Sex therapy is a strategy for the treatment of sexual dysfunction when there is no medical etiology (physiological), or as a complement to medical treatment. The sexual dysfunctions which may be addressed by sex therapy include non-consummation, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, low libido, unwanted sexual fetishes, sexual addiction, painful sex, or a lack of sexual confidence, assisting people who are recovering from sexual assault, problems commonly caused by stress, tiredness, and other environmental and relationship factors. Sex therapists assist those experiencing problems in overcoming them, in doing so possibly regaining an active sex life.
Sex therapy requires rigorous evaluation that includes a medical and psychological examination. The reason is that sexual dysfunction may have a somatic base or a psychogenic basis. A clear example is erectile dysfunction (sometimes still called "impotence"), whose etiology may include, firstly, circulatory problems, and secondly, performance anxiety.
In the United States, the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) oversees clinical training for a sexual health practitioner to become a certified sex therapist (CST). Any licensed mental health counselor can practice sex therapy.
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