FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What exactly is Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy. Through sex therapy, you can address concerns about sexual function, sexual feelings, and intimacy — either in individual therapy or therapy with a partner. Sex therapy can be an effective resource for adults of any age, gender, or sexual orientation.
Sex therapy is provided by licensed psychologists or therapists who have specialized training in sexuality. Certified sex therapists have graduate degrees and can demonstrate their competence in sex therapy by becoming credentialed by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).
Sex therapy is usually short-term. The specific treatment plan depends on the issues addressed. Certified sex therapists do not have sexual contact with clients, in the office or anywhere else.
- Why would I need Sex Therapy?
Sex therapy can help you resolve various sexual issues, from concerns about sexual function or feelings that affect your sex life to the way you relate to your partner. Through sex therapy, you may address:
- Concerns about sexual desire or arousal
- Issues about sexuality
- Concerns about sexual interests or sexual orientation
- Compulsive sexual behavior
- Trouble reaching orgasm (anorgasmia)
- Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Sexual dysfunctions (vaginismus, vulvodynia)
- Intimacy issues related to a disability or chronic condition
Talking about sex and intimacy doesn’t come easy for everyone. Most women will turn to a friend, family member, or women’s magazines to find answers to sexual problems before they would consider going to a specialist. It is more common than not for women to have sexual concerns. Some women feel a lot of shame or confusion around the sexual problem and don’t know where to start.
Sex therapists are specialized providers trained to understand these reservations and to help identify and explore sexual issues. Through sex therapy, you’ll learn to express yourself clearly and better understand your own sexual needs, as well as those of your partner. Sex therapy can be very empowering!
- What will Sex Therapy be like?
Sex therapy starts with a thorough psychosexual assessment where the therapist gathers information about your current and past issues related to your specific sexual concerns. Sexual issues can be complicated, and your therapist will want to get a clear idea of all the factors involved. Once your therapist understands the situation, she will discuss ways to resolve your concerns and improve your communication and intimacy. If you’re in a relationship, it’s usually most helpful to involve your partner in sessions with your sex therapist. You and your partner may be assigned a series of homework exercises, such as:
- Reading about sexual techniques
- Slowing down and focusing on what you’re sensing during sexual encounters
- Changing the way you interact with your partner during sex
- How long does Sex Therapy take?
Sex therapy is usually short-term. Some concerns can be addressed quickly, in just a few visits. Typically, however, a number of therapy sessions are required — usually weekly or once every two weeks for several months.
As sex therapy progresses, you’ll use your home experiences to identify further and refine the issues you’d like to cover. Keep in mind that concerns about sex and intimacy are connected to other underlying issues such as stress, anxiety, or depression. In other cases, sexual function is affected by chronic illness, medication side effects, or surgery. Depending on your concerns, seeing only a sex therapist may be enough — or your sex therapist may be part of a team that includes your doctor, psychologist, or physical therapist. For some sexual concerns, medication may be helpful.
- Do I come alone or with my partner to the first visit?
We will discuss the best option at the time you schedule an appointment. It is best that your partner know you are starting therapy if you hope to include him or her in sessions in the future. Clarify what would be best for you and discuss that with your partner. If your partner doesn’t come to therapy, the benefit can also be gained by coming alone and working on the problem from your side.
- Do you accept insurance?
No, unfortunately, we do not accept insurance. Accepted forms of payment include cash, check, and credit card. Please contact Dr. Chavez for more information regarding payment.
Payments made in full at the time of visit. Dr. Chavez will provide you with a superbill to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. If you are planning to use your health insurance, you must call your insurance company to ask if they cover therapy services.
Here are some questions to ask your insurance company:
- Does my policy cover out-of-network providers?
- What is the out-of-network rate?
- How much does my coverage pay per visit?
- Do I have a maximum number of visits or maximum dollar amount per calendar year?
- How much is my deductible?
- What is the reimbursement policy?
- Does my policy have a requirement regarding licensure and degree (i.e. MD, Psy.D., M.S.W, M.A.)?