Couple Counseling Basics

Couple Counseling for Sexual and Emotional Problems

Sexual relating is about couples. A physical bonding that keeps a marriage or relationship from becoming a roommate situation.

Couples find sex a shared pleasure, fun, a stress reducer, and a way to increase intimacy.

When the sex is going good, the couple does not pay much attention, but when it is not good (defined by the couple) then that percentage goes up from 15 percent to 75 percent. The couple then reaches out for help.

Couples sex therapy is about helping the couple make sexuality a part of their lives again. Not just intercourse, but closeness.

This closeness leads to good connection which leads to better erotic encounters, including intercourse. The number of couples with sexual dysfunction has increased, and of special concern is the number of relationships that are non sexual.

Also increasing is the number of couples having sexual dysfunctions and sexual dissatisfaction.

Couple Counseling: the Couple is the Client

Hypoactive sexual desire is a common reason for couples to separate within the first two years of marriage. Other common reasons are fertility issues and extramarital affairs.

Couples therapy focuses on the couple. The couple is the client not the individual. That is not to say individual work is not done… it is each individual’s responsibility to do their own work.

If it is deemed necessary that more individual work is needed, then an additional therapist is required. Couples therapy is most likely put on “hold” until that therapy is done.

How Couples Therapy Sessions Work

I meet with couples together first, to assess if sex therapy is the best place for them to address their concerns, and if I am a fit for them as well.

Next I meet with each individually and obtain a sexual health history. These are conducted to get a clear, uncensored view of their relational, psychological and sexual development.

We discuss attitudes and beliefs about their sexuality. They tell me about their past dating experiences. This allows the person as well to get comfortable with sharing.

The next meeting is together with the couple and a treatment plan is presented. This is a collaboration of my findings and the couples desire and motivation for treatment.

Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction in Couples

Treatment is focused on integrating couple’s relationship skills, emotional work and education around the sexual dysfunction. The sexual dysfunction, low sexual desire, is one that I see frequently.

Low sexual desire is a “couples’ thing”. It can be related to other sexual difficulties in either partner, such as erectile dysfunction, inhibited female orgasm, or vaginismus.

The most important determination for success in therapy is commitment to your relationship and the process. Couples will not succeed if they are not committed.

It is no different then any other goal in life we wish to achieve. And what an awesome goal to want to pursue!