The Importance of Sexual Health Counseling
Talking about sex is often considered taboo; however, sexual intercourse is one of life’s most natural and essential parts. Sex is not only responsible for reproduction, but it also serves a role in strengthening your bond with your partner.
Like many others, you might falsely believe that sex is supposed to be easy, especially if you are in a healthy relationship. However, it can often be anything but easy or straightforward. Sexual intimacy is incredibly complicated.
Every aspect of your physical and mental health can impact your feelings toward sex. Your relationship dynamic will also influence your desire and interest in sexual intimacy.
Attempting to navigate these challenges alone or even with the help of your partner isn’t always possible. The good news is that you don’t have to approach this aspect of your relationship blindly. Instead, you can seek out sexual health counselling!
What Is Sexual Health Counseling?
Sexual health counselling is much like general counselling. You meet with a licensed professional who, in this case, is a qualified sexual health therapist who provides counselling on reproductive health and sexual intimacy.
During each counselling session, your therapist will help you explore topics like desire, pain during intercourse, attraction, and underlying issues hindering your ability to be intimate with your partner.
They will also guide you through potential solutions for intimacy issues impacting your relationship. Your counsellor will provide feedback on the concerns you reveal to them and enable you to improve your perspective on these normal and natural experiences.
You can elect to receive counselling in reproductive health and sexual intimacy by yourself or include your partner. If you are in a serious relationship, following a combination of individual and couples sessions might be the most pragmatic approach.
Some sexual health therapists work at counselling centres. Counselling centres for sexual health may also provide additional resources and services, such as contraception education. Keep in mind that not all sexual health therapists work at these facilities. Some therapists work independently or with a small group of other therapists at a private practice.
Should You Visit a Counseling Center for Sexual Health?
While you might feel uncomfortable about seeking out sexual health counselling, you shouldn’t be. Your sexual health impacts your physical and mental health and profoundly influences how strong your relationship with your partner is, and may also affect their mental health.
If you were feeling under the weather, you would see a licensed healthcare provider such as a general physician, and if you were struggling with mental health challenges, you would connect with a mental health provider. Why wouldn’t you take similar steps if you encounter sexual intimacy struggles you cannot resolve?
You don’t have to wait until you encounter sexual intimacy concerns to see a therapist. You could benefit from counselling if you:
Are interested in learning more about desire and sex
Have a low libido that you want to increase
Struggle to experience orgasms
Begin experiencing sexual concerns after developing a medical condition
Have recently had children
Have different sexual desire levels than your partner
Experience pain during sex
Want to reinvigorate your sex life
You can visit a counselling centre for sexual health either reactively or proactively.
Taking a proactive approach can help you avoid intimacy issues later in life or give you the skills necessary to navigate these hurdles should you encounter them. Sexual health counselling can also pave the way for a healthy intimate relationship between you and your partner.
Benefits of Visiting a Sexual Health Therapist
Visiting a sexual health therapist can allow you to:
1. Improve Sexual Knowledge
Do you have relatively limited knowledge of sexual intimacy and the psychological processes associated with this natural component of the human experience? If so, you would certainly benefit from meeting with a sexual health therapist.
A skilled therapist could help you explore how your sexual health affects your relationship and feelings of attachment and self-worth. They could shed light on the connection between intimacy and your mental and physical health.
When you understand these connections, you will be better equipped to engage in effective self-care that optimizes your sexual and overall health.
Expanding your knowledge of sexual intimacy will benefit you for life. You can apply this knowledge to nurture a positive relationship with your current or future partner based on respect and empathy toward one another’s needs.
2. Identify Root Causes of Decreased Desire
Sometimes, people who are in serious relationships notice a sudden or growing lack of desire for their partners. You may feel confused, worried, or even frustrated when this happens.
Your partner will eventually notice even if you attempt to conceal these feelings. If your decreased desire goes unaddressed, it can create undue strain in your relationship or even cause you to grow apart.
Fortunately, a sexual health therapist can help you identify the root causes of your decreased desire. Whether these feelings are fueled by body image issues, pain associated with a medical condition, health event, or some other problem, they will work with you to get to the bottom.
Once you know why you are experiencing decreased sexual desire, you can share your challenges with your partner. Keeping your partner in the loop will reduce friction in your relationship and enable you to work together to devise a resolution.
3. Explore Potential Solutions to Increase Desire
Sexual health counselling is about identifying the causes of intimacy concerns and resolving these issues.
A therapist can leverage their wealth of knowledge and experience to guide you through complex and confusing intimacy challenges. They can provide you with practical solutions that will positively impact your relationship and help you grow closer to your partner.
For instance, you struggle with self-worth and body image issues. These issues negatively impact your confidence in your appearance and drive down your desire to be intimate with your partner.
Your therapist might teach you coping strategies like engaging in positive self-talk, or they may encourage you to pursue health and wellness goals. These are just a few broad examples; your sexual health therapist will provide solutions tailored to your unique needs.
4. Strengthen Your Bond with Your Partner
Couples’ sexual health counselling sessions can strengthen your bond with your partner. During these sessions, you will have the opportunity to talk through intimacy issues with the guidance of a therapist. The therapist will ensure that the conversation is focused, honest, and productive.
As you resolve your intimacy challenges, you will likely find that your relationship is growing stronger.
Be Proactive About Your Sexual and Relationship Health
Remember, sexual intimacy is only a single component of a healthy relationship, albeit an important one. You should also take other steps to strengthen and protect your relationship with your partner proactively.
Sexual health counselling can benefit adults in all stages of life. Whether you have been with your partner for years, need to revitalize your intimate life, or want to expand your sexual health knowledge, connecting with a skilled therapist can yield tremendous benefits.