Sex therapy for erection problems

Sex therapy may be helpful for some men who have erection problems (erectile dysfunction). Sex therapy does not involve having sex with or in front of the sex therapist. It is also not long-term or open-ended therapy. It usually involves working with a therapist who recommends gradual steps to change sexual behavior.

Sex therapy helps you understand and accept that emotions (such as anxiety or sadness) can easily become associated with physical factors or reactions. It is based on the following premises:

  • Both partners share responsibility for helping solve the problem, even if it is due to physical causes.
  • You and your partner receive information and education about sexual techniques.
  • It is necessary to change any negative attitudes toward sex.
  • It is necessary to open up lines of communication between you and your partner.

Sex therapy may involve:

  • Talking about the multiple causes of sexual problems and how emotions can play a role in physical causes.
  • Using a variety of psychological tests.
  • Talking about the natural changes in sexual function that occur with aging.
  • Offering specific suggestions for enhancing sexual enjoyment (such as changing foreplay, using lubricants, getting enough rest, eliminating distractions).

Your family doctor may be able to refer you to a sex therapist. Or you can get a referral from a psychologist or social worker.

Last Updated: May 21, 2008

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