Some couples experience sexual and intimacy issues that affect their relationship significantly. For these couples, sex therapy is a constructive approach to addressing and resolving such challenges. It provides a safe space to explore and resolve underlying problems, fostering a deeper connection and understanding between partners with the support of a qualified therapist.

What is Sex Therapy?

Sex therapy is a specialised form of counselling aimed at addressing sexual and intimacy issues between partners or within individuals. In layman’s terms, think of it as a guided exploration and resolution process for any sexual challenges you might be facing, whether it’s concerns about sexual desire, performance, satisfaction, or emotional intimacy related to sexual activities.

A sex therapist, who is a trained professional, creates a comfortable and confidential environment where these often-sensitive topics can be discussed openly. The goal is to identify the root causes of sexual issues and work through them using therapeutic techniques, improving sexual health and intimacy in the relationship. It’s not about physical examination or sexual activity in sessions; rather, it’s about conversation, understanding, and strategising to overcome obstacles to fulfilling sexual experiences.

What Affects Intimacy Between Couples?

Intimacy between couples can be influenced by a myriad of factors, ranging from individual issues affecting one partner to dynamics that involve both. Understanding these factors is crucial for nurturing a healthy, intimate relationship. Here are some key elements that play a role:

Communication Breakdown

Effective communication is the cornerstone of intimacy. When couples struggle to express their feelings, desires, and concerns openly, it can lead to misunderstandings and feelings of distance. A lack of clear communication about needs and expectations can prevent couples from fully connecting on an emotional and physical level.


Stress, whether related to work, finances, or personal issues, significantly impacts one’s emotional and physical availability for intimacy. An individual overwhelmed by stress may find it challenging to engage in intimate moments as their mental and emotional energy is consumed elsewhere. This can leave their partner feeling neglected and strain the relationship.

Trust Issues

Trust is foundational for intimacy. Issues such as infidelity, deceit, or even unreliability can erode trust, making it difficult for couples to feel emotionally safe and open with each other. Rebuilding trust requires time, effort, and often professional guidance to restore intimacy.

Physical Health Concerns

Physical health issues, including chronic illness, pain, or sexual dysfunction, can directly impact intimacy. These conditions may affect one partner’s ability to engage in sexual activities or reduce their libido, creating challenges in maintaining a satisfying intimate connection.

Emotional Baggage

Past experiences and unresolved emotional issues can influence one’s ability to be intimate. Emotional baggage from previous relationships, childhood trauma, or deeply ingrained insecurities can hinder an individual’s capacity for vulnerability and closeness, affecting the intimacy within the current relationship.

Differing Sexual Desires

Differences in libido or sexual preferences between partners can create feelings of frustration and inadequacy. Without open discussion and compromise, these differences can lead to a disconnect, where one or both partners feel their needs are not being met.

Couples Seeking Sex Therapy in Singapore

At All in the Family Counselling, our sex therapist aids couples with intimacy issues, addressing a broad spectrum of challenges that can dampen sexual fulfilment and emotional closeness. Here’s a deeper look into when, how, and why couples might seek out sex therapy for these common issues:

When Couples Seek Sex Therapy

Couples may seek sex therapy at various points in their relationship, often prompted by persistent challenges or changes that affect their intimacy and sexual satisfaction. Here’s a closer look at specific situations that lead partners to consider therapy:

Facing Persistent Intimacy Challenges

Couples often turn to sex therapy when they consistently struggle with aspects of their sexual relationship that they find difficult to resolve on their own. These challenges can range from physical dissatisfaction to emotional disconnection.

After Significant Life Changes

Major life events such as pregnancy, childbirth, or the onset of a chronic illness can drastically alter a couple’s intimacy dynamic. Couples may seek therapy to adapt to these changes and find new ways to maintain or enhance their intimacy.

Experiencing Relationship Milestones

Milestones such as ageing, retirement, or empty nesting can shift how couples interact sexually. Therapy can help partners navigate these transitions, ensuring their relationship remains strong and satisfying.

