Frequently Asked Questions
What is sex therapy?
It is counselling that addresses a person's psychological or physical sexual problems. There is no physical touching involved.
Why see a sex therapist?
Sex therapists have specialist training in how psychological, social and physiological factors affect sexuality and sexual functioning. Unlike some counsellors, as a sex therapist, I am comfortable hearing and speaking about sexual problems, accepting of people’s diverse sexual experiences and am non-judgemental. Not all counsellors feel at ease talking about sex so it is helpful knowing you can speak freely with me about topics that may seem embarrassing or awkward. My clients often tell me how grateful they feel to be able to speak openly and confidently about problems they are reluctant to share with others.
What happens in a therapy session?
I will use the first session to understand what you see the problems to be and take a sexual or psychosocial history to better appreciate what factors may be impacting on you. Together we identify what you would like to improve and how.
Sex therapy sessions are person centred meaning we focus on your experience of the problem and ability to resolve with appropriate support. I believe in the capacity of all people to find strength and meaning in their lives and by working through a range of solutions, positive outcomes can be achieved. The sessions are active, directive and goal orientated and require some commitment from you during the process. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is especially helpful in understanding how negative beliefs impact us and in working out ways to positively move forward in our thinking.
Sex therapy often involves giving you some behavioural tasks or homework exercises, to practice at home and can be a lot of fun, not like the homework we used to get at school. Counselling helps you to build better communication skills which can assist not only in your sex life but in other areas of your life as well.
You may be asked to work on:
- How to better communicate
- Improving intimacy with behavioural tasks
- Your sexuality concerns
- Relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety
- Relationship specific tasks
What LGBTIQA+ concerns do you work with?
Research suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+) people experience higher rates of stigma, discrimination, prejudice anxiety, depression and psychological distress. Seeing a therapist who has experience with and an appreciation of these issues can be helpful.
I have counselled people seeking support with:
- Same sex relationships
- Opening relationships up to other people
- Intimacy issues
- Developing relationship skills
- Sexual identity confusion
- Gender identity confusion
- Parenting and families
- Coming out
- Internet dating and hooking up
- BDSM and kink
- Compulsive behaviours involving substance use, sex and pronography
- Workplace issues
- Stigma and discrimination
- Adjusting to HIV diagnosis and other STIs
- Sexual assault and abuse
How many sessions are needed?
Sometimes only one session is required to resolve difficulties whilst other issues are more complex and require several sessions. Short to mid-term counselling is suitable for most people and some like to come back for top up sessions every six months or yearly to check that things are ok with them and their relationships. After our first session I can give you an indication of how many sessions may be needed but ultimately you determine this depending on how you feel.
Do I need to see a therapist with my partner or alone?
If couples are experiencing relationship difficulties it can be helpful to initially meet you together then see you individually to gain a better understanding of your concerns then meet together again to work on ways to resolve the issues. Not everyone is receptive to the idea of counselling and it is ok to attend a session alone if you are not sure your partner wants to join you as we can explore your concerns and discuss useful strategies to improve communication.
Do you offer counselling that is not sexually related?
Yes. In my role as a social worker I have supported people people dealing with:
- Trauma, grief & loss
- Depression, anxiety and mental health issues
- Substance dependency
- Family violence
- Psychosocial stressors
- Family & relationship issues
- Low self esteem
- Body image issues
- Financial concerns
Does my information remain confidential?
I am legally bound to keep your information confidential and not disclose it to others. There are certain situations however where I may have to share your information so you need to be mindful of this when telling me things during our sessions. Information will not remain confidential if:
- Failure to disclose the information would put you or another person at risk
- It is requested by a court
- You have given me prior approval to provide a written report to other professionals such as a GP or lawyer
- You have consented for me to discuss your information with another person such as your partner, parent, friend etc
What are your qualifications?
* Master of Science in Medicine (Sexual Health Counselling) - Sydney University
* Bachelor of Social Work - LaTrobe University
* Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism and Performing Arts - Deakin University
* Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with the Australian Association of Social Workers, with a Medicare Provider Number able to offer rebates.
I am the National Chairperson of the Society of Australian Sexologists .
I have completed Level 1 of the Gottman Institute Couples Counselling course and the Dan Wile Collaborative Couples Therapy Workshop.
I am a member of the following professional networks:
- Australian Association of Social Workers
- Mental Health Professionals Network
Do you work under a Code of Ethics?
Yes. I am bound by the code of ethics of the Society of Australian Sexologists Ltd.
As a social worker, I am also bound by the code of ethics of the Australian Association of Social Workers, which ensures I act in an ethically accountable way.
I also comply with the Health Complaints Act 2016 (Vic) Code of Conduct
How much does it cost?
$165 for an individual 50 minute session. Discounts available for students and holders of health care cards. Payment can be made via cash, debit or credit card.
$185 for a 50 minute couples session
Do you offer rebates?
Yes if you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP you can claim around $76 per individual session up to 10 sessions. Couples therapy is not Medicare rebatable.
Do I need a referral?
Yes if wanting to claim Medicare rebates but is not essential otherwise. If you do have a referral, however, please bring it to your first appointment as that may assist me to learn more about your situation.
When are you available?
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9am-8pm