Psychosexual Therapy



What are sexual problems?

People can experience sexual problems at any stage of life but may feel embarrassed about seeking help. These are often referred to as psychosexual problems because they are caused by psychological barriers, although there is often a physical component as well. 

  • Problems for women include:
  • Loss of interest or desire
  • Painful sex
  • Lack of arousal (e.g. lubrication)
  • Difficulty having an orgasm

Men may suffer from:

  • Loss of interest or desire
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Ejaculating (cumming) too quickly
  • Difficulty having an orgasm

How can I get help?

Our sexual health service is able to offer psychosexual therapy to help with these problems. Your GP will refer you to the psychosexual service and can also provide us with any relevant details of your medical history, medications and results of relevant blood tests.  You will then be placed on the waiting list and sent an appointment when your turn comes. Please note that we are only able to see people who live in the West Sussex area.

At your first appointment the therapist will ask you about your problem so that a full assessment can be made. This will include trying to work out what is causing it. Sometimes the answer may be as simple as stopping or changing a particular medication you are taking.

At other times the therapist may suggest exercises for you to practise between sessions. Some people may also benefit from using certain medicines. Usually up to six sessions are given, although more may be needed in certain circumstances.

Once you have had your initial assessment, your remaining sessions can be carried out by video call using a NHS-approved platform called Attend Anywhere, if this is more convenient for you.


Can I bring my partner?

We often encourage people to bring their partner with them so that the partner can understand more about the problem and what part they can play in helping to overcome it. There are times when the sexual problem happens because of difficulties in the relationship. At other times a sexual problem can be the cause of relationship difficulties. Because of this, the therapist will often need to ask about aspects of your relationship that may be important in finding a solution.


Are there any problems I can’t get help with?

We do not offer psychosexual therapy in the following situations:

  • Victims of recent sexual assault
  • Problems of gender identity/dysphoria
  • Where the sexual problem is part of a major psychiatric disorder
  • Relationship problems not related to the sexual disorder
  • Pornography or sex addiction, compulsive sexual behaviours
  • Sexual practices which would be the subject of action under the criminal justice system

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Sexual Health West Sussex