People who have sexual concerns, including non-medical “sexual dysfunctions,” orgasm difficulties, desire discrepancies in their relationship(s), body image concerns, a desire for more intimacy or an enriched or expanded sexual life, consent issues, gender concerns, and more, can often benefit from talking with a sex-positive, accepting, non-judgmental counselor. The use of hypnosis enhances the counseling process by delivering positive suggestions and ways to overcome negative self-talk, sexual inhibitions, worry, and more.
I combine a variety of methods to help each client to feel greater sexual self-esteem and confidence through an awareness and appreciation of their own unique erotic natures. My own practice model is below.
As a sexuality counselor/hypnotist, I begin with the “helping skills” approach (C.E. Hill, 2009) to help clients explore their concerns and erotic desires, discover insights, and take action when appropriate. Jack Annon’s PLISSIT model (1976) provides another key element of my practice.
Disclaimer: Sexuality counseling and sex and relationship coaching are client-centered, short-term services focused on specific issues. These services are designed to be supportive of overall client wellness and to be complementary and/or additionally helpful to any medical and mental health care. These services do not take the place of medical care and/or therapy from licensed providers. These services do not diagnose or treat medical or mental health conditions. Please consult your medical providers and/or therapists for your medical and mental health needs.
Research Supports Uses of Hypnosis for Sexual Concerns
You might wonder about research into the uses of hypnosis for sexual concerns. Many peer-reviewed studies demonstrate the efficacy of hypnosis as a complementary modality, used alone or in conjunction with therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or some medical therapies.
Since 2008 I have specialized in using hypnosis for sexual concerns. I call this “Sexological Hypnosis.” I also teach other sexuality and psychology professionals to use Sexological Hypnosis through a professional, 150-hour training. I have collected dozens of studies demonstrating the efficacy of hypnosis for many kinds of sexual concerns.
The table below gives a few general examples of how I use hypnosis and related mind/body techniques in combination with sexuality counseling and “adult sex ed.”
|General Concerns||Examples of |
Coaching, Sex Ed
(Partner or solo)
|•Sexual self-esteem. |
•Desensitization of triggering incidents.
|Painful Sex||Sexual self-esteem.|
|•Referral to MD and |
Pelvic Floor Therapists.
•”Outercourse” Partner techniques.
|Partner Sex||•Sexual self-esteem.|
• Support for diverse relationships.
|Mobility: Aging, Ilness,|
•”Outercourse partner techniques.
|Guilt and Shame|
•Desensitization of triggering incidents.
|•Body acceptance. |
•Possible referral to licensed therapist.
|Gender Concerns||•Self-esteem and ego strengthening.|
•Specific support for trans and
Hypnosis Can Help With All Kinds of Sexual Problems
If you experience any of the following difficulties, you might find that even a few sessions of Sexological Hypnosis can make a difference for you in managing:
- difficulties with erections;
- orgasm difficulties;
- painful penetrative sex;
- pelvic pain conditions such as vaginismus and vulvodynia;
- sexual guilt and shame;
- worries about “coming out,” or other sexual preference and gender concerns;
- sexual desire that is “too low” or “too high”;
- worries about body image and emotional turmoil associated with a variety of sexual problems;
- worry, body image issues, and procedures associated with pelvic organ prolapse;
- menopausal hot flashes;
- lack of dating and/or social-sexual confidence;
- and other medical conditions which affect sexual health and functioning.
Hypnosis can support surgical patients both pre- and post-operatively by delivering positive suggestions to diminish side-effects of anesthesia and other medication, decrease blood flow to incision sites, and promote rapid healing.
Hypnosis has benefited HIV AIDS patients by boosting immune systems and encouraging compliance with medical regimens. Hypnosis can help create a less painful or pain-free childbirth. There are so many ways in which hypnosis can assist! I have many studies and abstracts in my files that confirm positive results when hypnosis is used in a complementary manner for a variety of problems.
Increase Sexual Pleasure and Variety Through Erotic Hypnosis with Your Partner(s)
Hypnosis can also be used to create a more vibrant and pleasurable sex life, by exploring fantasies, increasing emotional and affectionate bonds, play with sensation, and more. I teach people how to use simple recreational hypnosis techniques with their intimate partners. I do not do erotic hypnosis with clients.
Hypnosis and Mind/Body Methods
I use many kinds of relaxing inductions to help you into a light state of alpha wave trance (though you might go deeper). I also use many methods to help you toward the results you desire and to promote your resilience and self-agency: internally imagined “body scans,” future progression, regression (carefully), and more. I also help you learn self-hypnosis to boost self-esteem, access inner wisdom, and other psychologically positive states.
I also use Hypnosis Relaxation Therapy (HRT), Autogenic Training (AT), and Systematic Desensitization to complement hypnosis and counseling (described below).
Hypnosis Relaxation Therapy
The Hypnosis Relaxation Therapy (HRT) was developed by Dr. Gary Elkins, a well-known clinician and researcher in the uses of hypnosis. HRT will often be your introduction to hypnosis in your work with me. Expect the first couple of sessions to focus on relaxation before moving into direct work on your presenting issues.
One method I use for several different kinds of sexual concerns is a hypnotic version of Systematic Desensitization, developed by Joseph Wolpe, MD, in the 1950s. Systematic Desensitization has proven itself in many studies since then. It is well known in the field of psychology. And yes, it’s been used for sexual concerns too.
I help my clients determine what elements of a problem are most upsetting. Once we sort them on a scale of 1-10, we begin to increase your ability to relax when confronted with the imagined triggers, step by step. We begin with the easiest and work toward the hardest. Eventually you are able diminish and control your fears–they do not control you.
For example, if you are a person with non-medically caused erection or orgasm difficulties, think about how you will fill out such a worksheet.
As you can imagine, Systematic Desensitization sessions break down the problem into managable “bits.” This approach can help create confidence as the “easier” elements are solved first. This approach can eventually substantially diminish the fears and worries that might be preventing you from having your best sex life. When combined with sexuality counseling, this is a synergistic approach that works well for many.
According to Wolfgang Linden, an expert on Autogenic Training (AT), it is “one of the oldest biobehavioral techniques known and used” (p. 151, Principles and Practice of Stress Management, ed. by Lehrer, Woolfolk, & Sime, Guilford Press, 2007). According to Linden, AT is in wide use in Europe, Russia, and Japan–less so in North America. However there are numerous studies that attest to its efficacy for many conditions.
Autogenic means “self-generated” or “from within.” J.H. Schultz, a neurologist, developed AT as a form of self-hypnosis in the 1920s. Though often compared to progressive relaxation and self-hypnosis, it has unique features as an “autonomic self-regulation therapy” (Linden, p. 152). AT is a process that patients and clients do themselves, with daily practice, after instruction and some coaching from a therapist or other helping professional.
In addition to hypnosis and counseling, I now offer eight weeks of instruction in AT, as recommended by Wolfgang Linden. AT complements hypnosis and counseling by delivering an effective, research-based method of regulating the impacts of stress on the autonomic nervous system. Best of all, once you learn it, you can apply it to many situations without needing additional help.
Discounted Session Packages Deliver Comprehensive Programs
I create an individualized program for you, based on your needs and desires, by combining the above “tried and true” methods with a nonjudgmental, “sex and pleasure positive” approach to counseling and adult sex education. Plan on six to eight weeks to truly gain the skills and outlook you need to improve your sex life and/or general health.