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12 Things Sex Therapists Wish You Knew

Reader's Digest Logo By Lisa Milbrand of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 12: You may have heard rumors that you'll have to show, rather than tell, your problem in sex therapy. And if you've watched the series Masters of Sex, that's definitely what happened there—along with sex surrogate therapy, in which the researchers or their staff engaged in sexual contact to help patients.But sex therapists say that they won't be watching—or participating—in your sexual activities: They'll just be helping you recover that loving feeling. (Good thing: There are real health benefits to an active sex life.) 'Professional therapy never includes sex, touching, or removal of clothing,' says Shannon Chavez, PsyD, CST, a licensed clinical psychologist and AASECT certified sex therapist in Beverly Hills, California. 'It is similar to traditional therapy, other than dealing primarily with sexual health, solution-focused and short-term. I describe my therapy approach as talk therapy with an eclectic use of coaching, adult sex education, and behavioral approaches and exercises. We are learning tools for mindfulness, stress management, and self-care.'

You won't need to do the deed in front of your therapist—or with your therapist

Sex therapists set the rumors straight about what you can expect, when you might want to see them—and what you can do to improve your sex life.

You may have heard rumors that you'll have to show, rather than tell, your problem in sex therapy. And if you've watched the series Masters of Sex, that's definitely what happened there—along with sex surrogate therapy, in which the researchers or their staff engaged in sexual contact to help patients.But sex therapists say that they won't be watching—or participating—in your sexual activities: They'll just be helping you recover that loving feeling. (Good thing: There are real health benefits to an active sex life.) 'Professional therapy never includes sex, touching, or removal of clothing,' says Shannon Chavez, PsyD, CST, a licensed clinical psychologist and AASECT certified sex therapist in Beverly Hills, California. 'It is similar to traditional therapy, other than dealing primarily with sexual health, solution-focused and short-term. I describe my therapy approach as talk therapy with an eclectic use of coaching, adult sex education, and behavioral approaches and exercises. We are learning tools for mindfulness, stress management, and self-care.'
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