How to help clients have good sex – Therapeutic strategies for counsellors
By Karol Misso
“Want to get happy, lose weight, shake off stress and have a fabulous glowing skin? Then start making love and reap the benefits of GOOD SEX”.
No, not media hype but the headlines of an article based on research done by Dr Ted McIlvenna at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. In recent Australian & American surveys over 80% of respondents said sex was very important/important in intimate relationships. Yet 50% of men and 40% of women indicated levels of dissatisfaction with sex in their relationships. Add to this the consistent findings of the research, that there is a high correlation between relationship dissatisfaction and sexual dissatisfaction. The evidence is that many of our clients are not discovering good sex: that they are missing out on the opportunity of enriching their relationships through mutually rewarding, creative sex. On the other hand, we hear of an increase in sexual recklessness (cybersex) and self-centred sexual promiscuity.
This emphasizes the need for counsellors to be proactive in addressing sexual issues in therapy. Yet, there is anecdotal evidence that many relationship counsellors refrain from asking ‘the hard questions’, perhaps out of ignorance, fear of voyeurism or their own unresolved sexual issues
Good sex builds resilience in bad times; it is nourishing and sustaining in better times. Here are some strategies, insights that would give clients a realistic understanding of sexual dynamics and how they may invest in more mutually rewarding sexual behaviours.
- Demystifying sexual interaction, understanding its complexity
- Exploring the love-intimacy-sex fantasy
- Exploring couple’s co-construction of patterns of sexual interaction; adaptive and maladaptive
- Designing a recipe for good sex
Karol is a Fellow of QCA and a registered member of PACFA. He has presented a number of seminars and workshops in the area of couple sex therapy at international, national and regional conferences. Karol’s profile on is available here.