Sexual problems, sexuality and gender problems
There can be difficulties, for the individual or couple, regarding problems with: sex and/or sexuality and/or gender identity.
Problems with sex
Sexual problems can be experienced by anyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. There may be problems with felt sex drive, differing attitudes and preferences between partners in a couple or other type of sexual relationship. Understanding yourself with regards to sexual desire and expression is key, as well as an understanding of factors leading up to the difficulties whether that be stress, attachment difficulties, depression or other. Seeing a Clinical Psychologist for sexual problems could be helpful to reach a formulation of likely causal and maintenance factors for the problems. Seeing a Clinical Psychologist for one-to-one help is one possible way forward and/or being seen for couple therapy.
Communicating with your partner (if you are in a relationship) is essential but is not always easy/possible to do. Having a Clinical Psychologist involved as an impartial facilitator of such a conversation can be helpful. See also Relationship difficulties page.
Sexuality and gender identity
People who identify their sexuality in a way that’s different from the majority can also be faced with difficulties, as can those who are reassessing or reassigning their gender identity.
Although some societies are changing to be more accepting of difference, overcoming internalised negative attitudes, including homophobia and transphobia, can be difficult and hinder your ability to be your authentic self. For others, the consequences of “coming out” to family, friends and others can lead to having feelings of isolation, anger, loss and abandonment. Receiving verbal and/or physical or sexual abuse or living in a hostile context can give rise to trauma after-effects. (See also page on trauma and PTSD)
This stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual.
For anyone with problems related to one or more of the above, having an appointment with a non-judgemental Clinical Psychologist for one-to-one meetings can help. You can explore your feelings and beliefs about yourself and others, including to work out for you, how best to respond to others’ reaction.
Written by © Dr Jurai Darongkamas, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, (with over 35 years’ experience). The above has been written to provide a brief overview for the reader. It should not be used as a basis for any action until after obtaining a professional opinion about your unique difficulties, strengths, circumstances, life history, etc.