Counseling for Intimacy Issues and Sexual Wellness

at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids

Counseling for Intimacy Issues and Sexual Wellness
In Grand Rapids, MI and West Michigan At Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids, MI

Cultural stigma, the silent generations, and societal taboos have left many people feeling lonely and unfulfilled even when they are in a long-term romantic relationship.  Defining intimacy and sexual wellness, can at times, not be very straightforward. The medical field, social media, our families, and our own personal values all impact how we view intimacy and sexual wellness. Even research, science, and diagnosing have changed in the last 20 years around sexual health and wellness, but that does not mean sexual wellness and intimacy is less important. In fact, research has shown that one’s mental health may be improved when one is engaged in a relationship where they are feeling fulfilled through intimacy, which can include friendship, intellectual connection, and sexuality.

Intimacy is often defined as the ability for both parties in a relationship to be vulnerable, that they are open to actively listening to the other, and are able to share without fear. It is ideal for intimacy to be present in relationships such as a marriage, long-term partner, or friendships. At times, the word intimacy has been used to define sexual encounters, but it is not necessarily sexual. For some, intimacy is a feeling and an experience of deep connection and safety to be one’s self in a relationship. For many, the lack of intimacy leaves them feeling depressed, anxious, and lonely. For those who have experienced a disruption in a relationship that formerly featured intimate moments, conversations, and even sexuality, individual therapy, and couples therapy can help people work through these difficulties and even work to restore a relationship.

Humans are social creatures, and research has shown that when people are isolated that they are less likely to thrive in life. Intimacy is often a part of a romantic relationship but is also an important aspect of relationships with siblings, parent-child relationships, and close friendships.

For some couples, if they do not feel that they have emotional or intellectual intimacy between them, then they begin to lack both romance and sex life. For other couples, their sex life is the only part of their relationship that they find working, and yet they feel isolated and sometimes even resentful of their partner. Luckily individual and couples counseling can help restore the balance that most couples are seeking in their relationships. Sex therapy as it is sometimes, referred to is a type of counseling that works to help couples and individuals directly address the many factors of sexual satisfaction–these may include: Relational, personal, psychological, medical, or value-based beliefs. For many, the goal of sex therapy is to help people move past the emotional and physical challenges they are faced with and develop an intimate, romantic, and satisfying relationship and sex life.

In the United States, sexual dysfunction is quite common. For instance, 31 percent of men and 43 percent of women experience some type of sexual dysfunction during their lifetimes.

These dysfunctions may include:

  • low confidence, both personally and sexually
  • lack of interest in sex and romance
  • erectile dysfunction in men
  • low libido
  • premature ejaculation
  • lack of response to sexual stimulus
  • inability to orgasm
  • increased and unbalanced libido
  • difficulties controlling sexual behavior
  • disturbing sexual thoughts
  • sexual fetishes that are not preferred
  • sexual fetishes that are not compatible with a partner

Having a fulfilling sex life is naturally good for your health. It is important to note that both physical and emotional intimacy is needed in a balanced relationship. When intimacy diminishes or sexual dysfunction occurs, many individuals and couples seek the help of a professional counselor and/or therapist who has experience in these areas.

Sexual wellness and intimacy can fall into a variety of subcategories. Some of which can include pain during sexual activities, the inability to have an orgasm, unsatisfactory sexual experiences with your partner(s), as well as exploring sexuality in a variety of other ways.  Sexual wellness could also include education on the body’s physiology, reproduction health, and contraceptives. For others, it may be exploring new ways of understanding themselves, their sexuality, gender issues, and the spectrum of sexual and relational attraction.

Our therapists at Health for Life Counseling understand the complexities of intimacy and sexual health. Our therapists will work through a trauma-informed lens that is sensitive to your unique situation as they help you explore this topic, which for some may be uncomfortable.

Counseling for Intimacy Issues and Sexual Wellness:

Counseling for Intimacy Issues and Sexual Wellness

Brittani Decess

Counseling through a trauma-informed, inclusive, and equitable lens for individuals, relationships, and families.

Jennifer McKinstry

Counseling for Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, and Spiritual Issues

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Grand Rapids, MI

Ada, MI