How Couples Benefit from Sex Therapy

Engaging in sex therapy offers couples numerous benefits, enhancing both their emotional connection and sexual compatibility. Below are detailed ways through which therapy can positively transform their intimate relationship:

Improving Communication About Sex

Sex therapy provides a safe, neutral space for partners to openly discuss their desires, fears, and concerns about their sexual relationship, often leading to breakthroughs in understanding and empathy.

Addressing Emotional and Physical Issues

Therapists work with couples to tackle both emotional barriers to intimacy, like unresolved conflict or power imbalances, and physical challenges, such as the effects of medications or body image concerns.

Rekindling Desire

Through therapy, couples can explore new ways to connect and reignite desire, even in the face of challenges like stress at work or changing physical attractiveness.

Why Couples Choose Sex Therapy

Couples opt for sex therapy for a myriad of reasons, all aimed at deepening intimacy and resolving issues that hinder their sexual relationship. Here are some key motivations behind seeking professional help in this sensitive area:

Seeking Solutions for Specific Problems

Couples may seek sex therapy for targeted issues, such as differing libido levels, beliefs about sexual acts that conflict with personal or religious values, or unrealistic expectations about sexual performance.

Enhancing Overall Relationship Satisfaction

Understanding that sexual intimacy is a vital part of a fulfilling relationship, couples might opt for sex therapy as a proactive measure to enhance their connection, even if they aren’t facing immediate crises.

Overcoming Stigma and Misinformation

Many couples turn to sex therapy to overcome misinformation about sexual health and to address issues like the impact of alcohol or drug use in a judgment-free environment, guided by professional expertise.

What to Expect From Sex Therapy as a Couple

In your first sex therapy session, your therapist will gently guide you through a conversation about your sexual, medical, relational, and psychological background. This comprehensive overview allows for a tailored approach to your therapy. Depending on your unique situation, further medical evaluations or physiotherapy may be recommended to complement your psychosexual support and education.

To enhance the therapy’s effectiveness, you may be given practical assignments to carry out in the privacy of your home. These tasks are designed to help you explore and practice new skills relevant to your personal journey and are tailored to the specific challenges you’re facing. For those in relationships, involving your partner in this process can be incredibly beneficial.

Should you feel more comfortable beginning this process individually, individual counselling sessions are available. These sessions can provide a solid foundation for understanding your needs and concerns before involving your partner. Throughout this process, you can expect a supportive, informative, and respectful environment as you work towards your goals.

Sex Therapy: Common Misconceptions

Sex therapy, despite its potential for profound benefits, is often shrouded in misconceptions that can deter individuals or couples from seeking the help they need. Understanding what sex therapy is not can clarify its true nature and purpose.

What Sex Therapy Is NOT: A common misconception is that sex therapy involves physical interactions or demonstrations within sessions. This is far from the truth. Sex therapy is a professional, therapeutic service that focuses on discussing sexual concerns, emotions, and behaviours in a safe and confidential setting. It operates under the same ethical guidelines and professional standards as other forms of therapy, ensuring a respectful and clinical approach to addressing sexual health issues.

Sex therapy is kept professional through a counselling or therapist-to-patient format that strictly prohibits any form of physical touch. The therapy sessions are designed to provide education, support, and strategies for overcoming sexual issues through verbal communication. Therapists may assign homework for clients to practice in the privacy of their own home, but these activities are conducted without the therapist’s direct involvement and are aimed at enhancing intimacy between partners or improving the individual’s relationship with their sexuality.

What Sex Therapy Is NOT: Another prevalent misconception is that sex therapy is exclusively for severe or abnormal sexual issues. This notion can prevent many from seeking therapy for common and relatively minor sexual concerns that, when addressed early, can significantly improve one’s quality of life and relationship satisfaction.

