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Sex Therapy

The Leading Sex Therapy Clinic in the Pacific Northwest

Discover the PBH Difference

Sexual difficulties within a relationship can be incredibly stressful.  It is common for couples to avoid talking about sex because it can feel awkward or embarrassing at times.  The reality is that most of us don’t know how to effectively discuss our sexual concerns or desires, let alone create a rewarding solution together.  Discrepancies in sexual desire, lack of emotional connection, erotic conflicts, performance difficulties, pain, or hidden desires can all get in the way of a pleasurable, connecting, and joy filled sex life.

We work with our clients to better understand the barriers getting in the way of the sex life they truly want.  We gently guide them towards honest sexual communication and teach them strategies to achieve better sexual bonding. We want everyone we work with to feel deeply connected in their relationship, have open and intimate communication, and experience healthy mutual and self-exploration in their sex lives.

Common Sexual Issues We Help Couples Work Through: 

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Low Sexual Desire

Do you miss wanting to be sexual?  Does it feel like a part of you that you somehow lost along the way?  Do you wonder what happened to your sex drive and if you can get it back?  If so, our our sex therapists can help you to explore your experience.  Sexual desire commonly fluctuates over our lifetimes.  Many life events, stressors, illnesses, and a host of other factors can impact a person's desire for sex.  It is important to explore contributing factors with a professional sex therapist who can help you to develop effective strategies to create new patterns while learning to reconnect with your sexual and erotic self in a manner that allows you to invite physical pleasure and joy into your life on your own terms.

If you are concerned about your partner’s loss of sex drive, you may feel rejected, confused, or frustrated.  It is common to feel like everything you try only makes things worse.  If you find yourself in this circumstance, sex therapy can be very helpful for you.  By better understanding what your partner is experiencing, learning skills to support and honor your partner while caring for yourself, you can lessen frustrations, increase the bond in your relationship, and feel success in your relationship again.

Discrepant Sexual Desire

Sexual desire discrepancy can be thought of as the difference between the level of an individual's desire for sex and that of their partner.  When this discrepancy becomes significant it can be incredibly distressing for couples.  Despite common stereotypes, desire discrepancies commonly impact all genders and sexual orientations.  Often time the result is conflict, hurt feelings, confusion, frustration, or resentment.  Our sex therapists are highly skilled to help couples to successfully navigate these difficult waters.  Therapy can reduce conflict, increase connection, and explore sexual possibilities in a new way that can invite joy back into the relationship.

Many relationships also struggle with discrepant desires for certain sexual activities.  This can result in a similar relationship dynamic in which the desires of the individuals don’t match up.  This too can bring a great deal of tension, frustration, and awkwardness to a sexual relationship.  Often times one partner does not understand the desires of the other, may be afraid of what they mean, or feels aversion to the specific behaviors.  Luckily, sex therapy can be equally effective in these circumstances to help couples to work through the challenges in a manner that honors both individuals while moving towards a more joyful outcome.

Avoiding Sex and Sexual Aversion

There are many reasons that people actively avoid sexual contact with others.  These include fear of heart attack or stroke, lack of confidence, shame about one’s own body, moral belief, shame about one’s own sexuality, performance anxiety, and much more.  Sometimes people avoid sex, even with their committed partner, despite simultaneously desiring sex, even intensely so.  Regardless of the exact circumstances, the first step to dealing with concerns about sexual avoidance is to talk with a therapist who is an expert in sexuality. 

Another reason some people avoid sexual activity is sexual aversion.  For individuals struggling with sexual aversion, there is more than fear of sex present.  Partnered sexual activity itself creates a deeply unpleasant sense of panic, revulsion, nausea, or shortness of breath.  Understandably, individuals experiencing sexual aversion commonly avoid sexual contact, so as to prevent having to experience these symptoms.  Sexual aversion can impact all genders and sexual orientations.  It is important to know that effective treatments for sexual aversion do exist.  Our sex therapists are well qualified to help assess for and treat sexual aversion.  We employ treatment tools that honor the individual and respect their need for safety.

Erectile Dysfunction

Difficulties with developing and maintaining erections are extremely common.  When this happens, it can be extremely stressful for everyone in the relationship.  Often, people find themselves avoiding sexual intimacy out of fear that they will experience erectile difficulties.  Partners often worry that problems with reliable erections signals a problem in the relationship, or a lack of attraction.  This is rarely the case. 

The good news is that sex therapy can help.  Problems with erections result from multiple possible causes.  However, the simplest way to conceptualize the many potential causes is dividing them into those that are organic (strictly biological) and those that are psychogenic (having to do with state of mind).  Our sex therapists can help individuals and relationships with both.  We work to help individuals find real solutions to erectile difficulties that help them to connect sexually without fear or embarrassment.

Painful Intercourse (Dyspareunia)

Sex should not be painful.  Yet, estimates show that 10-20% of individuals will experience some form a persistently painful intercourse in their lifetimes.  When sex is painful, it can impact the individual in many adverse ways while also straining an intimate relationship. 


Pain during sex can be experienced in various parts of the genital region and at the surface or deep within the body.  Moreover, painful sex can be experience before, during and after sex, and is experienced by both women and men.  The cause of this pain can be numerous, and it is important to work with providers who are well-versed in the many caused of persistent sexual pain. 


Effective sex therapy treatment for painful sex is available.  It most often involves both medical and sex therapy professionals working to understand the physiological and psychological aspects involved in the individual’s life.  It is important to work with professionals who understand the importance of each of these professions to achieve a joyful outcome.

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