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Counseling for Erectile Dysfunction

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Psychological Causes of ED

There are many physical ailments that can cause erectile dysfunction. In some cases, it’s a symptom of a serious underlying condition. Men who are experiencing ED should see a doctor to diagnose the cause.

However, ED can also be caused by, or worsened by, psychological problems, including:

  • Stress
  • General anxiety
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Performance anxiety
  • Relationship issues

A 2021 study1 found that about 40% of ED cases are caused primarily by psychological factors.

Sometimes men have both medical and psychological issues.  For example, men with mild to moderate ED may also experience performance anxiety, making it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection even when they use medications such as Viagra or Cialis.

Many men are reluctant to seek treatment for psychological issues, but it’s important to realize that a qualified counselor can help men (and couples) dealing with ED. A study in the treatment of psychogenic (psychological) ED showed a net improvement of 58% among men who received counseling2.

The Mental Health Impact of Erectile Dysfunction

Even men whose ED has a physical cause will find counseling helpful to deal with the impact of erectile dysfunction.  ED can trigger a variety of mental health issues, including:

  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Relationship problems

As you can see, it’s easy for men to get trapped in a cycle… having erectile problems causes psychological issues, which can make the problems worse.

In a 2018 survey on the impact of ED, 85% of the men who responded said that their condition has had some impact or a major impact on their self-esteem and general happiness, and 80% said that ED has had some impact or a major impact on their relationship with their partner.

Partners of men with ED may also experience emotional and mental health issues.  For example, they may feel unattractive, or feel that they are doing something wrong.  Depression is very common among the partners of men with ED.

Because men have a hard time talking about ED, this can lead to communication issues with their partners, which can magnify the problems and even break up relationships. A qualified sex coach or counselor can help overcome these communication issues.

Strong feelings of depression or anxiety – in either partner – may require short-term medication to get past the problem.  If you are seeing a psychiatrist, they can prescribe these medications; other therapists will refer you to a doctor if they feel medications are necessary.

Some counselors offer only in-office visits, but many accept remote clients using services such as Skype, Zoom, or VCee.

Getting Help

You can search online for a coach, counselor, or therapist who specializes in sexual dysfunction.  You may also get a referral from your doctor.

Need help dealing with ED?  Want to improve your sex life?

Help for men, women, and couples - by Zoom or phone. Contact Jennifer for a free assessment.

Jennifer Stephan at Intimate Outcomes Coaching


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Types of Counselors

Psychiatrists and Psychologists

Both psychiatrists and psychologist often treat deep-seated problems and provide long-term therapy.

A psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor (M.D.) who has graduated from a medical school. In additional to counseling, psychiatrists can prescribe medications to deal with stress or anxiety.

A psychologist has a “doctorate” level degree, but it does not include general medicine. A psychologist cannot prescribe medication.

Licensed Therapists

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT’s), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW’s), and Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC’s) hold Masters Degrees; they provide counseling and therapy for individuals, couples, and groups.

A therapist assists you in recognizing, understanding, and addressing underlying issues that impact your life. They can sometimes uncover repressed problems or trauma. Therapy often requires months or even years of effort.

Coaches

Intimacy Coaches or trained Sexologist Coaches are certified by either a University or private training program. They are result orientated. They are adept at working with your current situation and finding solutions that work for you, helping you to achieve your ultimate outcome. Many also train in specialties such as ED, sexual awareness, and bodywork. They work with individuals and couples.

Coaching typically requires a few weeks to a few months. Some individuals may continue working with a coach longer to tackle additional issues.

Find a Coach


For More Information

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction




References

  1. Pakpahan, C; Agustinus, A; Darmadi, D. “Comprehensive intersystemic assessment approach to relieve psychogenic erectile dysfunction: a review.” Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences. May 2021;9(F):189-196. https://oamjms.eu/index.php/mjms/article/view/6116
  2. Baum, N; Randrup, E; Junot, D; Hass, S. “Prostaglandin E1 Versus Sex Therapy in the Management of Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction.” International Journal of Impotence Research. Dec 2000; pp 191-194. <https://www.nature.com/articles/3900544.pdf>

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