Today, we know that it makes no sense to split-off body and psyche. Consider that our sexuality is connected to every aspect of who we are. It's informed by the culture we grew up in and the one we live in now; it's affected by the way we learned about sex and our first relationship experiences. 7 Ways To Make Your Love Life More Sensual
Our sexuality influences how we feel about our bodies, our physical health, our moods, and, of course, the satisfaction we find in our intimate relationships. A sex therapist has to be expert at working with all of the puzzle pieces in your life — emotional, mental and physiological; past, present, and future — in order to help you fit them all together.
Complicating matters is the fact that some practitioners use terms like "sex educator" or "sex coach" to describe themselves. So, you might wonder — what, exactly, is the difference between an educator, coach and therapist?
We can view the difference in terms of the amount and depth of training the individual has had, and the depth of emotion and history he or she is trained to explore with a client. Educators and coaches do not necessarily have advanced degrees, although some do. Typically, educators and coaches are able to offer explicit sex information, teach sex and communication skills, and provide suggestions for positive change, but they aren't meant to delve deeply into your emotional issues or relationship conflicts. Is Sex Therapy For You? [VIDEO]
By contrast, a sex therapist can work with you as intensely as needed, plus, do the same kinds of skills-building and educating as coaches. Consequently, some sex therapists identify their expertise by using both terms. In addition, because a sex therapist is usually an experienced couples' therapist first, clients needn't split time and funds between a "regular" couples counselor and a sex therapist.
A certified sex therapist is usually trained to handle all types of couple's concerns, sexual or otherwise, while a typical marital therapist is rarely equipped to do sex therapy. Unfortunately, many have little or no background in that area at all. 3 Ways To Attract Men If You Don’t Look Like A Model
So, if you're thinking about working with a couple's therapist or sex therapist, here's my advice:
- Be sure he or she is certified by AASECT or can demonstrate an equivalent level of training. Standards for AASECT Certification are available on their website at aasect.org.
- She or he should be someone you feel comfortable with. You'll be speaking in great detail about your most intimate experiences, so you want to feel accepted no matter how unusual you think your concerns may be. You want to feel that your therapist gets you. Especially if your sexual or relationship style is not mainstream or "vanilla," you'll want to be sure to work with someone who is accepting and knowledgeable about your lifestyle.
- Because any form of therapy creates a very unique relationship between therapist and client, impeccable skills are just the starting point. Sometimes, no matter how good a therapist looks on paper, the chemistry between you is just wrong. That's why it's so important that you trust your gut. There's no substitute for feeling safe enough to expose your deepest truths.
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