FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is sex therapy?


Sex therapy is just like other counselling approaches but the focus is primarily on a sexual problem or concern.

Sex therapy can be provided by many different professional disciplines such as social work, psychology, counselling, medical doctors - as long as they have had additional training and ongoing supervision in this area of expertise. See About Me to learn more about my qualifications in psychosexual therapy.

We conduct an initial thorough bio-psycho-social-sexual assessment to determine the likely cause of your problem. Sexual problems can be triggered by a variety of factors from health concerns (e.g. cardio vascular problems, diabetes, cancer), to mental health issues (e.g. depression and medication for same), to changes in your life (e.g. relationship issues, a new baby at home, stress). It's important we gather a holistic picture in order to determine the likely causes of your issue in order to apply the appropriate interventions.

Following an assessment we'll present you with a treatment plan and together we'll tailor that plan to meet you, and your partners, needs. We'll continue to assess how our treatment plan is working throughout sessions and make changes as required.

Using a multidimensional and multidisciplinary lens we may refer you to other professionals (e.g. your GP for a cardiovascular work-up or a specialised pelvic floor physiotherapist) to ensure any additional possible causes of your problem, outside of the psychogenic, are assessed by the right professionals.

Importantly - sex therapy is a talking therapy. We are bound by the AASW and SAS code's of ethics and engage only in counselling and psychosexual education. We never engage in sexual touch with our clients or perform/watch sexual acts.




What are our fees?


Individiual: Initial Assessment/First Session: 90 minutes at $160 Individual Subsequent Sessions: 60 minutes at $130 Couples: Initial Assessment/First Session: 90 minutes at $220 Couple Subsequent Sessions: 60 minutes at $180 Nb: Following initial assessment often couples will attend individually prior to returning as a couple. When couples attend as individuals they are charged the Individual Subsequent Session rate of $130. At Staghorn Sexology we recognise that sex therapy is a predominately private sector enterprise and this can really limit access, particurarly in these challenging economic times. If you have a real issue but have income limitations don't hesitate to reach out so we can discuss our sliding scale fees.




Can I use Medicare or my private health cover?


Currently we are not able to provide rebates through Medicare. Andrew is in the process of applying for Accreditation as a Mental Health Social Worker through the AASW which would provide some rebate capacity through Medicare for certain presenting issues - watch this space! Some private health providers provide rebates for some counselling services - check with your provider to see if you are covered for our service. We're happy to provide further assessment of this on a case by case basis.




Are sessions face to face, online or over the phone?


Due to Covid-19 currently all sessions are provided over Skype, Zoom or telephone while we look to obtaining a more suitable physical space. If you would prefer face to face and live, or are willing to travel, to the Blue Mountains for sessions get in touch so we can add you to our wait list. We will let you know as soon as we have a new fabulous space.




How long do sessions go for?


Initial sessions are for 90 minutes allowing enough time for a thorough bio-psycho-social-sexual assessment to take place.

Subsequent sessions are for 60 minutes.

There is no strict timeframe for therapy - we will continue to review our progress and taper our sessions accordingly. Traditionally - we tend to have more sessions at the start, and less towards the end (however this depends on the context and any new developments). Some clients return for maintenance and/or relapse sessions whilst some are good to go on their own.




Do you take notes?


For medico-legal purposes, and for case reflection and planning, notes are documented following each session. All notes are recorded electronically and securely stored to protect your privacy which is our upmost priority.




Should I still come for counselling even if my partner won't?


Absolutely!

Whilst sessions with couples is shown to have better outcomes when it comes to sex and relationship therapy, it isn't always practical or possible.

Attending for sessions by yourself allows you your own individual attention to explore your concerns and take strategies back into your current or future relationship/s. You attending may even be the push your partner needs to come too.




How do I know that Staghorn Sexology is the right service for me?


Half the battle of counselling is finding a provider that you connect with.

Here at Staghorn Sexology we offer a free 15 minute telephone or video chat to allow you space to assess if we are the right provider for you, your partner and your concerns.

If we decide not to proceed we are often able to recommend other services and providers that may better suit your needs through our extensive network so please do reach out if you have any questions.




How do you keep up your credentials?


We take professional development very seriously. Social Work, counselling and sex therapy are constantly evolving and new research is always coming out to indicate best practice approaches.

Through our disciplinary associations (AASW and SAS) we are obliged to maintain certain hours of professional development and supervision to reach accreditation - luckily at Staghorn Sexology we are huge mental health and sex geeks and are always looking for the next training course or journal article to review.

We seek monthly supervision in line with both AASW and SAS code's of ethics to ensure we are working ethically and safely.




Do I need a referral?


No - you don't need a referral. If your GP does refer you though bring your letter with you or any other documents you feel might be helpful. If your GP does refer you we will write back to them to let them know the progress we're making.




Is everything we talk about confidential?


Confidentiality and privacy are essential when providing any counselling services - especially when it comes to the sensitive nature of sex and relationships. Not only is it important so that we maintain trust in our working relationship it's also a legal requirement. Everything we discuss. along with your personal details, is safely stored on our compiuter system which is password protected. There are limitations to confidentiality at times in situations where keeping the information confidential outweighs the harm of sharing it with the appropriate authorities. These situations include: - if we're concerned about you harming yourself or someone else - in situations where crime of a serious nature has been disclosed - where children are assessed to be at risk of serious harm - if your file is subpoenaed by the court. We endeavour to be transparent with you if and when we are obliged to share your information. We will seek your permission to speak with other health care professionals involved with your care, your partners or family members, before doing so.




Do you have a cancellation policy?


Yes we do. We know that life can get hectic so if something does come up and you're not able to attend your appointment please provide 24 hours notice to avoid being charged the full fee. Punctuality is also important as we're unlikely to be able to extend appointments if you're late as clients are likely to be booked after you. We do our best to help you keep your appointments by sending you SMS reminders prior to your session.