Backgrounds & Concepts c uid 1185849 Coaches enable couples to adapt to rocky times

People in recovery from alcoholism, addiction ACOA or other codependency may need sexuality therapy to enhance lost intimacy.

This article may be a guide to seeking help.

When Stephen Braveman suggested to his wife that they needed sex therapy, he did so with trepidation. He worried he’d “be seen as a pig who only wants sex.” Even though he’s a practicing sex therapist himself, his marriage wasn’t immune from the intimacy challenges that face so many couples.

In his case, says Braveman of Monterey, Calif., his upbringing during the “free love” 1960s in California put him at odds with his wife’s native German culture.

“It’s just not in her personality to be verbally expressive in the bedroom,” he says. Still, she agreed to join him in therapy, and the couple has “made progress.”

Sex, of course, isn’t purely physical. Intertwined between the sheets are not only two bodies but also the emotional and psychological aspects of their personalities. Each person’s upbringing, culture, religion and previous experiences can have an impact on sexuality, says Helen Virginia Bush of Boca Raton, Fla., president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Add in idealized perceptions of what one’s sex life should be, plus a heap of hormones and it’s no wonder we sometimes need a little help.

Other topics in the article include;

  • Finding a therapist
  • Great expectations
  • Go together
  • But does it work?

Finding the right sex therapist can be almost as challenging as finding the right partner: Chemistry matters. You deserve thorough responses to questions like “What is your training in sex therapy?” and “How much experience do you have handling sexual issues with clients?” Also, a professional should be engaged and direct. Or, as Polonsky puts it, “a benevolent, encouraging, guiding coach.”

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Related Reading:

Sex Therapy 101
A Clinician's Guide to Systemic Sex Therapy
Integrating Sex And Marital Therapy: A Clinical Guide
Quickies: The Handbook of Brief Sex Therapy