Sex therapy is a clothing-on talk therapy with an expert trained in human sexuality who understands the medical, interpersonal, and psychological factors that influence sexual functioning, sexual fulfillment and the experience of sexual pleasure.
At the UAMS Couples Center, we provide a safe environment where clients can explore sexual difficulties, longings, desires, and values. We work with a wide variety of sexual dysfunctions, including loss of desire, arousal disorders, orgasmic difficulties, sexual pain issues, sexless marriages, unusual arousal templates, sexual trauma, compulsive sexual behaviors, and the necessary adjustments that come with chronic illness and the sexual changes we experience as we age.
Enrichment and Education
Sexual enrichment is an area that people seek assistance with when they are not necessarily having functional problems, but have found that their sex lives have become stagnant, they have “lost that loving feeling” and drifted into a low-sex, no-sex relationship.
Sex education is a key component of sex therapy, as most of us receive such poor education about this important area of our lives. The most important aspect of sex therapy is the opportunity to ask questions, to normalize feelings, and to talk freely about concerns, particularly the common questions about what is “normal.”
A Personal Approach to Sex Therapy
We welcome clients of all ages, sexual orientations and gender identities. UAMS provides a safe space in which you can address questions and concerns about pornography use, fetishes, unusual arousal templates, and questions about sexual orientation.
In the process of assessing your particular situation, our providers can help discern if the problem might have a medical basis that requires a referral to assess the medical dimensions underlying certain problems. For example, many people are unaware that certain medications have significant sexual side effects that interfere with arousal and orgasm; or that erectile dysfunction is an early sign of cardio-vascular disease.
What You Can Learn
Sexual difficulties are common in long-term relationships and working in the intersection of the relationship and a couple’s sexuality can profoundly improve a couple’s relationship satisfaction. Sexual self-awareness and the ability to communicate are key factors in sexual satisfaction, and our program director Dr. Wakefield’s process helps people to:
- Gain insight into who they are as sexual beings – beyond the performance based scripts we are encouraged to adopt in modern society. This might include defining yourself as a sexual being for the first time and differentiated yourself from the scripts you have been handed, or who your partner wants you to be.
- Develop a sexual voice and the courage to self-reveal, exchange information, and listen compassionately to what your partner has to reveal without feeling pressured, shamed, or manipulated.
- Opening up new possibilities through education and exploration, while working with fears, concerns and historical influences that stand in the way of embracing those new possibilities. Redefining what it means to be “sexual.”
- Supporting a couple to become a “team” who works together to define and create a fulfilling sex life based on their health, values, individual sexualities, and the unique situations that affect two people’s intersecting lives.
All of this can greatly improve both the sexual and relationship satisfaction.