Why is sex therapy a thing?
Why is sex, a matter that impacts every single body on this planet, considered an area of specialization?
And why are we told time and time again that the topic of sex is one that requires a specialist capable of sensitivity, discretion, and knowledge of human sexuality?
Licensed therapists–specialists or not–have attended graduate school programs designed to address the mental/behavioral health issues that often bring people to therapy. Issues like anxiety, depression, trauma, and maybe even suicide ideation.
Yet as a licensed therapist, I can say that issues like anxiety, depression, trauma, or even suicide ideation, do not impact everyone I work with. But everyone I work with is impacted by sex in one way or another.
“He cheated on me.” (sex)
“I have no more desire.” (sex)
“I want more.” (sex)
“I don’t want to be seen as a slut.” (sex)
Because graduate school programs keep an arm’s length away from a topic considered too sensitive for general populations, how is not learning about the thing that affects every single body good for general populations?
It seems as if the type of therapists graduate programs are producing resemble mass produced cookies all cut with the same cookie cutter.
“I’m sensing …” (cookie cutter)
“I’m hearing …” (cookie cutter)
“Let me reflect, reframe, paraphrase, and check in …” (cookie cutter)
A cookie cutter therapist should not be the result of spending tens of thousands of dollars attending a graduate program. Nor should cookie cutter therapy be the service offered to individuals in need.
Because based on my experience in grad school, “And how does that make you feel?” seems to be a question we don’t really want to know the answer to. Especially if it involves sex.