Behind the doors of a sex therapist, clients seek understanding, acceptance, and answers. But how can mental health professionals help their clients achieve these goals? Dr. Stephanie Buehler, a licensed psychologist, sex therapist and a recognized author, invites you to "Step Into My Office" with monthly sidebars taken from her own experience.
Sometimes clients are unaware of the role that alcohol plays in their sex life. Many people rely on alcohol to diminish sexual inhibitions or improve performance. Only when they try to have “sober sex” do they face facts, as Margaret and Leo did in this “Step Into My Office” feature.
Margaret and Leo had been married 5 years. They rarely had sex unless they had been out drinking at a bar. Leo also had a history of depression as well as problems with explosive anger. Margaret eventually insisted that Leo get treatment; he was referred to an anger management group, prescribed an antidepressant, and also advised not to drink. To show support, Margaret also cut back on drinking. Without alcohol, however, they both felt inhibited. Margaret sensed that Leo was uncomfortable and she responded with her own inhibitions. Eventually, they contacted a therapist because their sex life had come to a halt, never realizing they were abusing alcohol to cover up fears about sex and intimacy.
For a full list of factors surrounding a situation like this, as well as activities to help direct a dialogue, check out Stephanie Buehler’s book, What Every Mental Health Professional Needs to Know About Sex.