Just Relax! Understanding Sexual Pain & Anxiety



Painful sex and the inability to experience vaginal intercourse are complex concerns that many sex therapists, medical professionals, lay people and others who treat couples and individuals need to understand more about. Learn about the various causes, treatments, and alternatives in this introductory course. This two-hour course for therapists and health professionals addresses sexual health and function, the pelvic floor, and the roles that pain, anxiety and cultural factors play in the dynamics of relationships. This course focuses on the problems and solutions for pain and anxiety during sex and the ways that these issues impact relationships. We cover vestibulodynia, vaginismus, unconsummated relationships, and couples who report, “we can’t have sex” for a variety of reasons related to complaints about sexual discomfort.

Download the teleclass and listen at your convenience. 

Thank you for putting that seminar together. I am a therapist in Austin, Texas, and I have teamed up with two Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists because we see the value of creating this type of care team to help women heal. The messages you and Talli speak of resonate with my personal philosophy. Hearing the teleseminar confirmed I am on the right track with how I have been treating my clients. It also provided me with new insights. Thank you!” -MJ Denis, LMFT-A, LPC Intern, Austin, TX


Taught by: Talli Rosenbaum and Dr. Tammy Nelson

Designed for: Therapists, counselors, healers, and anyone else interested in understanding and treating sexual pain disorders.

Course includes:   A two-part recorded teleclass and reading material. Each part is one hour in length.

2 AASECT CEs** Available in these Core Knowledge Areas (CKAs):

Sex Education: A, C, F, G, L

Sex Therapy: N/A

Certified Sex and Couples Therapist (CSCT): Category 1a, 1c

You must complete a Feedback Form and pass a short quiz at the conclusion of the course to get CE credit. Please email your Feedback Form and quiz to tammynelssonasst@gmail.com


Part One: Understanding and Treating Sexual Pain Disorders 

Vaginismus and dyspareunia (pain with intercourse) are understood to have multi-factorial components. Traditionally, medical professionals deal with the physical aspects of the disorder while sex therapists and psychotherapists address the psychological aspects, including anxiety and aversion. This workshop will present some of the difficulties with this compartmentalization model and introduce an integrated, mindfulness based treatment approach more useful to medical professionals, physical therapists, and sex therapists.

Objective: Participants will be introduced to the multi-factorial nature of sexual pain and to mindfulness based treatment protocol to address anxiety and aversion in women with sexual pain disorders.


Part Two: Exploring the Dynamics of Anxiety and Pain – Unconsummated Relationships and Sexual Aversion

The scientific literature pertaining to unconsummated relationships relates specifically to sexual function, whether vaginismus of the female partner, or premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction of the male partner. However, the unconsummated relationship is not simply about sexual dysfunction. As a sociological phenomenon, unconsummated relationships and sexual avoidance may be related to societal expectations, partner dynamics, and systemic anxiety.

  • What are the common causes of unconsummated relationships?
  • What are the common ways couples present in therapy?
  • What roles do culture and belief systems play?
  • What role does anxiety play?
  • What are the ways in which we can help our clients presenting with unconsummated marriage and sexual avoidance?
  • How can we reframe the perception of therapy as necessary to achieve the” goal “of having sex, to a mutual journey of intimate exploration?


Objective: Participants will be introduced to a biopsychosocial approach to the phenomena of unconsummated marriage.


Meet your instructors:

i-FKjNMdQ-MDr. Tammy Nelson is a sex and relationship expert, an international speaker, an author and a licensed psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience working with individuals and couples, is in private practice and teaches seminars and workshops around the world for couples and professionals.  She is a Board Certified Sexologist, a Certified Sex Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Certified Imago Relationship therapist.  She is an invited speaker at Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance Physicians Organization and at the University of California, Irvine.   She speaks worldwide on global relational change.

Talli Yehuda Rosenbaum, M.Sc., PT, IF is both a physical therapist and an AASECT certified sex therapist, who is an internationally recognized expert on the integrated roles of physiotherapy, sex therapy, and couples therapy, in the treatment of sexual pain disorders and unconsummated relationships. To learn more, please visit: tallirosenbaum.com.

**This program meets the educational requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 2 CE credits – asynchronous. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information please contact info@AASECT.org or go to www.AASECT.org.  Please contact your local certifying organization for detailed information on courses they accept for CEs.