There just are not a lot of trained, experienced and certified sex therapists available. In rural areas there aren’t even many general therapists available. Even when there are skilled and trained therapists available, there isn’t enough anonymity for people to comfortably go to a therapist’s office in a small town because everyone will know you’re there. Accessibility is key to working with a good sex therapist.
I have lived and worked in both very large cities (New York City) and smaller suburban towns. Currently, I’m living/working in currently (Princeton, NJ), one of the larger small towns I’ve experienced. Working in NYC, I think I ran into a client once in the several years I worked there. Alternatively, when I lived/worked in the small town of West Chester, PA, it was impossible not to run into my clients regularly. Working exclusively as a sex therapist, I was realize people don’t always feel comfortable talking to someone that lives in their community about their sexual life.
You may understandably wish to seek an online sex therapist to maintain your privacy and increase your level of comfort.
I realize that the waiting room has been a source of intimidation for several of my in-person clients. Especially being in a share suite of other therapists without control over who is sitting in the waiting area. Again, as a sex therapist, I have found it somewhat difficult at times to maintain confidentiality for in-person clients in a shared waiting space. You may prefer not to sit in a waiting room at all. With online sex therapy, you will never have to step foot into a waiting room. You can stay in the comfort of your own home, office or sometimes even in your car.
4. Ease of Talking
It’s not always that easy to talk about sex, especially in front of someone that you’re meeting for the first time. You may find it easier to talk about sex over the computer, through a screen because there’s a bit more distance and privacy.
You’re busy! Being online allows you to conveniently schedule appointments at times that work for you: during your lunch hour, after the kids go to bed, in a private office at work/home or in your parked car. Any of these arrangements have proven to be very effective and convenient. Anything to limit the commute time is helpful, right? You don’t have to worry about transportation, parking, gas, etc. Because of these conveniences, I’ve found clients are more committed to the process and less likely to stop therapy due to not having time.
6. A Window into Your World
It’s amazing to see a little bit into my clients’ natural environment. It can give me a lot of helpful information about their situation. It’s a luxury we don’t get when clients come into the office. But seeing the types of distractions you face in your environment can really give the therapist insight into the impact that your home/work life may have on your sexual life. For example, if your kids or dog are constantly interrupting your therapy session, how do you think that may be impacting your sex life?
7. Increasing Therapeutic Opportunities
There are many times when a person presents with unique situations that will make it challenging to provide the best treatment possible. Online therapy, specifically online sex therapy, provides an opportunity for people who may be underserved by our traditional therapeutic models.
For example, a transgender client wanting to begin or is already in the process of transitioning. This person may not have access to a therapist who is trans-affirming and -competent. However, online sex therapy makes the connection much easier. They may also need some time to recover from surgery or feel safer remaining in the comfort of their own home at certain times during their transition. If this is you, you may feel better seeing a sex therapist online rather than in-person.
Kimberly Atwood is a licensed psychotherapist and certified sex therapist working with clients in-person at her private practice in Princeton, NJ, as well as online with clients who live in Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. She specializes in sexual health, intimacy and relationship issues. For more information, please check out her website.