Sexual guilt? Sexual shame?
Difficulty with orgasm? Difficulty with trust?
Monogamy problems? Non-monogamy problems?
Classic concerns: impotence, frigidity, premature ejaculation?
Conflicts over frequency? Conflicts over safety?
Concern over fantasies and fetish urges?
Sexually inhibited? Sexually insecure?
Addicted to sex?
topics are more sensitive than sexual issues. But if David Schnarch
is right, that sexuality provides a revealing window view into our
psychology, then we cannot ignore sex on our journey of self-knowledge.
is the overlap between mind and body as evident as in the realm
of sex. Clients often assume they can overcome sexual problems just
by learning a few mechanical skills. Of course, physical and health
factors have to be taken into account (e.g. technique, medication,
diabetes?), but since emotions and thoughts have such a direct and
powerful influence on how our bodies function and feel during sex,
genuine healing for sexual issues usually requires a psychological
observer of our time has said, "Christianity and the Victorian Era
have both created an ineradicable film of guilt over sexuality in
our culture". Indeed, many religious authorities and institutions
desperately try to separate spirituality and sexuality. But is it
true that sex is an enemy that must be subdued before spiritual
practice can happen? Or is sex a powerful creative force and a potential
vehicle of self-fulfillment and spiritual-awareness?
H. Lawrence believed that "sex is sacred because it opens us to
the energy behind all life." He and others say that anything we
do with our deepest energy is simultaneously sexual and spiritual.
Dr. Jung too thought of libido very broadly as the primary life
force moving through us - as electricity moves through the filament
of a light bulb. In an episode of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the
City, an elderly character reflects on earlier days with her deceased
husband: "It isn't the sex I miss. It's the sunsets." In this view,
the energy of sex is everywhere.
sometimes ask for help with sexual issues only to discover their
real need is for increased intimacy. In sex counseling, solutions
are rarely as simple as one would hope. "In most cases," says David
Schnarch, "Reproductive sex is a very 'natural' function. If that
were the only issue, few of us would have much trouble." But usually
the issues are much deeper than mere biology, and very delicate
to discuss - to say the least.
do proud men broach the subject of Viagra? How can teenagers discuss
same-sex attraction? How can sex addicts feel safe to share the
reality of their compulsive (often anonymous) encounters? Perhaps
more than any other form of therapy, sex counseling requires an
open, non-judgmental therapist (repeat: NON-JUDGMENTAL!). A bi-sexual
client will close down fast when he or she detects the therapist
has branded him or her as using bisexuality as a cover for being
gay or lesbian. A transgender client will find no benefit from a
therapist who judges his or her transition. And the spouse who feels
deplorable about a recent extra-marital affair can find no healing
if the therapist has a particular moral agenda.
the origin, the fact is that few of us in North American can escape
facing embarrassing, frustrating, and disturbing sexual issues sometime
during our lifetime. Sex counseling offers us a safe place where
we can be vulnerable and seek help for these problems that affect
us so profoundly.
Back to Continuum of Care