What is Christian Sex Therapy?

Josh Spurlock

You get weird looks when you tell people you are a Christian Sex Therapist…

They’re creepy…

At least that’s what I used to think about “sex therapists” when I was in Bible college.

That was before my internship in grad school with a Christian certified sex therapist. Sitting in on her sessions I watched people, just like the ones I went to church with, struggling…alone…with difficulties in the sexual part of their life.

Some people:

  • Experienced so much pain when they tried to have intercourse they had never been able to consummate their marriage…
  • Had flashbacks from a rape or molestation that made sex very scary…
  • Lost their sex drive after having kids and were struggling to keep the passion alive in their marriage…
  • Felt unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion and didn’t know what to do about it…
  • Couldn’t achieve or maintain an erection after their prostate surgery and were afraid they’d never have a fulfilling sex life again…
  • Never had an orgasm…

Hearing their stories…my heart broke – I knew God wanted me to be a part of HIS solution, to bring healing into their life.

In This Article

  1. What Sex Therapy Is NOT
  2. Enriching Physical Intimacy
  3. So What Happens in Sex Therapy?
  4. Increasing Sexual Confidence
  5. So Why Christian Sex Therapy?

About the Author

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC, CST is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Sex Therapists with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling and Sex Therapy. You can schedule an appointment with Josh for online counseling.

What Sex Therapy is NOT

Let’s start with what sex therapy is not. Throw out of your mind anything you ever learned about sex therapy from TV, the movies, or the guy who knows a guy who went to sex therapy with his wife. Sex therapy is not about hyper-sex-maniacs and the latest greatest sexual technique from the revised edition of the kama-sutra.

Your Christian sex therapist will not recommend you look at porn together or hook-up for a threesome to spice things up. There will be no exams, nudity and definitely no sexual touching. Sex therapy, like other kinds of counseling, is “talk therapy”

Enriching Physical Intimacy

“I wish we would have done this sooner!” – That’s what I usually hear from clients.

Everyone has sex problems at some point, you’re not alone.

Newlyweds are trying to figure out who initiates and when and “is it supposed to….”

When kids arrive there’s exhaustion, body changes, and lots of distractions!

As grandparents, there’s menopause and other hormonal changes, body aches, prostate challenges, and relational baggage that can get in the way.

It’s just not always hot and easy like the media portrays.

So what happens in sex therapy?

Sex therapy helps individuals and couples enhance sexual fulfillment and/or resolve sexual conflicts and problems. Solutions can vary from simple education to more extensive counseling around complex or longstanding issues.

Strategies are tailored to the goals of the individual or couples seeking help. Sex therapy maintains ethical boundaries and is sensitive to the personal values of the client.

Techniques include relationship and intimacy enhancement, strategic reading, specific behavioral interventions, therapy groups and referral/consultation with other professionals.

Sex therapy can be a catalyst for healing and enrichment in the crucial sexual component of intimate relationships.

1. Sex therapists help spouses talk about sex with each other. Sex counselors are comfortable talking about sex, and they’ll help facilitate what otherwise might be paralyzingly awkward.

Most doctors don’t have any training in sex therapy, including gynecologists and urologists. They know how the body works, but are not experienced in helping people troubleshoot sex problems.

2. Sex therapy gets to the heart of the issue. Some aspects of sex therapy are similar to marriage counseling. After many rounds of fighting about sex there can be a lot of hurt and resentment that has all but shut down healthy conversations.

3. What happens in sex therapy? At the start of my first session with a couple I ask “How can I be of help?” We start by defining what is it we hope to accomplish by meeting together. We get on the same page about what will be different about our sex life if this “works”.

Next, I meet with each spouse individually to ask a bunch of invasive questions that are none of my business – but, give me the information I need to understand what is causing the difficulties. I don’t do any blood draws, x-rays, or MRI’s. I just ask questions.

I ask qustions about your story, your bodily experience (what hurts), what and from whom we learned about sex growing up.

Once I have the information I need we get back together and I lay out a game plan for how we move forward towards the goals we previously established.

4. Sex therapists don’t take sides. And we don’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to. Sex therapy is about helping you achieve the goals YOU have. We do so by identifying what’s getting in the way and coaching through a treatment plan based on sceintific research and clinical experience.

