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An Overview of Sex Therapy

The right therapist

In looking for a sex therapist, it’s particularly important to find someone whom you trust, respect, and with whom you share compatible values. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the therapist’s background, philosophical orientation, and client-related experience with your problem.

A sex therapist can be very influential, says Gina Ogden, a certified sex therapist in Cambridge, Massachusetts and author of “Women Who Love Sex,” because “there are fewer people who you can talk with about your sexual issues.” She warns against therapists who have rigid ideas of what human sexual response should be. Myles agrees: “Sex is such a subjective experience. You can’t impose your own beliefs on a patient.”

If you see a therapist who says or does anything suggestive, or that involves nudity, terminate the relationship immediately. “Sex therapy is strictly talk therapy. There should be no ‘show and tell’,” asserts Seifer, a former president of AASECT.

Most sex therapists today, according to Dennis Sugrue, “look at the whole person and try to help men and women redefine what it means to make love.” The effects of aging or physical problems “don’t mean that a couple can’t experience the pleasure and joy of being physically intimate with each other.”

Further Reading

Barbach L. For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality. Signet Books, 1975

Barbach L and Geisinger D. Going the Distance: Finding and Keeping Lifelong Love. Plume Books, 1993

Dodson B. Sex for One: The Joy of Self-Loving. Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1996.

Heiman J, LoPiccolo J. Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women. Simon & Shuster, 1987.

Kaplan HS. How to Overcome Premature Ejaculation. Bruner/Mazel Publications, 1989.

Kaplan HS. The Illustrated Manual of Sex Therapy. Brunner/Mazel Publications, 1975.

Ogden G. Women Who Love Sex. Ogden Books, 1995

Walker R.The Family Guide to Sex and Relationships. Macmillan, 1996.

Zilbergeld B. The New Male Sexuality. Bantam Books, 1992.

An Overview of Sex Therapy

Amy Bellows, Ph.D.

APA Reference
Bellows, A. (2020). An Overview of Sex Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 Jul 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 Jul 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.