Sharing personal information brings people closer together. Verified by Psychology Today. I Hear You. When people have sex in the movies, mutual interest always arises at an appropriate time, and each partner participates deeply and passionately in the experience.
In real life, though, sexual connection between long-term partners is rarely so straightforward. As a psychologist, I often hear about these issues, and the seemingly insoluble sexual problems that they provoke behind closed doors — even in partnerships that look very happy on the outside. The one who wants more sex can feel unappreciated, rejected, or even unloved, while the less interested partner may wonder if there is something wrong with him or her.
Generally this dynamic resolves into two fixed roles: a pursuing partner and a distancing partner, each of which is equally likely to be a man or a woman. Sex may take on unwanted associations — with anger , deception , concession, or shame — and it may also become tainted with the fear of sexually transmitted disease. Most significantly, however, the loss of trust between partners after infidelity will significantly color their sex life, going forward.
To some degree, sex is always about trust — trusting someone else with your feelings, your pleasure, and your body — and when this trust is violated, sexual comfort and openness can be very difficult to develop again. Sexual dysfunction, in a psychological or a physical sense, also presents significant obstacles to a satisfying sex life. Men with ED may even worry about its significance for their masculinity.
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Additionally, sexual dysfunction is not limited to disorders of a sexual nature. Chronic illness or unremitting physical pain can impede what would otherwise be a healthy sexual connection, at any age. Long-term partners who are parents of young children often find that their daily schedules are not conducive to sexual spontaneity.
The demands of a household schedule can turn former romantic partners into full-time child care professionals with little energy left over for the sexual component of their relationship. Even without the influence of pornography, discrepancies between sexual preferences frequently crop up and interfere with sexual harmony: One partner may enjoy having sex in a certain position that the other partner dislikes, for example. And anything that causes conflict within a marriage or partnership can be enacted in the bedroom, and can generate problems with emotional or physical closeness.
This interpersonal distance will then extend to the bedroom, and thus becomes an established habit over many years. After treating each other this way for such a long time, dysfunctional patterns of behavior can be deeply entrenched and extremely hard to change.
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With the right kind of psychotherapy and sufficient motivation , however, it is possible to overcome some of these sexual conflicts. In a future article, I will shed light on some of the ways therapy can help, and will describe some of the therapeutic techniques practiced by therapists who focus on sexuality. Barnes, Z. Deveny, K.
Jio, S. Karson, M. Levi, A.
Twenty Key Concepts from Psychotherapy
Miller, K. Prendergast, C. The top 5 reasons people come to Sex Therapy Web page.
Puniewska, M. Sex therapy Web page. Wong, B. Be found at the exact moment they are searching. Sign Up and Get Listed. People pursue counseling and therapy for a variety of reasons. Some may enter therapy to address major life changes, such as divorce, and others may seek help in managing mental health conditions, like depression.
Problems in psychotherapy with suicidal patients. - PubMed - NCBI
There's a common misconception that people who go to therapy are "crazy," when in fact, most therapy clients are ordinary people struggling with common, everyday issues. Many people seek counseling because they have identified specific goals or issues that they wish to work on. Others may be encouraged by family, friends, or medical professionals to seek help, and in some cases, a person may be mandated to attend therapy as part of a court ruling or by a parent or guardian if the person is a minor.
Whatever the impetus, it takes courage to attend therapy, and it takes dedication to see it through. Together, the client and the therapist will determine the goals of therapy, and if the therapy should be short- or long-term. In many cases, the therapist and client will explore much more than just the client's presenting problem—the issue that first brought the person to therapy.