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Talking about sex in therapy

From IVF to orgasms, viagra to virginity, Saturday’s ‘Sexually Speaking’ seminar on addressing sexual issues in therapy gave us plenty to think about. The speaker, psychosexual psychotherapist, Karen Lloyd, offers a CBT-based programme of therapy to couples experiencing problems in their sexual relationship. We learnt that one of the first steps in any sex therapy is to take the pressure right off the physical relationship and encourage couples to develop intimacy using strictly non-sexual touching (‘sensate focus’). We went on to look at our own early introductions to the topic of sex and to brainstorm as many words as we could for female and male genitalia – with the inevitable laughter and embarrassment! I may have thought I was ok talking about this subject, but actually using straightforward language about sex brought me up against some of my own internal barriers and inhibitions. Karen introduced us to some common sexual problems and the psychological issues that may underlie or augment physiological symptoms, and we finished the day with a useful introduction to sex addiction, particularly in relation to pornography, which Karen identified as a growing issue. All in all, we opened the lid on this sometimes awkward but always deeply personal topic. I would certainly like to learn more about this in future, and will aim to be more aware of the profound importance of sexuality, intimacy and physicality in all our lives.

Briony Martin – psychotherapist

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This seminar was assessed by attendees as 4.57 out of 5 for the overall quality of the event. The speaker was rated 4.77. Thank you to all who attended this and previous seminars, we appreciate your participation and your feedback.

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