The effects of chronic pain can be reduced or eliminated with the help of psychotherapy.
Pain can be caused by physical problems or by emotional problems. Often pain that starts out with a physical cause is aggravated by the emotional pain that it causes, and so a vicious circle develops. No matter how the pain starts out, often working with a psychotherapist can help you to control the pain rather than having it control you.
When pain cannot be completely eliminated through medical or physical therapy, a psychotherapist can help you learn to manage, reduce and, sometimes, eliminate the pain. Some of these approaches include cognitive therapy, deep relaxation, breathing and positive imagery, focusing, and meditation. Your therapist may help you learn to map your pain, keep a pain diary, stretch and dilate the muscles that hurt and explore non-painful forms of sexual pleasure. By changing what you say to yourself about the pain, you can refocus your mind, allowing you to experience pleasure instead of pain. The relief of having a plan and professional treatment guides is supportive and empowering. You do not have to bear the burden of the pain problem alone.
Sex therapy helps you overcome obstacles — physical, medical, emotional, or relational — that get in the way of good sexual functioning.
Sex therapy is a focused form of counseling that helps people find solutions to sexual difficulties. A sex therapist works in collaboration with you, individually or as a couple, designing a series of step-by-step exercises to meet your goals. The exercises are practiced at home to build knowledge, comfort and ability in the physical, emotional and relational aspects of sex.
Sex therapy includes both learning and doing. During each therapy session your therapist will work with you to pinpoint areas of focus and design exercises to do in the privacy of your own home. Each week you will learn more about your sexuality and what works best for you.
Sex therapy for pain or fear problems may include relaxation and pain management training as well as individual and couple exercises designed to increase trust, pleasure, and self-confidence while decreasing fear, insecurity and pain.
Some problems that psychotherapy may help with are:
|Dyspareunia (pain with intercourse). Click here to learn more about Dyspareunia.|
|Vaginismus (tight vaginal muscles). Click here to learn more about Vaginismus.|
|Sexual aversion, phobia or fear. Click here to learn more about phobia or autophobia.|
|Unconsummated relationship (inability to have intercourse). Click here to learn more about Unconsummated relationship.|
|Shame, guilt or embarrassment. Therapy can help you get over these feelings.|
|Depression. Click here for some thoughts about depression.|