Suffering erectile dysfunction is something most men never want to experience, but unfortunately, this is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions in men, hampering the lives of many men and women around the world. Erectile dysfunction can lead to a plethora of problems between you and your partner. Not only that, but erectile dysfunction has also been shown to contribute to or even trigger depression and anxiety. So clearly, men who suffer from erectile dysfunction should seek treatment. Luckly, most cases of erectile dysfunction can be treated or at least significantly improved.
When we talk about treatments for erectile dysfunction, usually medications such as Viagra or Cialis come to mind. But did you know that the American Urologist Association actually recommends taking a holistic approach when treating erectile dysfunction, one that involves not only looking at the physical aspects, but also takes into account the psychological aspects and lifestyle habits? In fact, psychological factors have been shown to be involved in most erectile dysfunction cases.
In this article, we examine whether sex therapy can be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Hearing the terms sex and therapy in one sentence can be quite intimidating for some men. But we assure you that “sex therapy” is not as scary as many might think it is. Let’s discuss it so you can see that for yourself.
The goal of sex therapy is to help men deal with the negative thinking patterns and behaviors that they may have around sex and erectile dysfunction. For some men, these unhelpful thinking patterns and beliefs can be the cause of erectile dysfunction. For others, they can be the results of erectile dysfunction, which can then serve as a mental block preventing other treatments, such as oral medication, from working.
Sex therapy is an umbrella term for a wide array of different methods and techniques to address problems people may have with sex or erectile dysfunction. Today, we examine some of the more common sex therapy techniques that are used by therapists to help men and their partners overcome erectile dysfunction.
Talk therapy (also sometimes referred to as psychotherapy) is a therapy technique in which therapists help their patients identify their behaviors and beliefs that are causing them emotional distress around a specific topic. The therapist converse with their patients and helps guide them toward meaningful insights by asking them probing questions.
Since erectile dysfunction can be caused by a number of mental health issues, such as chronic stress, performance anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or self-esteem issues, it’s the therapist’s job to help their patients figure out what is triggering their erectile dysfunction. After identifying the root cause of the issues, the therapist will then provide tools to help the patient deal with these issues.
We would like to remind you that in most cases erectile dysfunction is not solely a physical problem, and it is important to determine all the elements that have a significant impact on the condition itself. Naturally, finding out all about these subconscious problems is hard work, and it cannot be achieved overnight.
Since many of the emotional issues are often subconscious, talk therapy is important, but can sometimes be complicated, and it may take a few sessions before the patient will see results.
While this term might sound strange, it has been gaining in popularity in the last couple of years. The term mindfulness refers to the ability of a person to be present, and mindful of the present moment. It has been shown that people who suffer from stress, anxiety, or depression often have a tendency to be “all in their heads”. In terms of sex, when you are all caught up in your thoughts while having sex, it can be hard to get or keep an erection.
Mindfulness-based therapy helps men learn how to stay in the present moment, and not get distracted by negative thoughts while they are having sex. This in turn helps them stay aroused, and therefore helps them keep their erection while having sex. As an additional benefit, high levels of mindfulness are also correlated with higher levels of sexual satisfaction.
Mindfulness is most often practiced using guided meditation exercises. These can be practiced with the help of an instructor, or at home using recordings or meditation apps. According to Between Us Clinic, practicing mindfulness meditation for erectile dysfunction for about 10–20 minutes a day for 4 to 8 weeks may be all it takes to overcome erectile dysfunction.
The final element we want to talk about is undergoing therapy with a partner. We cannot stress how helpful this approach can be. Relationships issues, such as anger, resentment, and jealousy, for example, have all been shown to be potential causes of erectile dysfunction. This is not surprising as sex requires intimacy, and if you have conflicts with your partner, intimacy cannot be created. Without intimacy, there’s no arousal, and without arousal, there’s no erection.
We often think of the male sexual response as a switch that we can just flick on or off. But this is far from true. If a man does not feel safe and confident, he will have a hard time performing sexually. That’s why resolving any conflicts you might have with your partner is a must if you want to maintain a healthy sex life.
Oftentimes, sexual dysfunction is simply a manifestation of relationship issues. When these are resolved, sex can get back on track. So if you’re having troubles in your relationship, the smart thing to do is to seek the help of a relationship counselor.
Erectile dysfunction can be a hard problem to bare, for both the man and his partner. If you or your partner are dealing with erectile dysfunction, don’t get discouraged! There are a number of treatment techniques that can help you overcome this condition and help you enjoy again the sex life you deserve.