Interventions for Sexual Issues and Dysfunctions LaShawnda Ogle Walden University The Wilson’s are currently experiencing some sexual dysfunctions, a condition that can cause a lot of distress during intercourse (Hecker & Wetchler, 2010). In the case study Mrs. Wilson has been diagnosed with having Vaginismus. Vaginismus is known for causing some severe pain and as a result causes the female to avoid sexual activity (p. 377). It’s formally defined as the involuntary spastic contraction of the outer one-third of the vagina. There can be treatment techniques.
The two sexual therapy interventions I would suggest for the Wilson’s are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and a medically treated approach using a vaginal dilator. The one intervention method suggested for Mrs. Wilson would be that of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. According to Hecker & Wetchler, (2010), women with vaginismus can show fear and have some anxiety with the thought of penetration. In order to help decrease those fears and anxieties CBT may help Mrs. Wilson’s sexual satisfaction increase as well as her over all well-being: addressing not only the physical pain or discomfort of sex but also the psychological aspects.
For example: there are cognitive strategies such as: sexual exercises and relaxation techniques that can be applied with CBT in order to help relieve the pain associated with vaginismus (Hecker & Wetchler, 2010). CBT can also offer some coping skills along with restructuring a person’s way of thinking. Another intervention treatment method for sexual disorders such as that of Mrs. Wilson is more of a medically treated approach. Hecker & Wetchler, (2010) suggest a vaginal dilator as being a useful technique for modifying a conditioned response. Vaginal dilators are used to teach control of circumvaginal muscles (p. 377).
In order to use these dilators they are generally supplied to people from a doctor’s office with or without the presence of the person’s partner. The private space offers the opportunity to help decrease the fear and anxiety with sex so that penetration can occur. The similarities of both CBT therapy and the medically treated approach using a vaginal dilator are that they both focus on calming the painful symptoms associated with sexual discourse in females. Another similarity with the two interventions is that they both offer suggestions in how to cope and deal with the shame and/or guilt associated with sexual dysfunctions.
The only differences are the methods used to intervene. CBT focuses more on the cognition of dealing with negative thoughts that often occur with sexual disorders. The vaginal dilators focus on ways to relieve the stress without the conditioned fear response (p. 377). A challenge with using CBT therapy and vaginal dilators is that it encourages having both partners actively involved (Hecker & Wetchler, 2010). Sexual intercourse and dysfunctions can be a touchy subject that does not resolve itself without partner interaction, so getting both partners together could be somewhat of a challenge.
In order to know whether or not a treatment intervention is working, both Mr. and Mrs. Wilson need to report the improvements in the symptoms of Mrs. Wilson. I would also like to know from both partners if increased enjoyment has occurred after treatment, in order to know whether or not my treatment interventions were working. Nonetheless, getting both partners together to discuss a sexual dysfunction is something I see as a challenge. References Hecker, L. , L. , & Wetchler, J. L. , eds. (2003). An Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy (1st ed. ). Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Clinical Practice Press.