Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist and client, and the particular problems you bring forward. There are many different methods I may use to deal with the problems that you hope to address. Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, psychotherapy has also been shown to have benefits for people who go through it. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. But there are no guarantees of what you will experience.
Facts and Questions
What is Sex Therapy?
Whether you are looking to begin therapy by yourself or as a couple, sex therapy is a form of psychotherapy that deals with sexual functioning and dysfunction. Sex therapy utilizes many techniques of other therapy modalities, but it is specialized treatment for sexual problems. I believe that our sexual functioning and sexuality is an integral part of us as an individual and within a relationship and that our sexuality is closely tied to our total identity. Thus when there is sexual dysfunction, sexual dissatisfaction, compulsive sexual behaviors, or unresolved sexual trauma it can lead to feelings of devaluation, guilt, shame, anxiety, depression, embarrassment, and really hold back an individual or couple from experiencing a satisfying sexuality and deep intimacy. Sex therapy isn’t only for if you are experiencing sexual problems though. Despite the fact that we live in a culture that is charged with sex, many people have a limited knowledge and awareness of their own bodies and sexual functioning. Whether as a couple or individual, sex therapy can help you find ways to deepen intimacy, explore the full range of your sexual functioning, and increase your sexual confidence.
How Can Sex Therapy Help Me?
Despite the fact that we live in a sexually charged culture, people do not know much about sexual difficulties, how to deal with sexual dysfunction, or even how to deepen their eroticism. Sex therapy can be for individuals or couples and help you to deal with erectile dysfunction, painful sex, loss of intimacy, low sexual desire, difficulty with orgasm, difference in relationship desires, compulsive sexual behavior, increase your sexual-esteem, help you to deepen intimacy in a relationship, recover for sexual trauma, and repair your relationship from past ruptures. Often too, when an individual or couple is experiencing sexual problems there is depression or anxiety associated with the sexual issue. Thus it is not uncommon for sex therapy to also address the depression and/or anxiety.
How Do I Know if I Need Sex Therapy?
Is it a problem that has been persistent? Maybe there is one night that you were not able to reach orgasm or you ejaculated quicker than you would like. I wouldn’t say you need to wake up the next morning and schedule an appointment. But this leads to the next point to consider in deciding to see a sex therapist. Is it a problem that is contributing to dissatisfaction or conflict in your personal relationships? For instance maybe you do not feel like the amount of pornography you watch is a problem but it seems to be an issue that causes conflict and fights in your relationship or keep you from engaging in other relationships. A third point to consider is if you feel guilty or ashamed about your sexual behaviors or abilities then you might want to speak with someone and process what behaviors are or why you experience shame and guilt, as a means to reduce the shame and bring change into your life to be able to live with pride. Additionally if you find that sex is painful or dissatisfying, sex therapy can help you to develop tools and techniques to reduce the pain, cope with it, and increase satisfaction with your sex life.
What Do I Talk About in Sex Therapy?
It is not uncommon for people looking to begin sex therapy to feel uncomfortable about the issue they are looking to address and they often wonder what to expect from sex therapy. As with any modality of therapy for personal difficulties, sex therapy has limitations and there is no miracle cure. Additionally sex therapy often does not just focus on the mechanics of the sex, but will seek to address the underlying cognitions, behaviors, emotions, traumas, and dynamics that contribute to the sexual problem. Due to the intimate nature of the topics discussed in therapy, it is imperative that your therapist is a qualified sex therapist and that you have a mutual trust and respect within the therapeutic relationship. If you do not feel comfortable and trusting of your therapist it will feel very difficult to speak explicitly about your sexuality and therefore it will be harder to resolve your issues. Additionally depending on the issue your therapist might challenge or confront you on certain topics but it should always been done in a non-judgmental and respectful manner. Never should you be asked to perform sexual acts in front of your therapist, be touched by your therapist, or should there be any sexual contact between the client and the therapist.
How Long is a Session?
I will usually schedule one 50-minute session (one appointment hour of 50 minutes duration) once a week at a time we agree on, although some sessions may be longer or more frequent if agreed upon by both parties.
Late and Cancellation Policy
Sessions start at the scheduled time. If you arrive late, your session will be shorter; if your therapist arrives late, your session will be extended to make up the time. Once an appointment hour is scheduled, you will be expected to pay for it unless you provide 24 hours advance notice of cancellation. Cancellations can be made by voicemail, text, or email. If you need to move an appointment within 24 hours of our scheduled appointment time, you will be responsible for the full session fee, regardless of when you reschedule your appointment. (For example, if your appointment is for 2pm Wednesday and you call to cancel at 6pm Tuesday, you will be charged for the time you had reserved for Wednesday). I recognize that there are many understandable reasons for needing to move an appointment. However, I do maintain a strict adherence to this cancellation policy because of the difficulty of filling a time slot that is vacated on short notice.
Do You Take Insurance?
I do not work directly with any insurance companies nor am I on any insurance panels. In order for us to set realistic treatment goals and priorities, it is important to evaluate what resources you have available to pay for your treatment. If you have a health insurance policy, it will usually provide some coverage for mental health treatment. We are not a part of any managed care panels. However, if requested, I will provide you with a statement for you to submit to your insurance company so they can reimburse you directly for all eligible fees. In all cases, you, not your insurance company, are responsible for full payment of my fees at each session.
How Can I Contact You?
You can call or text me at 323-546-8737 or email at PiperSGrant@gmail.com. I often am not immediately available by telephone. While I usually am in my office between 9am and 7pm, I will not answer the phone when I am with a client. When I am unavailable my telephone will roll over to voice mail. I will make every effort to return your call on the same day you make it, with the exception of weekends and holidays. If it is an emergency always contact the nearest emergency room and/or call 911.
What is the Cost of Therapy?
Cost of treatment is based on a financial assessment of each client. I strongly believe that financial concerns should not hinder a person’s ability to get treatment and thus I always seek to make it affordable per each client. Please contact me to further discuss cost of therapy.