How Talking to a Sex Therapist Can Help With Erectile Dysfunction

How Talking to a Sex Therapist Can Help With Erectile Dysfunction

Sex and intimacy are an important part of sexual well-being and relationship health. Men can be affected by a range of conditions which may impact their sexual health and overall mental and emotional health and talking erectile dysfunction early is important.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a sexual dysfunction defined as the inability to maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Men may experience mild to moderate erectile dysfunction or complete erectile dysfunction and other problems associated with sexual performance. The prevalence of ED increases with age and may be symptomatic of other medical conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions and chronic stress. Research suggests prevalence may be as high as 15% in some countries. Seeking professional help early is important. If you are worried about erectile dysfunction the first step is to talk to your GP or a medical professional to rule out any potential health conditions.  The second step may be to talk to a professional sex therapist who can help you come to terms with the condition in a positive way.

There are a range of reasons a male may experience ED. These can include lifestyle, physical health, psychosexual problems, hormonal imbalance, health conditions, stress, prostate conditions, surgery, childhood trauma and relationship problems. Excessive use of pornography and drug abuse has also been linked to mild to moderate ED. Some men may experience ED causing difficulty climaxing with a partner but they may have no problem climaxing alone through masturbating.

In my experience as a Sex and Relationship Psychotherapist working with men, women and couples with sexual issues there is always a combination of factors causing sexual problems which at first appear unclear. Through the process of therapy these factors become more evident, allowing the client to make conscious and informed decisions about the next steps to take.

Experiencing ED particularly over a longer period can be distressing and traumatic effecting a man’s sense of masculinity, self-esteem and overall confidence. For some men, the fear and anxiety associated with sexual performance can prevent them from dating altogether ruling out the potential for secure and loving healthy relationships.

Erectile dysfunction can be the result of treatment and surgery following a diagnosis of prostate cancer. It can be beneficial for men and couples who are affected by a prostate cancer diagnosis to talk to an experienced therapist to help them adjust to the condition together. Experiencing ED does not have to mean the end of a couple’s sex life. It often means however that they need to redefine their association of sex as being focused on penetration and more towards a focus of experiencing pleasure, touch, foreplay, sensuality, arousal and a deeper intimate connection together.

Sexual problems can feel difficult and embarrassing to talk about but that can change over time the more you talk through problems with a therapist. It is important not to let fear of talking about any condition prevent you from getting the right type of help.

The good news is that there are a number of health professionals who have expertise and training specifically in sexual problems called Sex Therapists, Psychosexual Therapists or Sex & Relationship Psychotherapists.

Talking to a therapist can help in a number of ways to deal with ED.  They are professionally trained to help you talk more openly about sexual problems by making you feel comfortable and supported. Therapists guide clients through difficult conversations and work towards helping them come to terms with the condition. Therapy for ED may include completing an assessment questionnaire to understand the level of ED and explores the history and potential causes for the condition. Once the client has gained some insight into the reasons behind their condition therapy focuses on intervention, adjustment and recovery.

Take the time to find the right therapist for you and work through your problem to rule out potential causes and identify factors. Therapeutically your therapist should be focusing on many levels such as lifestyle, sex and intimacy, emotional health and relationship healing.

It may take a number of sessions to properly assess the various factors and history of the sexual problem before any intervention is discussed. I always invite partners to engage in therapy for sexual problems to discuss the relationship and help the couple come together to support each other in a positive way. Dealing with sexual problems often means addressing the impact on both people in the relationship and working out how they can adjust together.  I find many couples I work with never learned to talk openly about sex or intimacy together. When one partner opens up in a relationship it makes it more acceptable for both partners to talk more about their intimate relationship leading to an enhanced connection together.

An important part of therapy for ED is helping men of all ages to regain their confidence, self-esteem and masculinity and start to feel good about themselves again.

 

Can Regular Exercise Lead To A Better Sex Life?

Recently I spoke with Stellar Magazine about the connection between exercising, fitness and sex which can have a positive ripple effect on intimacy and relationships.

Stellar.ie | Can Regular Exercise Lead To A Better Sex Life? Here’s What The Experts Say..

You’ve probably heard about all of the health benefits of regular exercising: reduced risk of heart problems, type 2 diabetes and obesity, to name a few. But exercise can have huge benefits to another aspect of your life – your sex drive.

Sex itself is an intense physical exercise that tests your endurance and stamina. And while doing regular exercise can be a bit of chore, if it were more likely to enhance your sex life and lead to better orgasms, would you be more inclined to do it?

We spoke to sex psychotherapist Orlagh Gahan to find out how exactly exercise can impact your life in the bedroom.

There is no doubt that exercise, fitness and overall levels of stress are right up there on top of the list of things which affect our sex drive which often dips or disappears when we are experiencing periods of stress. Exercise helps to reduces stress as the brain releases feel good chemicals and hormones into the body, the same in-fact as during sex, orgasms or when we receive hugs.

“Regular exercise which gets our blood pumping means we feel fitter, more positive and motivated all round,” she said. She explains that exercise can have such a huge impact on your sex life as it gets you out of you head and reduces stress:

Continue reading this article at STELLAR.IE Can-regular-exercise-lead-to-a-better-sex-life-heres-what-the-experts-say.

