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Counselling, Psychotherapy, Mindfulness in Central London

Sexuality and Sexual Issues

Sexuality

Sexuality refers to habits and preferences and may be expressed in many ways. Sexuality is complex and personal, and is more than just sexual activity. Sometimes, people feel confusion or distress about their sexuality or sexual identity. People express and experience sexuality in many ways, through thoughts, fantasies, behaviours, through relationships or their roles.

A person’s own definitions of sexuality may include:

  • Feelings of attraction toward others
  • Intimacy with others
  • Feelings related to body image
  • Personal values

Problems can emerge when someone’s sexuality does not fit the norms of their culture and can lead to inner conflict and a sense of not knowing if they should conform to their culture’s sexual norms or follow their desires. Each path may result to difficult feelings, including stigma or prejudice. People with a non-normative sexuality or gender may feel alienated from society. This struggle may cause sexual concerns. Some common concerns of people seeking therapy include:

  • Impotence
  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Anxiety or uncertainty about sexual orientation
  • Conflicting sexual desires between partners
  • Recovery from sexual abuse or assault
  • Loneliness
  • Body image issues
  • Sexual impulses or compulsions that cause distress
  • Promiscuous behaviour

Paraphilias (such as fetishism, paedophilia, voyeurism etc.) are sexual preferences for atypical behaviours. Fantasies that come with these behaviours need not always cause concern, unless the person with the fantasy is distressed by them. They become problematic when someone is harmed in any way by the act. Most of these behaviours can be explored in a healthy, safe way in therapy.

Sexual Issues

Sexual intimacy can be satisfying and fulfilling, but many people encounter a problem with sex at some point in their life. Some people deal with these problems themselves. For others, sexual problems can cause a lot of distress and unhappiness. Sex may be an uncomfortable topic for many to talk about, yet many people have sexual issues through the resolution of which may enable life to be the most fulfilling that it can be.

Sexual issues may come from negative feelings or trauma, and can prevent someone from taking part in sexual intimacy or disrupt healthy intimacy. Sexual problems can also surface due to a mental health issue such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, issues with body image, trust issues. Physical or medical concerns may also cause problems with sex.

How can therapy help?

At Therapy Central, we can help to explore issues concerning desire, arousal, orgasm and pain as well as trying to dispel myths and pressures people put on themselves surrounding sex and what they believe they need to be. Individuals or couples may attend therapy to discuss the act of sex or to discuss sexuality. Worries about sexual issues or sexuality can be distressing and can profoundly affect a person’s mood, thoughts, and well-being.

Sexual Issues

Individuals may want to discuss concerns related to intimacy with a partner or sexual thoughts that cause distress. During therapy we may explore sexual fantasies and expression, practice mindfulness to help people be fully present during sex, and explore negative beliefs that may get in the way of sexual satisfaction. They may help the person come to terms with their feelings about sex. They may also address emotional barriers in relationships. Addressing these in therapy may enhance sexual experiences or restore the enjoyment of physical intimacy.

Sexuality

Our therapists at Therapy Central may help someone explore their gender or sexual orientation and help people accept their sexuality and express it in healthy ways. People may share their fantasies, fears, memories, or desires about sexuality. Therapy may also help to get to the root of distress or confusion about their sexual feelings or behaviours. People may fear others will think their sexual concerns are inappropriate. They may not wish to talk to partners, family, and friends about these issues. This can cause anxiety, frustration, and shame and subsequently lead to further distress. Exploring sexual thoughts and feelings with a therapist at Therapy Central may help you accept your sexuality within a safe and comfortable environment.

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