Relationship and Sex Therapy

Nic Rider, PhDPhoto credit: the Program in Human Sexuality

Relationship and sexual health is an important part of physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, many individuals are dissatisfied or insecure when it comes to intimate relationships and sexuality. At the Center for Sexual Health, we work with individuals and couples to help improve sexual self-esteem, knowledge, and competence, resulting in more fulfilling and pleasurable relationships.

We believe sexual health reflects self-acceptance and respect. We believe sexual health also involves and demonstrates respect and appreciation for individual differences, sexual pluralism and diversity.

 

Sexual Health: Our Definition

Sexual health is an approach to sexuality founded in accurate knowledge, personal awareness, and self-acceptance, such that one’s behavior, values, and emotions are congruent and integrated within a person’s wider personality structure and self-definition.

Sexual health involves an ability to be intimate with a partner, to communicate explicitly about sexual needs and desires, to be sexually functional (to have desire, become aroused, and obtain sexual fulfillment), to act intentionally and responsibly, and to set appropriate sexual boundaries.

Sexual health includes a sense of self-esteem, personal attractiveness, and competence, as well as freedom from sexual dysfunction, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual and family assault and coercion, and genital mutilation.

Sexual health affirms sexuality as a positive force, enhancing other dimensions of one’s life.

We believe in the importance of sexual knowledge, but also believe in facilitating the joy of sexual pleasure, relationship, and effective communication. We help individuals and couples achieve better mental health but go beyond that in helping them attain sexual integration — the congruence of a person’s sexual values and behaviors. We recognize that sexual health may vary in different social and cultural contexts.

Guided by this definition, we have developed an approach to sexual therapy into a treatment model for promoting and treating sexual health to meet our client’s sexual health goals.