What is a clinical sexologist?
A clinical sexologist is a trained professional who offers sex counseling to help people understand and accept themselves as sexual beings and meet their sexual goals. Sexologists are sex-positive and maintain a broad perspective by taking factors such as biological, psychological, sociological, anthropological and historical into consideration when addressing sexual issues. They use an educational approach to help clients meet their goals and are nonjudgmental, which means that they do not have any preconceptions of what a client’s sexuality “should” look like.
How does a clinical sexologist work?
Clinical sexologists facilitate clients’ sexual growth by helping them to identify their sexual goals and by offering education, resources, tools and techniques to help them meet those goals and ultimately manage their own sexual growth. The process entails the following steps:
This is considered “brief therapy,” which is a goal-oriented counseling. If sexual difficulties appear to be rooted in deeper issues that require intensive therapy, a practitioner will refer clients to a therapist. If he or she feels that a client requires medical attention before or during work with a clinical sexologist, the practitioner will do his or her best to provide a referral.
Dissatisfaction with the sexual relationship and the loss of that shared intimacy, in many instances, may lead to negative feelings and attitudes which are destructive to the relationship. Many marriages end, therefore, because of unresolved sexual differences and difficulties.
The DSM 5 (latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) explicitly recognizes that people sometimes have a need for sexuality education, counseling, and therapy even when there is nothing “wrong” with them. It supports work that doesn’t just remediate sexual dysfunction but improves sexual health.