Are you afraid that your sex life Is not normal or that you are not having enough or satisfying sex?
Are you unable to communicate with your partner in the bedroom about even basic needs?
Has it become more difficult for you or your partner unable to become aroused. . . is one of you shut down in the bedroom?
Has infidelity entered your relationship with your partner?
Have you wondered if prior developmental trauma has come into the bedroom showing up as a lack of desire or a performance issue?
Are you subsisting in a sexless marriage or relationship?
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Sexual Intimacy is Important to Connection
Sexuality is one of our core needs. It is through touch and sexual intimacy that we enhance the strength of the couple-ship and of our own soul. Both qualitatively and quantitatively, sex has become a major challenge today. Life in the bedroom has become superseded by the demands of everyday life that occur within the context of family, aging, work-life and overall distractions. These challenges, as well as unresolved developmental and recent trauma, accompany us in the bedroom.
Sexual functioning correlates to the stages of the sexual response cycle- excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. For both men and women there are unique challenges to intimacy and sex—both suffer regularly from disorders of desire, arousal and orgasm. Healthy functioning is a function of several factors, including, but not limited to, overall health and hormones, emotions and attitudes, self-esteem, body image, relational fears and concerns and prior trauma.
Our ability to function in the bedroom is not the only obstacle that interferes with a satisfactory sex life. For many there are stress related factors such as relational issues, grief and loss, work demands and job changes, family issues, health challenges and more. Survey data indicates that 2% of married individuals report co-existing in a sexless marriage for at least the last year, maybe more.
Sexual dissatisfaction is not an uncommon phenomenon today
Approximately 43 percent of American women and 31 percent of American men suffer from sexual dysfunction. Specific problems may include relationship conflicts, loss of intimacy, low libido, erectile dysfunction, early or delayed ejaculation, difficulty reaching orgasm, discrepant desire and even pain. According to Masters and Johnson about 90% of sexual dysfunctions are psychological while 10% have a psychophysiological basis.
Maintaining an active sexual life can be a challenge when we understand the rules of engagement. Because our brain is wired for safety and attachment yet our sexual energy drops within this context we are in a constant paradox. Passion and safety are inversely related.
Sex Therapy Can Help
The good news, however, is that there is hope! With extensive training and over 25 years of experience helping individuals, couples and families, Clinical Sexologist Dr. Barbara Winter has dealt with countless issues that individuals and couples face in securing the desired intimacy and connection in the bedroom. She offers sex therapy for couples and individuals in a confidential and safe environment. In sex therapy, Dr. Winter has worked with couples where intimacy has dissipated and those with contrasting desires to restore the connection they long for.
Healthy sexual functioning at each point is like the perfect storm: it requires many things to come together to achieve those moments. As such, it is necessary to determine the etiology of the problem, whether it be physical, physiological, emotional, spiritual or relational. As a sex therapist, Dr. Winter will address each and every one of these concerns as they contribute to your sexual health so that an intimate sexual relationship can be attained. Overall data suggests that Americans have sex approximately 50 times per year.
Does that make us happy? Current research shows that those who have sex are happier in their relationships than those who are not and that the link between sexual frequency and well-being varies depending on several factors. New research shows that more sex is correlated to marital satisfaction but to a point—once per week; couples are no happier with more sex than that. For singles, sexual satisfaction is tied more to the context of the relationship. Yet the quality and/or quantity of physical intimacy continue to be a source of distress that often requires outside assistance. It is typically the partner with the lesser sexual desire who dictates the frequency.
Sex Help Is Available for the Following Concerns:
- Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse & Trauma
- Co-Morbidity of Sexual Issues with Other Mental Health Issues Such as
- Cybersex and Overuse of Porn
- Delayed Ejaculation
- Desire Discrepancies Between Partners
- Early-Premature Ejaculation
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Fetishes & Paraphilias
- Intimacy Issues
- Low Sexual Drive or Lack of Interest In Sex
- Menopausal & Life-Cycle Issues
- Orgasmic Inability or Difficulty
- Painful Intercourse
- Pelvic Pain of Unknown Origin
- Porn Addiction and Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction
- Post Partum Depression
- Sex and Healing After Infidelity and Betrayal
- Sexual Compulsivity-Sex Addiction
- Sexual Trauma and Abuse
- Transsexual & Transgender
Integrative Sex and Couples Therapy
Relationship issues are but one piece of the sexual pie. Numerous other issues accompany us into the bedroom, including physical, physiological, spiritual and individual psychological historical parts of ourselves as well as our daily events and simple psychosexual skills. That said, the integration of couples and sex therapy is integral to improving ourselves; it is virtually impossible to separate the two. Whether it be a deep dive into the underpinnings that block our connection or ways to adjust to current events such as family life, physical health challenges etc., working with both will allow you to achieve the greatest intimacy, in and out of the bedroom.
