How long does therapy take?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Both sex therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are symptom focused methods of treatments. That means therapy is geared towards helping you with the problems you are currently experiencing rather than delving into and resolving issues in your past (except of course in the case of therapy for issues related to childhood sexual abuse). This means that sex therapy and CBT are usually shorter in duration than other forms of therapy. But it still depends on a lot of factors. Not the least of which is your commitment to the process. After a couple of sessions, you should really have a good sense of what the treatment plan is and some indication of how long it will take you to reach your goals.
Will couples therapy save us from divorce or separation?
Here’s the truth. Couples who come for therapy do not always stay together. Sometimes they decide that it’s best to separate. Couples usually reach conclusions earlier in therapy than they would on their own because therapy helps people confront, rather than avoid, their issues. So sometimes therapy helps couples go their separate ways. But if the desire to stay in the marriage is strong (even if it is initially for the kids, or for financial reasons) couples therapy is more often successful in helping partners achieve a better, happier, and stronger relationship.
Do I have to do “homework” in sex therapy?
The short answer is yes. In most cases simply talking about sex doesn’t help. So in sex therapy the therapist designs exercises you do at home as an adjunct to the discussions you have in the therapy office. The exercises help you educate yourself, have healing experiences and practice new ways of being sexual or communicating about sex. Exercises are always done in the privacy of your own home but are discussed in therapy. The exercises are tailored to you, your issues, your morality and sensibilities. A good therapist will never ask you to do something that violates your principles.
I don't have a partner, so how can sex therapy help me?
Many individuals come to sex therapy by themselves. Sometimes they have lost a relationship due to sexual issues, or their sexual concerns have kept them out of relationships. Sex therapy can help individuals overcome sexual problems and become more comfortable engaging in sexual relationships. It is not necessary to wait until you have a partner.
I’m the one with the problem. Why should my partner come to therapy?
It is often the case that one partner has the sexual dysfunction, but truly it is a problem for both partners. So it is usually best if there is a relationship to have both members of the couple come in at least once to give their perspective. Sex therapy does not have to be joint sessions with both partners each and every session. But if your partner really refuses to have any involvement, sex therapy can be helpful on an individual basis as well.
There is so much on your website about sex, but my problem is anxiety. Should I see someone else?
I am a licensed psychologist and I have a general practice, although my specialty is helping people with sexual and relationship difficulties. In addition to the skills I have as a psychotherapist, I am also uniquely sensitive. So I am qualified to help with a variety of psychological issues and complaints. It often takes the first meeting or a phone call to see if any therapist is a good fit for you. I would encourage you to call me and talk with me for a few minutes and if you are comfortable with the phone call, schedule a session. You’ll know once you meet me if I am a good match for you as a therapist.
Do you accept insurance?
Because I am a licensed psychologist most insurance plans that cover mental health will cover my services. You need to check that your insurance plan covers mental health and know what it reimburses. I do not participate in any insurance panels (HMOs). I take payment at the time of service and give you a receipt that you submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. (If this creates a hardship, we can discuss payment options.) I believe that your psychotherapy should be private and that you and I should make the decisions as to the treatment choices that are right for you. Being in an independent practice gives you the privacy, confidentiality and choices that are essential for psychotherapy to work.