Treatment of sexual dysfunction: preparation and training of therapists

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This exploratory study is concerned with treatment of specific sexual dysfunctions -- premature ejaculation, ejaculatory incompetence, impotence, female orgasmic dysfunction, dyspareunia, vaginismus and sexual inadequacy in the aging male and female -- and with training of therapists to provide treatment for these dysfunctions. The study addresses itself to the following questions: what factors contribute to the development of sexual dysfunction; is sexual dysfunction a problem in itself or merely a symptom of relationship and/or personality problems; what forms of treatment seem to be most effective in treating sexual dysfunction; what preparation, education and training is necessary for a therapist to enable him/her to provide treatment; and what professions (from the viewpoint of expertise) should have this particular preparation and training? There are two components to the study -- an extensive literature review and the distribution of a questionnaire by mail to selected specialists in the field of treatment of sexual dysfunction. Analysis of the data is descriptive. Factors which contribute to the development of sexual dysfunction are numerous. Respondents indicated, however, ci1at treatment usually involves a direct approach to the sexual problem, either as the primary emphasis of treatment or as a part of a more comprehensive treatment program. Specific training techniques are used by most of the respondents. A medical examination is considered necessary prior to or as an initial step in treatment in at least 90 percent of all cases, regardless of type of dysfunction. Training and personal qualities considered necessary include knowledge and understanding of physiology, research findings, personality and personality disorders, interpersonal relationships and knowledge of treatment methods, including specific training techniques, empathy, warmth, genuineness, ability to talk about explicit sexual matters openly and comfortably and confidence in one's own sexuality and sexual activity. Implications and recommendations for training in the field of social work are discussed, with some discussion of relevance to medicine, theology and psychology.
Bibliography: p. 259-267.
Arvidson, D. L. (1973). Treatment of sexual dysfunction: preparation and training of therapists (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/13505