We know that working with both parts of the couple together in a step by step process for various sexual complaints can facilitate progress more rapidly than while working alone. That said, it is not impossible to make gains within yourself if you do not have a partner with which to work at the present time.
Dr. Winter is the only sexologist and extensively trained couples therapist in the South Florida area who provides integrated sex and couples therapy. She also provides sex and couples therapy intensives.
How Can Sex Therapy Help?
Taking the step for sexual healing is a difficult one and most people often wait years, even decades, to seek help. Shame, isolation, humiliation, and the lack of willingness to participate from a partner, sometimes to the point of extreme dismissiveness, as well as the expense, create barriers to obtaining the assistance needed in order to restore a happy and healthy sexual life.
While sex therapy employs many of the same principles as other modalities, there are specific techniques available for various sexual problems. Sessions may involve the individual and/or couple. Unlike perhaps other therapy experiences, there is an explicit exploration of the sexual concern. Sex therapy does not include touching or the use of surrogates in the treatment room.
In addition to sexual dysfunction, sex therapy addresses conflict around gender concerns, sexual preferences and or contemporary sexual issues. Dr. Winter works with relationships and couples of all types, heterosexual, gay/lesbian and mixed, as well as at all stages of attachment and separation.
In addition to a direct, empathic, solution-oriented approach, Dr. Winter brings a unique blending of extensive training and experience to the therapy room. She is the only Sexologist (fellow) who is also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, certified in EMDR and trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples, Discernment Counseling and hypnosis, in the state.
Dr. Winter has helped hundreds of men, women, and couples overcome all kinds of sexual concerns so that they can have the kind of pleasurable and satisfying experiences they seek. She can help you enhance your relationship, both in and out of the bedroom, and restore the connection and intimacy you desire. She will also help facilitate referrals to other specialists if needed.
What Stands in The Way of Your Seeking Sex Help?
“Sex is a taboo subject, I don’t know how to talk about it to my partner or anyone else.” . . . For many, a conversation about sex with therapist may be their first. While there may have been an active sex life at one point, being able to identify one’s needs and then ask for them can be terrifying, whether that need is sexual or simply relational. Within a private and confidential space, your sexual concerns are explored and your connection with yourself and your partner can be restored.
“My partner refuses to attend; he/she says that it’s my problem.” . . .Sometimes there are sexual attitudes and trauma that predate the relationship and in those cases individual therapy can be helpful. Regardless, at some point working with the couple is important since these concerns nonetheless impact and become part of the relational experience and it is in the couples’ space that the sexual healing is established. Most partners will agree to attend a session if not at the outset after some time has passed and some work has been done.
“I am single and am not in a relationship.” . . .Sex is about the self and our relationship to our own sexuality. If you have sexual concerns and are not actively in a relationship that is OK; therapy can help you achieve a healthier sense of your own sexuality.
How Do I Choose a Sex Therapist?
In choosing a sex therapist, it is of paramount importance to consider that it is defined by the American Board of Sexology that they maintain five criteria in addition to the basic training. These include:
- Sound knowledge of the anatomical and physiological bases of the sexual response
- Skilled in the provision of psychotherapy
- The ability to demonstrate extensive post-graduate training specifically within the areas of sexual function and dysfunction, sex counseling and sex therapy
- Skilled in marital, family and/or group therapy; is able to work with non-sexual relationships as well
- Follows ethical guidelines
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Enhance Your Relationship—Regain the Intimacy You Deserve
To learn more about how we might work together to help you have the relationship and sex life you desire, call or email me for a no-risk 10-minute consultation.