A significant part of an adult's identity and sense of well being involves their sexuality. In turn, sex is a very important part of a marriage and coupleship. If sexual problems are encountered they can have a profound influence on an individual and on a relationship. Sexual difficulties are generally classified as either dysfunctions or disorders.
Dysfunctions generally describe problems that may be encountered in the practice of "normal" sexual activity. These may include but are not limited to arousal failure, difficulty in achieving and/or maintaining an erection(erectile dysfunction), a significant amount of pain encountered by females when intercourse is attempted(dyspareunia or vaginismus) an inability of a female to achieve an orgasm or a lack of desire in sex by either a male or female(desire failure). Depending on the exact nature of the problem a medical and/or psychological approach is taken in the treatment. Frequently, a consultation occurs between the therapist and the treating physician who is likely to be a Urologist or OB/GYN. Progress is typically noted in the treatment of sexual dysfunction.
The term "sexual disorder" applies when the individual's sexual tendencies or inclination fall outside the realm of "normal" sexual behavior. These include sexual identity disorders such as the transgender disorder andparaphilias. When these exist an individual utilizes an object or an emotional theme to achieve sexual excitement. Examples of these includetransvesticism(cross dressing), experiencing pain(Sadism, Macochism), nonconsenting partners (voyerism, exhibitionism), use of power(pedophilia), use on control(rape). There are many specific disorders not listed here.
Sexual disorders that involve prosecutable crimes are generally treated in court ordered state approved programs. Sexual disorders falling within the legal range are treated generally through individual treatment. These individuals are able to make progress in therapy if they are motivated to change.
At James Foster & Associates, professional counselors (male or female) we will assist individuals by assessing their situation and providing treatment plans, referrals and or recommendations that will benefit them. For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact us.