In my practice at the Medical Center for Female Sexuality we refer many patients for psychotherapy. With female sexual dysfunction, women frequently get told that their problems are all in their head, that they are crazy or that whatever they are facing is not a big deal. We hate hearing that they have been told that. Female sexual dysfunction most often has a physical or physiological component. The beauty and effectiveness of our treatment is that we deal with both the psychological and the physical simultaneously. We treat with medications and behavioral exercises, and sometimes with psychotherapy too. Why therapy?
Therapy is an important aspect of treatment because it gets to deeper aspects of what is going on. For example, a patient may come to us for pain with penetration. Then once the physical pain is resolved we may discover she also has emotional pain too. She may feel ashamed and disconnected from herself and from her partner. A famous psychotherapist describes one of the key components of therapy to be the “installation of hope.” Therapy can be so many things: support during a difficult time, a place to explore your past, a journey to further understand yourself. At its best it can be all these things. And at the least it can help someone understand the complexity of what they think and feel in any given moment and to realize that ultimately they are not alone in their struggle.