Bringing Sex into Couples Therapy

I’ve written before about how there’s commonly a disconnect between sex therapy and couples therapy. Many couples therapists have little or no training in sex:

“Most graduate programs taught zip about desire, or about passion, and none of them ever talked about sex. In fact, they all taught that if you fixed the relationship, the sex would take care of itself. I disagreed with all of them. I found that the opposite was true – if you help a couple with their erotic life, many things in their relationship would fix itself. And so I wrote the book Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together, which combines sex and good couples therapy.”

3 years later, inclusion of sex therapy in couple’s therapy is a growing trend. A growing number of educators are providing training that includes elements of sex with couple’s therapy and the New York Times recently called me and my colleagues “pioneers” in this new field of psychology. 

This new movement acknowledges alternative sexual relationships and shines a light on the ways that couples are expressing their feelings and their desires.  It also  allows traditional couples to explore options  that may have been considered until now somewhat “non-traditional.”

Personalized monogamy rules, sexual ‘menu’ choices, and a frank discussion of the role of pornography can all be part of a larger monogamy agreement. This approach brings a more open attitude about sex that is focused on cooperation and communication.
My mission now that therapists are talking with their patients about sex, is to train sex therapists to be good couple’s therapists.  Many of the sexuality counselors, educators and therapists need more skills in working with couples.  Couples are facing more challenges these days and therapists need the skills to keep up.   My program in Washington DC, “Sex Therapy U” prepares professionals to work with couples around the issues of sexuality.  For more info, go to LINK.

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