Sexual Problems & Marital Distress

  • Communication Problems
  • Pre-Marital & Marital Conflicts
  • Premature Ejaculation
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Inhibited Orgasm
  • Vaginismus / Painful Intercourse
  • Loss of Sexual Desire
  • Infertility/Adoption
  • Sexual Addiction

Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual Dysfunction Therapy is conducted
by male and female CDTA psychotherapists with formal training
and experience in the specific techniques of sex therapy
as well as in individual and couples therapy.

Sexuality is a common concern for both individuals and couples.
For an individual, sexual problems can be both a cause and
result of anxiety and poor self-esteem. In a couple’s relationship,
communication about sexual needs may be difficult, creating
tension and distance. A specific sexual dysfunction may further
impair communication and marital satisfaction.

Treatment begins with a sexual, individual and marital, history.
Typically, both members of the couple are included in the
treatment process, but individual therapy may also be appropriate.
Our approach is an integration of couples therapy, which
enhances communication and understanding between partners,
and a cognitive-behavioral focus on the specific sexual dysfunction.

A graduated series of exercises helps recondition sexual
functioning by shifting the focus to away from the vicious
cycle of performance anxiety to pleasure, communication,
and confidence-building. When anxiety or depression contributes
to the sexual problem, treatment may also focus on individual
personality dynamics.

Common presenting problems include:

  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Premature Ejaculation
  • Inability to Ejaculate
  • Inhibited Orgasm
  • Sexual Compulsion & Addiction
  • Lack of Sexual Desire
  • Vaginismus & Painful Intercourse

Sexual Abuse and Incest

Substantial numbers of women and men have experienced some
degree of sexual abuse. Such people are likely to seek treatment
for other emotional or physical problems. They may minimize,
or not remember their abuse experiences.

Our treatment approach with abuse survivors integrates a
cognitive focus on teaching skills that enhance the client’s
sense of control. Psychodynamic techniques build trust and
explore early relationships in which the patient may have
felt betrayed and unprotected. Individual treatment may be
combined with couples therapy to correct sexual dysfunctions
or relationship problems.

Adult survivors of sexual abuse may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Dissociation
  • Memory Gaps
  • Depression
  • Self-Hatred
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Anger which is repressed or misdirected
  • Fearfulness, particularly of losing control
  • Substance Abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-Mutilation
  • Self-Destructiveness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Lack of desire
  • Somatic Complaints: Insomnia, Headaches, Gastro-intestinal
    and Genito-urinary problems
  • Oversexualization of relationships
  • Social relationships which are controlled, distant, or superficial

Sexual Addiction

Sexual addicts are lonely, fearful of intimacy and have
never loved. They compulsively use sexual arousal the way
other addicts use chemicals to get high. Sex addicts may
get addicted to superficial sexual encounters, to paid sex
in massage parlors or strip clubs, or to sexual material
and exchanges on the Internet.

The sexual encounters never involve real intimacy but take
the addict away from the reality of human relationships that
they fear. Addicts typically deny the problem and come for
help only after being caught by the police or the spouse.

When addicts hit rock bottom, fear and shame break through
the denial. They realize they are vulnerable and become motivated
to change. They know they must choose whether to return to
a life of destructive fantasy or slowly learn how to love.

Psychotherapy, often in conjunction with couples therapy
or a support-group, helps the sex addict gain self-esteem
and relate to others as human beings rather than objects
to satisfy sexual needs. They begin to experience sexual
interaction as a way of expressing love, not as a way of
dominating others or relieving physical tensions. The recovered
addict has the opportunity to become a complete person and
to love for the first time.

Sexual addicts exhibit the following:

  • Compulsive behavior despite costs
  • Poor self-esteem and body-image
  • Self-deception and lies
  • Loneliness and empty feelings
  • Failed efforts to control behavior
  • Negative consequences for job and family
  • Masked depression and anxiety