Sex therapy is for anyone looking to enhance their sexual health and intimacy, regardless of the severity of their issues. It covers a broad spectrum of topics, from communication difficulties, differences in desire, to navigating changes in sexual function due to ageing or health issues. The goal is to provide support, education, and strategies tailored to each individual or couple’s needs, promoting a healthier and more fulfilling sexual life.

Our Certified Sex Therapist

Our professional sex therapist, Ms Tammy Fontana, completed her sex therapy certification through the Advanced Mental Health Training Institute, an approved provider for the Florida Board of Psychology, Florida Board of Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling. Her certification as a sex therapist is in accordance with the professional and clinical guidelines of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).

To build up her expertise and therapeutic skills in systemic relationship and sex therapy, Ms Fontana is completing individual training with the esteemed sex therapist, Dr Marty Klein. Her intensive clinical training continues to advance her skills and knowledge in helping her clients with relationship issues, specifically their sexual issues.

Furthermore, Ms Fontana also receives training and clinical supervision in hypnotherapy and sex counselling from Dr Denisa Legac, who is not only a PhD Psychotherapist, but also a hypnotherapist and sex therapist.

The Goal of Sex Therapy for Couples

The primary aim of sex therapy for couples is to achieve deeper intimacy and improved communication, enabling them to navigate sexual desires, expectations, and concerns more effectively. Successful completion of therapy sessions often leads to enhanced sexual satisfaction, resolution of dysfunctions, and stronger emotional bonds, empowering couples with the skills and confidence to maintain a fulfilling relationship. Through professional guidance, couples learn to articulate needs clearly, address and overcome barriers to intimacy, and build a resilient, connected partnership.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Sex Therapist in Singapore

If you’re ready to deepen the intimacy in your relationship and overcome any challenges you face together, our counselling centre in Singapore is here to support you. Our professional sex therapists are committed to helping you frame your goals and achieve meaningful outcomes. For added convenience, we also provide online therapy services. Take the first step towards a more fulfilling partnership.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sex Therapy in Singapore

My partner does not want to attend sex therapy. What do I do?

If your partner is hesitant about attending sex therapy, it’s important to approach the topic with empathy and understanding. Express your feelings and reasons for wanting to attend therapy without placing blame. Sometimes, learning more about what sex therapy entails and addressing any misconceptions together can alleviate concerns. You might also consider starting with individual sessions to explore your feelings and concerns, which can sometimes encourage a partner to join later.

When should I visit a sex therapist?

Consider visiting a sex therapist when sexual issues are causing distress, dissatisfaction, or strain in your relationship. This could be anything from mismatched sexual desires and difficulties with sexual function to emotional disconnection during intimate moments. Seeking therapy early can prevent these issues from escalating and help maintain a healthy, fulfilling relationship.

Is it normal to attend sex therapy in Singapore?

Yes, it’s completely normal and increasingly common for individuals and couples in Singapore to seek sex therapy. Sexual health is an important aspect of overall well-being, and addressing concerns in this area of life is as normal as seeking help for physical or mental health issues. The growing awareness and acceptance of sex therapy in Singapore reflect a broader understanding of the importance of sexual health and happiness.

How do I know if the counsellor is a qualified sex therapist?

A qualified sex therapist in Singapore will have specific training and credentials in sex therapy or a closely related field. Look for professionals who are accredited by reputable organisations and have a transparent record of their qualifications and areas of expertise. Additionally, a qualified sex therapist will adhere to a code of ethics, ensuring that your sessions are conducted in a professional and confidential manner. Don’t hesitate to ask about their qualifications, experience, and approach to therapy during your initial consultation.

Read Our Articles

Want to learn more about sex therapy? Read these additional resources:

What is Sex?
How Does Sex Therapy Work?
Behaviours That Will Hurt Your Sex Life
Outdated Sexual Response Cycle and How It May Hurt
Have This Sex Conversation
Sex Issues
Unnecessary Treatments

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