Frequently Asked Questions
- What can I expect from a first visit?
- What exactly happens in sex therapy?
- How long does sex therapy take to work?
- What are the most common sexual and relationship problems you see these days?
- Additional resources
• What can I expect from a first visit?
First you’ll have a chance to tell me your story, and I’ll listen carefully. If you have trouble finding the words to tell me what’s going on, I’ll help you.
What’s bothering you, or the two of you, about your sexual and relationship life? For a couple, it’s very helpful to have each partner tell from their perspective what actually happens during lovemaking. Sometimes the two stories are very different!
Next, I’ll ask you lots of questions about yourself and your partner. You’ll each have the option of some time with me alone, and you’ll probably want to ask me questions too.
You’ll get direct feedback. I’ll explain what I think the problem or problems are, and the best options for resolving them. We’ll usually formulate a plan of action in the first session.
• What exactly happens in sex therapy?
Sex therapy is just psychotherapy, but with a focus on sexual concerns. It’s strictly talking therapy.
Traditional sex therapy used to rely on home assignments—such as first learning to relax together, then gradually becoming more comfortable with greater levels of sexual intimacy. We still sometimes recommend home assignments, but these days they don’t play as prominent a role. Most of the activity of sex therapy these days involves helping you understand your own sexual mind.
By the way, you don’t have to be in a couple to benefit from sex therapy. And sometimes people with partners prefer to be seen alone, which is fine.
You also don’t have to devote large amounts of time at home to sex therapy. Busy couples can still connect sexually using a technique called “simmering” that can be done in two minutes or less.
Click HERE for an audio discussion of the hows and whys of simmering — from a radio spot I recorded on Sirius XM Doctor Radio with Dr Virginia Sadock at NYU Medical Center.
• How long does sex therapy take to work?
Some sexual problems can be solved in a single session. Others take years. Most commonly it’s between one and ten sessions.
Sex therapy is often a bit more flexible than ordinary therapy. It’s not always necessary to have regular appointments. Many of my patients see me now and then, or as needed.
• What are the most common sexual and relationship problems you see these days?
For men: erectile dysfunction (E.D.); premature ejaculation (P.E.); delayed ejaculation (R.E.); inability to ejaculate with a partner, especially inability to ejaculate during intercourse; lack of meaning or enjoyment from sex; hypersexuality; extreme need for sexual novelty; sexual compulsivity; sex addiction; love addiction; compulsive masturbation; compulsive use of internet pornography; loss of desire in long-term relationships; sexual aversion; sexual avoidance; pelvic pain; chronic prostatitis (many cases are related to pelvic muscle tension, and may have little to do with the prostate); sexual, emotional, and relationship problems stemming from sexual, emotional, or physical abuse; sexual effects of emotional or medical illness and/or medications.
For women: low sexual desire; problems with sexual arousal (such as a tendency to “lose” sexual arousal during lovemaking);trouble focusing during sex; inability to climax with a partner; inability ever to climax; lack of meaning or enjoyment from sex; sex addiction; love addiction; feeling undesired by one’s partner; pelvic pain problems; pain on intercourse; vaginismus (involuntary pelvic muscle contraction that interferes with intercourse); sexual aversion; sexual avoidance; negative body image; loss of desire in long-term relationships; sexual, emotional, and relationship problems stemming from sexual, emotional, or physical abuse; sexual effects of emotional or medical illness and/or medications.
For couples: all of the above, plus: disparity in level of sexual desire; sexual boredom; problems with intimate communication; unproductive fighting; infidelity; unconsummated marriage; religious concerns and conflicts regarding sexuality.
I also see many individuals and couples who’ve not had success with previous treatment for sexual and relationship problems.
• Additional resources:
National Institutes of Health — www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus
—search “sexual” to get a listing of sexuality topics
The Kinsey Institute www.kinseyinstitute.org
—click on “Related resources,” then on “Sexuality Information Links” for a selection of topics
Medical Center for Female Sexuality – Manhattan women’s sexual health.
Howard Glazer Ph.D. www.vulvodynia.com
– pelvic pain biofeedback specialist
Laura Muggli, Psy.D. www.lauramuggli.com
– clinical psychology and neuropsych assessment
Watch Dr. Snyder on NBC Today HERE
For the 3rd year in a row, Dr Snyder has been selected in 2014 as a Top Doctor by New York Magazine and Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.