Approximately 43 percent of American women and 31 percent of American men suffer from sexual dysfunction. Specific problems may include relationship conflicts, loss of intimacy, and desire discrepancies between partners. A sex therapist is a professional who, in addition to his/her basic training and qualifications, has extensive training in all aspects of human sexuality and the treatment of sexual dysfunctions and disorders.
Sexual health depends on both psychogenic (in the mind), and biogenic (in the body), functioning. Many sexual concerns result from internal conflict ? something in the mind that is preventing the body from optimal functioning. There may be physiological anomalies that contribute to difficulty in functioning and with the population enjoying a greater life span, there are health issues that come with aging that often require attention. Today there is the added challenge of the individual and/or couple to be present sufficient to enjoy a satisfying sexual relationship.
It is not an uncommon complaint that couples are distracted and have trouble ?shifting gears? away from the pressures of daily living. Unresolved family and relationship issues may interfere as well. It is vital to determine the nature of the problem, whether physical, physiological, emotional or relational.
While sex therapy employs many of the same principles as other modalities, there are specific techniques available for various sexual problems. Sessions may involve the individual and/or couple. Unlike other therapy experiences, sex therapy may involve an explicit exploration of the sexual concerns. Sex therapy does not include touching or the use of surrogates.