature ejaculation
· Difficulties with orgasm
· Painful Sex (dyspareunia)
· Sex addiction
· Sexual abuse
· Changes in sexual behaviours in relation to ageing, life transitions and illness.
Dr Grigoriou has experience in working with heterosexual, bisexual, gay and lesbian populations. She is sensitive and respectful to cultural and religious attitudes and how these affect sexual behaviour.
All clients begin with an intial assessment session which allows the therapist to explore with you what the present difficulties are and estimate whether sex therapy can be an effective treatment for the problems presented. If clients are in a couple relationship it is advisable for both partners to attend.
If clients have not seen their GP (doctor) at this stage they may be advised to book an appointment as sexual difficulties can sometimes be linked to underlying medical conditions and an examination may be necessary.
The second phase of the assessment process requires a complete and honest disclosure of clients' sexual history. The therapist then discusses with them their understanding of their sexual difficulties and how sex therapy can help overcome these.
Once the client has committed to engaging with the prescribed treatment the therapist assigns weekly exercises. The aim of these is to help clients overcome their difficulties in a systematic and graded way. During the course of the therapy clients report how they have progressed with the exercises and discuss any blocks they may have encountered. The therapist then helps the client to reframe and challenge the negative beliefs that impede their sexual behaviours. Clients are taught techniques to help them relax and become attuned to their bodily sensations during the exercises.