Emotional & Sexual Intimacy Counselling

 



Emotional Intimacy & Sexual Intimacy Counselling

 

Emotional and sexual intimacy involves a person’s ability to engage in and enjoy healthy and mutually satisfying relationships with others. Sometimes as a result of adverse life events, such as major stressors, childhood experiences, and/or trauma, you may have difficulty connecting with others in emotional and/or sexually intimate ways. Many individuals struggle with emotional and sexual intimacy issues for years or even a large portion of their life and although they are able to engage in emotional and/or sexual relationships with others, they are unable to fully derive satisfaction and joy from relationships, oftentimes leading to difficulty maintaining stable relationships with others (e.g., divorce, separations, difficulty finding “the one”).

Emotional Intimacy versus Sexual Intimacy

Although emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy are related in the sense that if you struggle in one area of intimacy, you may often demonstrate difficulty in the other, there are differences between the two types of intimacy. Emotional intimacy refers more so to the non-physical aspects of intimacy or your ability to connect with others on an emotional level. This intimacy is characterized by your ability to trust, be yourself around others, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and share parts of yourself and your life (e.g., your triumphs, failures, life experiences, struggles). It is your ability to be open and transparent without feeling held back by excess fear of being hurt, disappointed, or rejected by others. People who struggle with emotional intimacy often have superficial relationships, are guarded around others, and experience issues such as loneliness or depression.

Sexual intimacy involves the more physical expressions of intimacy that you share with another person and can include sex or any demonstration of physical affection in relationships. People who struggle with sexual intimacy have difficulty enjoying this aspect of a relationship and dysfunction typically occurs on a spectrum where individuals either withdraw from it or seek sexual intimacy excessively, with the underlying issue typically being related to problems with emotional intimacy. Sometimes individuals attempt to pursue emotional intimacy through sexual intimacy. It is important to understand that neither emotional nor sexual intimacy can be resolved through others. Issues with intimacy begin with understanding and working on your own personal emotional and psychological issues that contribute to dysfunction.
Intimacy Treatment at Stack Counselling

At Stack Counselling, we use therapeutic approaches such as Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Resilience Training in order to address your intimacy issues by identifying and discovering ways to increase your ability to fully enjoy your relationships. We focus on your personal goals and our aim is not to point to your problems and focus on what you’re not doing, but instead discover your personal strengths and build upon those strengths in order to help you work through your challenges and struggles.