5. What kinds of problems do sex therapists treat? The most common presenting issues are: low sexual desire and frequency disagreement.

  • Lack of Sexual Fulfillment – Just not enjoying sex or having difficulty experiencing orgasm; erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation
  • Pain from Sex – Pain during sex either physically or emotionally
  • Feelings of Inadequacy – Lacking sexual confidence or not good enough as a lover
  • Pornography or Sexual Addiction – Struggles with using pornography or acting out sexually in ways that your ashamed of
  • Sexual Abuse, Trauma, or Rape – Emotional wounds from being mistreated or exploited sexually

6. How long deos sex therapy take? Lengths of treatment vary depending on the nature of the challenges being faced.

Informational Challenges – Don’t know how to have an orgasm, could be as little as 2 sessions. A question your embarrased to ask? Premature ejaculation? – Sometimes a single session can provide the answer.

Relational/Sexual Problems – Most couples have relationship issues intertwined with their sexual difficulties. Depending on the nature of these (pornography addiction, past affairs, resentment from years of conflict) it can take at least 12 weeks – 6 months.

Trauma (abuse, neglect, assault) – These struggles create attachment wounds that can make it difficult for a person to connect with anyone. Difficulties stemming from these experiences can take years to resolve. Now that doesn’t mean that every person who has been molested needs years of therapy to have a healthy sex life. The specifics matter signficantly (who the abuser was, how long it lasted, if there was threat of violence, how the important people in your life responded). [Learn more: Enjoying Healthy Sex After Sexual Assault – Molestation – Rape – Abuse]

Increasing Sexual Confidence

It’s about learning to enjoy, be comfortable with, and feel good about the sexual part of your life. The truth about sex is that it is God’s idea and He wants us to know how to enjoy His good gift best.

God wants us to be free from hurt, disappointment, guilt, shame, and feelings of inadequacy so that we can be free to enjoy His gift of sexuality.

So why Christian sex therapy?

Christian sex therapy makes sense because sex is God’s idea. God created humans, and He created them as sexual creatures. He knows how our sexuality is meant to be and how it’s enjoyed most. God wants us to be at peace with our sexuality and enjoy it to it’s fullest potential.

While God created our sexuality to be something wonderful and reflective of Him, it can be the source of unbelievable pain. When God’s gift is violated or distorted by personal choices or at the hands of others, the results are hurt, shame, and loss relationship. Sexual consequences, injuries, and struggles can be devastating. Yet, there is hope.

God is redemptive. This means our God wants to bring healing to the hurting and broken places in our life, including our sexuality. The counselors at MyCounselor integrate the Truth of God’s word, through the power of the Holy Spirit, with the best of information the professional sex therapy field has to offer.

The result is Biblically Christian professional sex therapy to help you experience peace, healing, and satisfaction in the sexual part of your life.

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References

  1. Kaplan, H. S. (2013). New sex therapy: Active treatment of sexual dysfunctions. Routledge.
  2. Leiblum, S. R. (Ed.). (2006). Principles and practice of sex therapy. Guilford Press.
  3. LoPiccolo, J., & LoPiccolo, L. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of sex therapy. Springer Science & Business Media.
  4. Hawton, K., Catalan, J., & Fagg, J. (1991). Low sexual desire: Sex therapy results and prognostic factors. Behaviour Research and Therapy29(3), 217-224. [4]
  5. Basson, R., Berman, J., Burnett, A., Derogatis, L., Ferguson, D., Fourcroy, J., … & Leiblum, S. (2000). Report of the international consensus development conference on female sexual dysfunction: definitions and classifications. The Journal of urology163(3), 888-893. [5]
  6. Basson, R. (2000). The female sexual response: A different model. Journal of Sex &Marital Therapy26(1), 51-65. [6]
  7. Basson, R., Leiblum, S., Brotto, L., Derogatis, L., Fourcroy, J., Fugl‐Meyer, K., … & Schover, L. (2004). Revised definitions of women’s sexual dysfunction. The journal of sexual medicine1(1), 40-48. [7]
  8. Basson, R., Leiblum, S., Brotto, L., Derogatis, L., Fourcroy, J., Fugl-Meyer, K., … & Schover, L. (2003). Definitions of women’s sexual dysfunction reconsidered: advocating expansion and revision. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology24(4), 221-229. [8]

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