Sexual Addiction Recovery & Self Help Books for Addicts & Partners

Sexual Addiction Recovery & Self Help Books for Addicts & Partners

Contrary to what many clients and partners believe when they initially come for counselling for sexual addiction, there are in fact many self help and recovery related books on the subject. As new research continues to emerge so to does the variety of literature and understanding in the field. Below is a shortlist of some of the many books for anyone seeking information, understanding, recovery or help for sexual addiction and pornography addiction. I strongly recommend to anyone who is struggling with problematic sexual behaviours, sex or pornography addiction to start to understand, through reading, how the problem is effecting you, your partner and your life. Knowledge is power.

Most of the below books are available on Amazon.com and are downloadable on Kindle.

Sex Addiction – The Partners Perspective by Paula Hall, UK (2015) *Recommended Reading*

Understanding and Treating Sex Addictions: A Comprehensive Guide for People who Struggle with  Sex Addiction and those who  want to Help Them by Paula Hall, UK (2012) *Recommended Reading*

Always Turned On: Facing Sex Addiction in the Digital Age by R.Weiss & J.P Schneider (14 Jan 2014)

Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself from Sex Addiction, Porn Obsessinos and Shame by G. Collins (2011)

Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict by Patrick Carnes (1994)

Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men by Robert Weiss (2005)

Cybersex Exposed: Simple Fantasy or Obsession? by J. Schneider & R. Weiss (2001)

Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction by Susan Cheever (2009)

Disclosing Secrets: When, to Whom, and How Much to Reveal by Deborah Cor-ley and Jennifer Schneider (2012)

Don’t Call It Love: Recovery from Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes (1992)

Facing the Shadows – Starting Sexual & Relationship Recovery Workbook by Patrick Carnes (2015) *Recommended Reading*

A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps: The Classic Guide for All People in the Process of Recovery by P.Carnes (2012)

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behaviour by P. Carnes, D. Delmonico, E. Griffin (2007)

Is It Love or is it Addiction by Brenda Schaeffer (2009)

Lonely All the Time: Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming Sex Addiction, for Addicts and Codependents by R.Earle & G.  Crow (1989)

Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes (2001)

Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul (2010)

Say Yes to Your Sexual Healing: Daily Meditations for Overcoming Sex Addiction by Leo Booth (2009)

Sex Addiction 101: A Basic Guide to Healing from Sex, Porn, and Love Addiction by R.Weiss and D.Sack (2013)

Sex Addictions And Real Life Stories | Help and Healing for the Sex Addict by T.D. Johnston (2012)

Sex Addicts Anonymous by Sex Addicts Anonymous Fellowship (2009)

Stop Sex Addiction by Milton S. Magness (2013)

The Sex Addiction Workbook: Proven Strategies to Help You Regain Control of Your Life by T.P Sbraga & W.T O’Donoghue  (2004)

The Teen Guide to Recovery from Sex and Porn Addiction: Based on Dr. P Carnes ‘Innovative Thirty Task Treatment Model  (Jan  2014)

Untangling the Web: Sex, Porn and Fanstasy Obsesssion in the Internet Age by J. Schneider and R. Weiss (2006)

 

Related reading for partners, spouses and couples;   

Sex Addiction – The Partners Perspective by Paula Hall, UK (2015)

A Couple’s Guide to Sexual Addiction: A Step-by-Step Plan to Rebuild Trust and Restore Intimacy by P. Collins and G. N.  Collins (2011)

Facing Heartache: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts by S. Carnes, M.A. Lee & A.D Rodriguez (2012)

Intimate Treason: Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction by C. Black and C. Tripodi (2012)

A House Interrupted: A Wife’s Story of Recovering from Her Husband’s Sex Addiction by Maurita Corcoran (2011)

Claiming Your Self-esteem: Guide Out of Co-dependency, Addiction and Other Useless Habits by Carolyn M. Ball (1991)

Escape from Intimacy: Untangling the “Love” Addictions: Sex, Romance, Relationships by Anne Wilson Schaef(1990)

Letters To A Sex Addict: The Journey through Grief and Betrayal by Wendy Conquest (2013)

Lonely All the Time: Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming Sex Addiction, for Addicts and Co-Dependents by R. Earle, G.  Crow & K.  Osborn  (1989

Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey Through Sexual Addiction by S. W Silverman

Love, Infidelity, and Sexual Addiction: A Co-dependent’s Perspective – Including Cybersex Addiction by Christine A.  Adams (2009)

Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts by S. Carnes (2011)

Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul (2010)

Relationships from Addiction to Authenticity: Understanding Co-Sex Addiction – A Spiritual Journey to Wholeness and Serenity  by C. Pletcher & S. Bartolameolli (2008)

Sex, Addictions, and Marriage: The Importance of Sexual Integrity by David J. Shock (2013)

Soaring Above Co-Addiction. Helping your loved one get clean, while creating the Life of your Dreams by Lisa Ann Espich  (2012)

Stop Sex Addiction: Real Hope, True Freedom for Sex Addicts and Partners by Milton S. Magness (2013)

The Porn Trap: A Guide to Healing from Porn Addiction, for Sufferers and Their Loved Ones by W. Maltz (2009)

Women, Sex, and Addiction: A Search for Love and Power by C. Davis Kasl, Ph.D (1990)

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope & Heal by B.Steffens & M.Means (2009)

You can also find UK based information, resources and intensive recovery courses at www.paulahall.co.uk and sexaddictionhelp.co.uk

Download your first steps 19 page Kick Start Recovery guide by Paula Hall.

If you would like to find out about private personal counselling for sex or pornography addiction in Kildare, visit www.addictivebehaviours.ie and www.orlaghgahan.ie. 

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial