Iris Mini: Sexual Counseling

Sexual counseling is a type of mental health treatment related to a sexual problem or concern. Sex therapists generally complete additional training that allow them to provide specialized care for individuals looking for additional support.

Sex therapy can help explore sexual dysfunction by addressing and improving behavior, attitudes, and emotions surrounding sexual experiences. It can be used in conjunction with medical therapy (such as medications) to help address an individual's concern.  

Good to Know

It is important to find a qualified mental health professional (psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or marriage and family therapist) who is licensed to practice by the state or is supervised by someone who is licensed.  

What Should I Expect?

Cognitive-behavioral sex therapy is a type of talk therapy that can be done individually or with a partner. You may be given “exercises” to do at home between the sessions, such as learning new ways to talk about sex, couple touching exercises, and assignments to increase expression of affection and caring.

If an individual experiences sexual dysfunction related to cancer treatment, exercises may also center on exploring how sex feels when you are using a new medical treatment, finding ways to overcome problems with a treatment, and helping partners to focus on pleasure rather than performance.  

Things to Keep in Mind 

  • Be gentle with yourself. Therapy can elicit a lot of different emotions and memories. It is important that you are comfortable with the treatment plan developed for you. 

  • Sex therapy is not always a passive treatment. It's important for you and your partner (if applicable) to work on developing a plan that makes sense for you. 

  • Therapy may not always be a covered benefit through your insurance. Sex therapy can be costly, but there may be options available to offset the cost of family planning 

  • Consider scheduling an appointment with one of our Iris mental health therapists. They can help you explore your options and resources.