Sex Addiction Therapy in Long Beach & Los Angeles, CA

Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy that specifically addresses a person’s psychological or physical sexual problems. Sex therapists are specifically trained (beyond the required basic human sexuality training of any licensed mental health professional) to address individuals or couples struggling with a sexual issue. Sex therapists address many problems that involve sexuality. See below for a list of problems sex therapists typically treat:

  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, etc)
  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Different levels of sexual desire in a couple
  • Sexual orientation exploration
  • Pain during sex (vaginismus, etc)
  • Past sexual abuse, assault or trauma that affects one’s sexuality
  • Shame or negative feelings about sex
  • Body image issues


In some cases sexual problems will need to also be addressed with a physician if a sex therapist feels the problem has a physical cause. Sexual problems can also be the result of an underlying mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. In addition, sexuality can shift with major life changes such as growing older, having a child, or going through menopause.


Sex therapists promote healthy sexuality. They are trained to be non-judgmental about one’s own individual expression of their sexual self, provided it does not harm others. Sex therapists do not try to change a person’s sexual orientation. Instead, they help individuals discover who they are sexually so they can live a more balanced and intimate life with themselves and others.


Sexual problems often cause distress and shame, along with discord in a relationship. Sex therapists also address relationship problems and how a relationship is affected by sexual dysfunction. They do not engage in any form of touching or inappropriate contact with their clients. Instead, sex therapy explores the psychological and emotional causes behind sexual problems.


Sex therapists often assign homework for individuals and couples to practice outside the office. Such exercises may include sensate focus, which involves slow touching of one’s partner to learn how to be more in the moment and less stressed about the outcome of a sexual activity. The overall goal is to create a more positive view of sex so that each client can improve their sexual responsiveness and experience fulfilling and pleasurable sex.

Written by Molly Papp, LMFT, ASAT

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