Therapy can mean many things. The type of therapy we practice is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is psychology-based treatment to help people overcome their problems in an effective and lasting way. Therapy helps people change the way that they think, feel, and behave. Many sexual problems are the result of psychological problems, which is why psychotherapy can be so effective for addressing sexual problems. There are many different types of psychotherapy; we practice cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, dialectical-behaviour therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. They are the best scientifically-supported types of psychotherapy available.

Sex therapy is counselling or psychotherapy with a focus on sexual and relationship problems. The goal of sex therapy is to help people solve their sexual problems and have the sex lives that they want. Sex therapists come from many different backgrounds with widely varying levels of training and expertise. Because of this, they may approach their work quite differently. Sex therapists aren’t regulated by a licensing organization, so it’s a good idea to check out therapists’ credentials.

Yes, absolutely! We enjoy helping people with diverse problems including those of a sexual nature, and those that have nothing to do with sex. Our education, training, and expertise make this possible. Clinical psychology training means having a strong foundation in treating anxiety, mood, unhelpful behaviours, and other non-sexual psychological problems. Difficulties related to sex and sexual disorders are our area of specialization. And because sexual problems often have a significant anxiety component, having a foundation in treating anxiety is crucial. Some of the other problems that we see in our practice include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression or low mood
  • Obsessions and compulsions (OCD)
  • Relationship conflict
  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Emotions that feel too intense or overwhelming
  • Behaviour that causes you problems but seems impossible to stop
  • Psychosis

It’s completely normal to feel unsure about starting therapy. Here are some common reasons:
1. People often feel uncomfortable with the idea of sharing private and upsetting things about themselves. Sex, in particular, is difficult to talk about for most people. But talking with a professional is often exactly what’s needed. Being non-judgmental and respectful are central to the work that we do.
2. Some people fear that sharing their problems will confirm their fears that they’re weak, broken, or incompetent. But most of us don’t feel bad about ourselves when we get help with our physical health, education, careers, fitness, etc. Sometimes we need the help of professionals. The same can be said about getting help for our psychological and sexual problems.
3. Affordability can be an issue for people without coverage, or coverage that’s capped at a certain amount. But how much are stress, loneliness, sleepless nights, or messed up relationships costing you? How much would it be worth to you to be able to start living the life you want? Having the sex life that you want?

On average, most clients find that they need at least eight sessions to experience significant and lasting change. However, many start to see improvements in as little as two sessions. In rare cases, a client may simply need a question or two answered, in which case a single session may suffice. On the other hand, some people are struggling with complex problems that may require long-term help and support.

Psychologists have doctorate degrees (PhDs and PsyDs) in psychology and have completed extensive training in clinical psychology. Psychiatrists are doctors of medicine (MDs), which means that they’ve completed medical school plus additional training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists can prescribe drugs. Both psychologists and psychiatrists must have licences to practice. In other words, they must meet strict educational and training requirements, and are regulated by law. Counsellors and therapists come from diverse backgrounds in terms of their education and training. Most have been through counselling Masters programs. Counsellors and therapists are not required to have licenses. However, in British Columbia most counsellors are part of an organization that sets standards for competent practice. Their organization designates them Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC).

At the West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy, we work with adults (individually and together with partners) of all ages, genders, orientations, backgrounds, and identities.

Our fees range from $120-$225 for an appointment, depending on education, experience, and professional designation.

Every extended benefits plan is different. Some will only cover the fees associated with seeing Registered Psychologists, but some will also cover Registered Clinical Counsellors and others will also cover supervised PhD-level Clinical Psychology trainees. To find out, you’ll need to contact your provider and ask. If you’re interested in seeing one of our trainees, ask your provider if they cover “PhD-level Clinical Psychology trainees working under the direct supervision of a Registered Psychologist”.