Counseling for Erectile Dysfunction
Counseling for erectile dysfunction is one treatment option that men and their partners should consider. Between 10 and 20% of erectile dysfunction is believed to be caused by a psychological factor, such as stress, guilt, fear, or anxiety. These factors are often a secondary reaction to an underlying physical cause. For example, if you have been experiencing erectile dysfunction, you may become overly worried and anxious that the problem will not go away, which can result in performance anxiety and thus consistent ED. Or if you have been experiencing financial or marital problems, the stress can negatively affect your ability to get an erection. Depression is another factor in ED, and the catch—22 here is that some antidepressants can also cause ED.
Counseling for erectile dysfunction, which can include sex therapy by a professional counselor or psychologist with experience in sexual issues, can help eliminate erectile problems that have a psychological cause. Some men are reluctant to seek counseling for erectile dysfunction, but if you have an understanding and cooperative partner, it can be a very positive part of your relationship. You should see a doctor to determine whether your ED has a physical cause as well.
While sex therapy can be beneficial if erectile dysfunction is caused by stress, it can also prove helpful for men (and their partner) when erectile difficulties are related to physical reasons, such as treatments for prostate cancer, and even before such treatments begin. Counselors can guide men and their partner on how to communicate about the cause of the erectile dysfunction as well as any treatments, such as pills, penile injections, or vacuum devices, the man may be using to treat the erectile difficulties. Counseling for erectile dysfunction is sometimes recommended as part of a penile rehabilitation program.
Some insurance plans include coverage for sex therapy, but men should check with their carriers to be sure and also ask the therapist if he or she accepts insurance. Sex therapy clinics often provide lower fees than therapists in private practice.