Psychosexual issues: an integrative approach

In my role as the Lead Counsellor of a day hospice, clients would often talk to me about how their illness or treatment was having a negative effect on their sexual lives. Also, when working in a women's centre with survivors of sexual abuse, I realised that one of the most difficult challenges these women faced was the establishment of or return to a satisfying sexual life. To improve my skills and awareness in helping people with sexual issues, I decided to get some advanced training in this specialism.

 

In the training for my diploma in integrative psychosexual therapy, I have learned to help people understand the cause of their difficulties, suggest approaches for improving their situation and support them through the changes they need to make. This is a talking therapy and no practical exercises take place in my consulting room. Any that I do suggest are carried out by my clients privately in their own homes in between psychotherapy sessions with me. 

 

I will place an emphasis on the exploration of opportunities for psychosexual health and wellbeing, unlike many therapists who have a much narrower view of sexual "dysfunction" and its "treatments".

 

There are many potential underlying causes of dissatisfaction in our sexual lives and an issue can effect our sexual being in many ways too. Sometimes we are adversely affected by events, situations or people from our childhood or earlier in our adult lives. Sometimes we are restricted by unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that have lodged in our minds. Sometimes our bodies let us down. Sometimes it is a struggle to find our own way of being, particularly in a culture that is intolerant of difference. Sometimes an issue with how we express ourselves sexually can show up in a particular relationship. And all these areas can affect each other - if you can find your issue in the table below, there may be other headings that describe the cause or consequences.

 

Whatever the struggle, I can help you to unpick it and work with you to identify how you can find satisfaction with your sexual being. 

 

  Recovery

 

- Impact of childhood sexual abuse

- Impact of rape/sexual violence

- Shame

- Sexual addiction/compulsivity

- Sexual self harm

- Family of origin

 

  Identity

 

- Social, cultural and religious beliefs

  about sexuality

- Gender/sexual politics

- Questions about sexual identity

- Sexual preferences, desires, tastes

- Impact of homophobia

 

  Body

 

- Health issues

- Disability

- Effects of medication/treatment

- Difficulties with sexual desire,

  arousal, ejaculation, orgasm,

  erection

- Sexual phobias/avoidance

- Fertility

- Body image

- Sexual health

 

  Relationships

 

- Low self esteem

- Effects of childhood experiences

- Communication skills

- Relationship seeking

- Relationship sustaining

- Managing conflict

- Sex, power and control

- Sex and intimacy

- Getting the love you want

 

If you are in a relationship and the issues that are bothering you also affect that relationship, then it is better if you come to me for couple therapy.

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© Gill Sweeting