Hypnotherapy for Sexual Relationships in Salisbury, New Forest and Christchurch
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Relationships & Sexual Issues
Relationships rely not only on love but also to a great extent on good communication, empathy, a willingness to work at the relationship, resolving issues, compromising, seeing things from the other’s perspective and an acceptance and tolerance of each other to varying degrees.
Problems may arise for various reasons, the most common through a lack of communication, a difference in expectations, intimacy and/or sexual issues, infidelity or violence and abuse.
Sexual issues can affect an individual alone or within a relationship, and can occur at any time. Sometimes the problems are evident at the start of a relationship, some develop further down the line. They can affect those whose first time it is within a new relationship, on a one-night stand or within an extra-marital affair; to someone in their 20’s or their 60’s. Some may have problems if they are a swinger or within different types of relationship, polyamorous, heterosexual, gay or lesbian for example.
Sex is a very natural process and if problems are arising for someone, no matter what the situation, therapy can be incredibly helpful (provided physiological issues have been ruled out by a GP).
A surprising number of relationship problems are the result of communication issues. Human beings are notoriously bad at explicitly stating things to each other. As a result, they can have very different interpretations of what each other expects of them.
Most commonly, issues arise as a result of poor communication, a lack of fulfilment and what we call projective identification, where a partner might be projecting an unresolved conflict from a previous relationship onto their current partner and relationship.
Intimacy is something all human beings need. With intimacy, comes closer relationships and self-fulfilment. Unfortunately for some, intimacy is either missing or they are unable to experience it to its full extent. Intimacy is connected to having strengths in three key areas; closeness, communication and commitment. It is often referred to as ‘the three Cs’ of intimacy.
With time, most, if not all, relationships change in terms of the couple’s sex life. In general, the initial excitement of getting to know each other on an intimate sexual level wanes and the frequency, spontaneity and variety diminishes. For many couples, both are comfortable with this, however, for some, one or other may start to resent the situation they find themselves in, or indeed become bored with it.
The quality of a relationship is often defined by the sexual element. Although sex isn’t ‘everything’, in order for it to be good, it requires the right emotional atmosphere and this in itself can arise from a stable, loving relationship; everything being connected.
In a successful relationship, both partners need to trust each other implicitly. If either partner suspects that the other is laughing at them, ashamed of them, embarrassed by them, or hostile to them it will preclude any satisfactory outcome.
One common reason for loss of trust, and their subsequent appearance in your consulting room, is infidelity. Once a partner has discovered the other is, or has been cheating, then trust takes a lot of rebuilding.
An initial session is usually conducted with both of you present. It gives you both the opportunity to openly discuss your concerns in a calm environment, to find out a bit more about what therapy is and what it isn’t, and to define your objectives – what are you hoping to ultimately achieve from the sessions? I am not here to ‘fix’ your relationship but to help you address the issues you both have. This normally means that follow-up sessions are done individually, in order for you to both work on resolving those issues. Some subsequent joint sessions may, however, also be required.
Sexual problems can be categorised as medical, physical (those affecting both sexes and those specific to a particular sex), emotional, cognitive, behavioural and social isuues, although often those experiencing problems may well be doing so with an overlap between one or more of these categories.
Those referred to as ‘medical’ issues (e.g. urethritis, vulvodyna, STIs) are those which require attention and/or treatment by a medical practitioner and are beyond the scope of help using cognitive techniques or hypnotherapy. It is important that you have these checked out by a GP. However, often these also have an emotional or physical element which may benefit from the therapy I offer.
Physical issues affecting both sexes may include insufficient stimulation, oversensitivity, anorgasmia or Hypoactive Sexual Desire Sidorder (HSDD). Those that may affect men are erectile dysfunction (impotence), premature ejaculation, priapism or sexual anhedonia and for women, inadequate lubrication, Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD), dyspareunia (painful intercourse), vaginismus or menopause.
Emotional issues can often affect a sexual relationship, for example a lack or fear of intimacy, resentment, anger, infidelity or trust.
Cognitive issues are those resulting from someone’s thoughts. Sexual Aversion Disorder is a fear of sex that goes beyond an anxiety, however, other factors that fall within this category are expectations, sexual myths, beliefs, performance anxiety as well as other fears and anxieties (i.e. a fear of falling pregnant or catching an STI or a lack of sexual knowledge or experience). Traumatic events or prior abusive relationships can also affect people, as can confidence, self-steem, shame and embarrassment. Few couples actually ask their partner what turns them on. An open discussion of what is arousing to them or what fantasies they have, can all helpa couple feel closer, more intimate and ultimately lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling sex life.
Kinks, fetishes, sex or porn addiction, all fall under the behavioural category.
People often use the words kink and fetish as if they were the same thing but there is a difference.
A kink is something that turns somebody on but is deemed to be outside of the ‘norm’. The definition of ‘norm’ or ‘vanilla sex’ varies. In general, a kink is something that sits outside of what society believes sex is for the average person, but provides pleasure and a sexual indulgence that is enjoyable but not absolutely necessary.
Someone who has a fetish, has a fascination with a kink to the point where they are only sexually satisfied if they indulge in that particular behaviour and cannot do without it. It can also relate to something, sometimes an object, situation, fantasy or behaviour, that provides arousal, which may not usually be directly associated with sex.
Kinks and fetishes are all ‘normal’ provided they are ‘safe, sane and consensual’. Having said that, if someone has a kink or in particular, a fetish, and the other partner is not into that in the same way, it may inevitably cause problems within the relationship.
Sexual fetishism is also referred to as paraphilia. This used to be known as sexual perversion or sexual deviation but these terms tend to be less well used these days.
There is some debate as to whether hypersexuality (or sex addiction) is a true addiction, however, it refers to someone who partakes in an ‘excessive’ amount of sexual activity and in doing so, it causes distress to themselves or others. Hypersexuality can sometimes be classified as a form of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), an addiction or an impulse disorder. Some people may simply be addicted to sex. For some, however, it may be with prostitutes, pornography, S&M activities, exhibitionism, voyeurism, masturbation, fantasies, cybersex or erotomania (the delusion of another person being infatuated with them – predominantly an issue for women).
If someone is experiencing an issue in any of these areas, hypnotherapy may be able to help.
As with all the therapy I offer, it is complementary to any medical interventions. Where appropriate, issues should be checked out by a medical professional in the first instance.
People’s ideas of what is acceptable and or pleasurable varies immensely, however, when something becomes a problem to an individual or a couple, it is worth seeking help for. I am very open-minded and therefore nothing fazes me! I would hope you would feel comfortable enough to openly discuss your concerns and therefore get the help you might need to improve things.
1 The Banks, Grimstead Road, Whaddon, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 3EE.
M-F: 9.00am – 5.30pm. Some weekend and evening appointments available.