Written by Sexual Wellness Institute Owner and Therapist, Amanda Holmberg, MS LMFT
If you are reading this is likely means you are seeing a therapist or have seen a therapist in the past that you didn’t feel you could bring up the topic of sex with.
You’re not alone. Many of the clients we get here are clients that didn’t feel they could bring up their sexual concerns to their therapist for a few different reasons, or their therapist referred them to us directly because they wanted their clients to get more specialized care.
First of all, to the therapists struggling to talk to their clients about sex: I get it. It’s hard. This point of this article is NOT to shame the therapist who struggles to talk about sex. We are very against shame of any kind as sex therapists. The point is to educate clients WHY their therapist may not be talking to them about sex so that instead of feeling like it’s about them (SHAME) they can see it’s 100 percent not about them.
So why won’t my therapist talk to me about sex? Here are the reasons.
1. Therapists aren’t given enough education in graduate school about how to work with sexual concerns.
If a therapist is lucky, they may have one class, or a part of a class dedicated to sex therapy. Many don’t get any education on this at all. So, it becomes up to them to seek out extra trainings or supervision post graduate school if they want to know how to work with sexual concerns.
2. Many of us therapists are at a disadvantage because we didn’t grow up in a sex positive environment.
Because a big part of my job is to train and supervise new therapists, I get to see firsthand how many therapists have not worked out their own stuff related to sex. With out this, it’s very difficult to then be able to help clients work out things related to sex. The first part is key. We can’t help you go places we haven’t been vulnerable with in some way with ourselves. This doesn’t mean we have to have gone through the exact same issue, but it does mean we have to figure out our own pre-conceived notions about sex from our own growing up that may or may not be helpful in the therapy room (ex: sexual shame). I have had to do my own work on this and continue to make it a priority in my life.
3. They aren’t sure if you want them to bring it up.
Back to the sexual shame thing again- some therapists hesitate to ask the question, “Is there anything about your sex life or sexuality that you want to discuss in therapy?” because they are afraid of what you might think of that question. They worry it’s too intrusive or assuming. They are worried they may offend you with the question.
4. They are sure the questions to ask.
So let’s say you do say you want to work on your sex life with your partner. They aren’t always sure of the questions to ask to help you figure out exactly what that means or what goals you could have related to that in therapy.
So what should you do if your therapist doesn’t bring up the topic but you really want to talk sex?
TALK ABOUT IT!
Tell them as straight forwardly as you can that you have some topics related to sex that you want to discuss in therapy. Likely, they will be happy you brought it up and ask you to tell them more. They will likely know their own capabilities and refer you out if they don’t feel they are the best person to help you, but you can also feel free to ask them if this is something they feel they can work with.
Some clients choose to continue to see their “regular” therapist and see us for the sexual related concerns. We are happy to help in whatever way feels best to you!
Interested in Starting Sex Therapy in Plymouth, MN?
Our sex therapists want to help you address sexual concerns here in Plymouth, or anywhere in the state with online therapy in Minnesota. Get started by following these simple steps:
Other Mental Health Services in Minnesota
In addition to sex therapy, our LGBT & polyamory friendly sex therapists provide a wide range of mental health services at our Plymouth, MN counseling office. Other services include couples therapy & marriage counseling, EFT, evidence-based couples therapy, EMDR & sexual trauma therapy, as well as, teen therapy. In order to help serve the mental health needs of all those living in Minnesota, we also offer online counseling & sex therapy. We also provide a variety of helpful tips on our mental health blog. Please feel free to reach out with questions, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to begin working with a skilled sex therapist! Your sex life can be amazing. Sex therapy can be a part of that process for you.
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