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Sex Therapy – The Sensate Focus Approach

Masters and Johnson Technique can help couples rediscover intimacy.

Who seeks out sex therapy? Young and old, those in new relationships, new parents or married for many years, and likely someone you know. It is very common for couples to have challenges with intimacy at some point in their relationship. Busy lives, family dynamics, children, and finances – these life issues can take a toll on your love life. Emotional disconnection, discrepancies between partners regarding frequency, initiation imbalances, discomfort, different desires and fantasies, issues of trust after an affair…the list of problems goes on. But, in the past few years, couples have increasingly become more comfortable seeking professional help.

What happens in sex therapy? Sensate Focus is just one example of a technique that our therapists are trained in and that individuals and couples have found helpful.

Sensate focus, or sensate focusing, is a term usually associated with a set of specific sexual exercises for couples or individuals. It is a technique which was introduced by Masters and Johnson that helps increase personal and interpersonal awareness of your and your partner's needs. You are both encouraged to focus on your own varied sense experience, rather than to see orgasms as the primary goal of intercourse. The emphasis is on touching in a mindful way without regard for sexual response or pleasure for you or your partner.

At its core, Sensate Focus is about something you might not necessarily associate with sex: communication . Sexual expression is a form of communication through which we give and receive pleasure and emotion. It has a wide range of possibilities, from sharing activities, feelings, thoughts, warm touches or hugs, to physical intimacy. When communication breaks down, our ability to be intimate…to WANT to be intimate…breaks down, too. Feeling “emotionally numb” in your relationship often leads to feeling “sexually numb” with your partner.

It's a rather easy correlation, really: if you can communicate authentically and intimately, that openness allows you to express yourself more honestly on all other levels of your life.

At Foundations Counseling we work with singles and couples to build an integrated sexual identity and to help raise sexual intimacy and experience of physical connection. Said more simply, we can help. Therapy can increase desire in your relationship and help get past performance and intimacy problems. In the office we talk - remember, the root of this is communication. Work here will set you up for success with some hands-on exercises done in the privacy of your own home.

At Foundations Counseling we provide a safe, non-judgmental environment where you can discuss these delicate and personal issues. Call today and take the first step to reigniting the flame in your relationship.