"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or to accept responsibility for changing them." -Dr. Denis Waitley
What is the scope of Sex Therapy?
A client's sexuality
A client's sexuality is a very complicated aspect of self. Sexuality is more than just sex. It's about an identity (i.e. lesbian, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, queer, asexual... the list is extensive). It's about gender roles and the tension that these can create in your intimate relationships, and with yourself. And finally, it's about finding the right fit for yourself in your world. Everyone has "scripts" created by the norms, religion, etc. etc. that we grow up with in our families and culture, but not all of these scripts ultimately fit as sexuality develops.
“Disorders” is a scary term, but it is important in helping a therapist and client find the right treatment for the presenting problem. What constitutes a disorder has changed over time, but the major areas covered in Sex Therapy are disorders
Some of these are also categorized in the DSM, the psychologists/psychiatrists' book of dysfunctions/disorders, but these are only a considered such when they are a source of conflict in a relationship and/or with a person's life (work, family, legal). There are 2 kinds: paraphilias and fetishes.
Paraphilias are, according to the DSM-IV-TR, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors generally involving: 1) non-human objects; 2) suffering or humiliation of oneself or one's partner; or 3) children or other nonconsenting persons. Paraphilias differ from fetishes in that paraphilias are not required for sex, where as fetishes aren't and are generally lifelong.
The therapists at Philadelphia MFT consider all of these areas systemically – the roles they play in the relationship – and are treated as a relationship issue – with your significant others, others and yourself. We also realize this is not always an easy subject to talk about and are here to listen to get to know you as the therapy process progresses.