Clinical Sexology

Martin Gladman provides clinical sexology services to people 18 years and over of all genders and sexualities. Martin works to create a safe and supportive space where one is able to discuss what is happening for them and start to explore ways that they can either begin to treat the condition or develop a new relationship with it so that no longer has a negative impact on their life.

Services are available to individuals, couples and partners and is determined by the client as to their goals and outcomes that they would like to achieve in sessions.  As part of the service Martin offers a free 10-15 minute phone call to discuss what might be happening and what these goals may be to determine if he is the best practitioner.  In cases where it might be outside of Martin's scope of practice he would support you to find another more appropriate support.

COMMON PRESENTING CONDITIONS

  • Dyspareunia (pain during sex) including:

    • Vulvodynia 

    • Vaginismus

  • Erectile dysfunction and/or concerns maintaining an erection

  • Early or pre-mature ejaculation 

  • Delayed ejaculation

  • Unwanted or distressing desires / fantasies (legal paraphilias only)

  • Sex and sexual health education

  • Sexual abuse/trauma

  • Relationship/marriage difficulties

  • Separation counselling

  • Infidelity and/or betrayal

  • Mismatched or low libidio  

  • Orgasm difficulties

  • Exploring open or polyamorous relationships

  • Sexuality and gender confusion

  • Gender transitioning/affirmation

  • Pornography addiction/overuse

  • LGBTIQAP+ specific support

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Clinical Sexology?

 

Clinical sexology is the application of research and science relating to sex, sexuality, and sexual dysfunction in a therapeutic or counselling setting.  It’s a specialisation which psychologist counsellors, social workers, and GP’s can undergo so that they are able to support people who may be experiencing problems regarding their sexual health and/or wellbeing.

 

There is a very stark reality that many people struggle when it comes to sex and sexuality.  Be it physically when their bodies are not functioning or working as they would like, mentally when feelings of shame, embarrassment, disappointment, frustration etc., can be overwhelming, safety when it comes to assertiveness and boundaries, socially in regard to relationships and relating, and more.  Difficulties with sex and sexuality however impact more than just the individual, with studies showing that workplace productivity, family life and social contributions can also be impacted, showing how important treatment in this space is. 

 

A clinical sexologist is a qualified, professionally trained, and certificated practitioner who can help you understand what’s happening with your body, with your sexuality and/or with your partner/s, exploring ways how you can begin to address the problem.  There is absolutely no need for any of us to be suffering with conditions, concerns or worries relating to sex and sexuality, so do not hesitate to reach out and see what support may be available.

 

What does a clinical sexologist do?

 

A clinical sexologist provides a talk-based therapy that is designed to assess and determine the best way to treat a problem or support you int the ares of sex and sexuality.  They work alongside your GP and other allied health practitioners as needed, to assure that you are receiving complete, wholistic treatment.  

 

Depending on the clinical sexologist’s experience and training, a clinical sexologist is able to provide services to individuals, couples, throuples, groups and consensually non-monogamous parings. 

 

Clinical sexology is not a sex service.  This means there is no touching, physical examination, nudity, or anything along those lines provided during sessions.  All forms of sexual or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Clients who displayed this will be banned from accessing the service and reported to the police where appropriate..

How much does a clinical sexologist cost?

 

Depending on the practitioner’s experience, target market and location, the cost to see a clinical sexologist can vary.  For individual sessions we charge $180 AUD per 50 minutes and for session with couples or partners it is $240 AUD per 50 minutes.  It’s estimated that it can take between 6-20 sessions depending on the presenting problem.  Sessions usually take place weekly, fortnightly, or monthly depending on the condition and availability.  At all times our clients ‘call the shots’ on what they feel is needed, so no one is locked into a certain number of sessions and can cancel at any time if not beneficial. 

 

When should I see a clinical sexologist? 

