Psychosexual Therapy

Psychosexual therapy is the use of targeted counselling, or longer-term psychotherapy to help address sexual problems. It is a talking-based treatment and doesn’t involve touch such as massage.

Critically, psychosexual problems are emotional and/or psychological. But they can be caused by or lead to physical problems. This means that to understand psychosexual therapy properly, it is helpful to appreciate the interrelationship between physical and psychological.

Because of this, psychosexual therapy is highly specialised work that requires an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology as well as pharmacology.  All of which need to be integrated into a medical model and applied into a psychotherapeutic frame.

Physical Informing the Psychological:

For example, a physical effect of medical treatment might lead to changes in someone’s appearance. The person may be scared that others will be less attracted to them because of those physical changes. And in turn the person might develop psychological barriers to and a fear of intimacy. Those barriers and fears could negatively impact on relationships and sexual experiences. Whilst a medical professional would deal properly with the physical challenges faced, psychosexual therapy could be employed to tackle the related psychological problem.

Psychological Informing the Physical:

On the other hand, someone may have an emotional or psychological issue which ultimately manifests itself physically. A traumatic event such as rape could lead to severe emotional challenges from shame to deep insecurity. Those emotional challenges could then manifest themselves physically through, for example, erectile disfunction as the person inadvertently places barriers to stop physical intimacy. In this sort of situation, a medical professional would be able to rule out a physical cause (such as illness) for the tangible problem. And again, a therapist would be able to tackle the underlying emotional and psychological issues using psychosexual therapy. The hope in a scenario such as this is that resolving the emotional and psychological issues would then mean that the resulting physical problem would be resolved.

It is recommended that you see your GP for a referral to psychosexual therapy. In some areas of the UK they may be able to refer you to NHS-provided psychosexual services if that is the recommended treatment.

The stats speak for themselves.
More women are affected and need support…

85%

of women with severe birth injury said it impacted on their relationship with their child

78%

were affected by traumatic memories of the birth

52%

stated they were embarrassed by the symptoms of their injury

49%

of women affected said they doubted their ability to mother

45%

suffered postnatal depression as a result of their injury

24%

of women affected regretted having a child because of the injuries sustained