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Common Questions

What is a sexologist?


Sexology is the scientific study of sex.   Therefore,  a sexologist is someone who has academic training and is knowledgeable about research in the field of human sexuality.  Sexologists have studied what people do sexually and how they feel about it.  Many sexologists come from a home discipline and that influences the perspective they bring to the study of sex.  For example, a sexologist can study human sexuality from a historic, social, cultural, artistic, psychological, political, educational, or biological perspective.  Sexologists are interested in how factors like gender, orientation, age and disability affect sexuality. Depending on one's interests, sexologists are researchers, authors, educators, counselors, therapists and body workers.  Ideally all are academically and professionally trained, and are non-judgmental and sex positive.

 

What does the term "sex positive" mean? 

 

Being "sex positive" means having an affirmative orientation towards sexuality, that supports pleasure and diversity.  It believes that people deserve the full opportunity to engage in a broad range of consensual sexual behavior, as well as the right to not engage in sexual behavior at all. People who are sex positive honor each person's values and beliefs, and supports them in creating a optimally healthy sexual life.   Being "sex positive" doesn't assume people should be more sexual, but supports people in having the sex life that is right for them.


 

What is a clinical sexologist?

 

A clinical sexologist helps people with sexual concerns in a clinic or counseling setting.  They focus on brief therapy that provides permission, limited information and specific suggestions.  They are sex positive, non-judgmental, and are focussed on pleasure rather than pathology.  Clinical sexologists work with clients from a humanistic ethical perspective, seeing the client as wanting to grow as a sexual human being, or solve a sexual concern, rather than as "dysfunctional" or "broken."  If a sexologist is board certified they have completed between 300-500 hours of training in the field of human sexuality.  If they have an academic degree such as a Masters or a Doctorate, they have completed between 3000-5000 hours of training in human sexuality.

 

Is sex counseling right for me?
 

Many people find working with a clinical sexologist helpful.  They usually feel safe, accepted, and get ideas to help them in their sexual lives.  Most regular therapists and counselors have minimal training in the area of human sexuality.  A clinical sexologist has both a comfort  in discussing a broad range of sexual behavior and concerns, and has knowledge and resources at their finger tips to assist clients in solving their sexual difficulties.  Although sex counseling is not relationship therapy, many clients feel their relationships improves as a result of creating a more pleasurable and satisfying sex life. Sex counseling can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem, or point you in the right direction with a small sexual concern.  It is appropriate to seek out a clinical sexologist whether the sexual issue feels large or small to you.  Just having the opportunity to discuss it with someone neutral, knowledgeable, and compassionate, can be all you need to take the next step that feels right for you.

 

 

What are the benefits of working with a clinical sexologist?


Seeing a clinical sexologist provides long-lasting benefits and support, gives you the tools you need to move past sexual concerns, helps you focus on pleasure rather than performance, and heal areas of shame, inhibition and negative thought patterns.

A number of benefits are available from working with a clinical sexologist. Clients report that it gives them a safe space to talk about their sexual concerns, feel supported, and get help for sexual functioning issues like orgasm concerns, erectile issues, and those seeking ejaculation control.  Clinical sexologists can also help with sexual relationship issues like desire discrepancies, intimacy issues, negotiating sexual boundaries, and finding strategies to deal with the challenges of monogamy and polyamory. Clinical sexologists also work with clients around sexual shame issues connected to body image, non-consensual sexual behavior, and low sexual confidence.  The benefits you obtain from your sessions depends on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values

  • Developing skills for improving your intimate relationships

  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek counseling

  • Learning new ways to increase your sexual pleasure

  • Evaluating sexual habits and and exploring new sexual patterns

  • Discovering ways to speak about what you want sexually

  • Improving your self-esteem and sexual confidence

  • Creating a more erotic life for yourself

  • Accepting your body as beautiful and sexy



What happens during a session? 


Every session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for clinical sexologists to take a sex history that asks about early sexual experiences, previous sex education, past and current sexual experiences and fantasies, medical history, current sexual concerns, and what has been helpful or unhelpful in working with this issue.  We will also look at your goals and what evidence you need to feel you have accomplished your goals.  

It is common to schedule a series of sessions, where each session lasts around 75-80 minutes. Sex counseling can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more than one issue or pursuing ongoing personal sexual enrichment. You will never be asked to remove your clothing, but there will be homework.  Between sessions you may be asked to read a relevant book or article, watch a pertinent DVD,  keep records to track certain behaviors, or practice a certain skill either alone or with a partner.  These activities help integrate into your life and practice what you have learned during our sessions.  For change to happen you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People who achieve the best outcomes are those who are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change, and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of your time working with me:

  • Acceptance of yourself as a sexual being

  • Compassion, respect and non-judgment

  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings

  • Real strategies for enacting positive change

  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance

 

 

 

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