 

The best time to see a clinical sexologist is the moment you have identified an issue.  Many issues if treated early conditions can either go away easier or are much easier to manage, where waiting can make then complicated and difficult to treat.  Waiting until a problem gets so bad that you are forced to deal with it is unnecessary, and although it can be scary or embarrassing it’s much better to nip something in the bud then let it get out of control and significantly impact on your life.  If you are experiencing any troubles regarding sex or sexuality reach out and we can see if we can help.

 

How is a clinical sexologist or sex therapist different?

 

In many ways the names are interchangeable, however we feel that there is a difference.  Unfortunately, the counselling industry is unregulated which means that there are a variety of people who claim that they are sex therapists who either don’t have appropriate training and/or qualifications and who may subscribe to practice ethics that a professional psychologist, social worker, counsellor, or GP would not. The distinction we like to make is that a clinical sexologist’s practice is grounded in professional ethics and values, guided by evidence-based research and is considered a specialisation acquired through relevant postgraduate education. This may not be the case for all people who call themselves sex therapists.  

 

What happens in sex therapy?

 

Sex therapy (when offered by a clinical sexologist) is a talk-based therapy that utilises counselling, psychology and/or social worker skills to support clients to better understand and begin to address their concerns regarding sex and/or sexuality. 

 

In your first session your clinical sexologist will complete an initial assessment, where they will ask you questions about you, the history of the problem and any treatments you have explored.  From there you and your clinician will develop a plan, setting out goals and how you will achieve them.  A treatment plan may involve working alongside your GP or other allied health specialists, homework between sessions for you and/or your partner/s to practice, interventions to help change thought patterns, beliefs or behaviours or education about sexuality or sexual wellbeing.  

 

As shared above, clinical sexology is not a sex service.  This means there is no touching, physical examination, nudity, or anything along those lines provided during sessions.  All forms of sexual or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Clients who displayed this will be banned from accessing the service and reported to the police as appropriate. 

 

Does sex therapy work?

 

Absolutely.  There is significant evidence to show that clinical sexology/sex therapy works, with many clients reporting the problem either goes away completly or they are far more comfortable managing it.  The reality is that some problems are biological or medical related, and such it is the realm of GP’s and other medical practitioners to treat, however coming to accept and learn to manage these conditions or situations is where a clinical sexologist comes in.  Most of our client’s report feeling far more settled, comfortable and confident in their bodies after engaging with treatment, allowing them to enjoy themselves and/or their partners in a way that is fulfilling. So even when a condition is chronic or lifelong, it doesn’t need to get in the way of you enjoying your life let alone stopping you from wholeheartedly enjoying sex and your sexuality.  

What do you mean by unwanted or distress fantasies?

 

A sexual fantasy generally relates to an idea, scenario or experience that we imagine or think about which can make us sexually aroused or bring us sexual pleasure.  Sometimes a fantasy can become a fetish, where it moves from just thoughts into seeking or experiencing these fantasies in real life ongoingly.  Although there is nothing inherently wrong with fantasies or fetishes, in fact they can often be celebrated and explored if legal and consensual, they can sometimes be afflicted with shame, embarrassment, fear, or distress.  For some people, these can also get in the way of them enjoying sex or sexual relations 'in real life' which results in them wanting them to change or dissipate their fantasies.

When it comes to treating unwanted or distress fantasies, it's important to first determine where the distress is coming from.  We might explore if there are any ideals or beliefs that might but judgement laden or are framing the fantasy as being negative by the person.  If so, once shifted, this can help people feel more comfortable or settled with themselves and their fantasies.  For some, sometimes just hearing that their experiences are normal and don't say anything about them as a person can be enough whereas for others they want to explore something deeper either looking for ways to experience this safety in real life or see where it might have originated either in childhood or from their experiences.  

Treating unwanted or distressing fantasies is a delicate space as if the fantasy is not harmful, then there is no reason why one can't enjoy this, however if it is causing harm to the person, others or their relating then this is something which can be explored in therapy. If you are seeking support for unwanted or distressing fantasies we will discuss with you the various treatment options from acceptance, exploration, to change and see which options suits you the best.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like more information.  No guarantees are offered that a fantasy will or needs to go away.