Benefits of Therapy to Treat ED
In treating erectile dysfunction (ED), the most popular choice is to take prescription medications, such as Viagra and Cialis. While drug treatment is fairly effective for physiological symptoms, it does not address the psychological causes or aftereffects of ED.
Treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, and sex therapy can be used to identify and treat underlying causes of ED, such as stress, anxiety and depression. As erectile dysfunction can result in feelings of frustration, anger and insecurity, these therapies also provide you with coping strategies, mental and emotional support.
Despite these implications, research shows there is a resistance to psychological therapy. Men have predominantly prioritized treating the symptom of penile rigidity instead of the root cause. While this approach may alleviate the symptoms, it does not assess or treat the underlying psychosocial causes. Taking a holistic view of your lifestyle and health issues may prove to be more successful long-term.
In treating ED, it would be beneficial to work with your healthcare provider in devising a multidisciplinary approach that utilizes both pharmaceutical and psychological treatment strategies.
Let’s look at some of the psychological therapies in more detail:
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), is a type of therapy that aims to improve mental health by understanding and modifying unhealthy thought patterns and behaviours. It is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, which are possible causes of ED.
CBT focuses on how you interpret an event rather than the event itself. This treatment is helpful in identifying any thoughts and behaviours that may be contributing to your erectile issues.
Learning more about yourself and understanding your thought patterns can help to resolve psychological issues. It can also help restore your sexual confidence.
Individual and couples counselling is useful in treating ED. If you are in a relationship, research shows that treatments are most effective when both partners are involved in the process.
Couples counselling allows couples to talk through problems that arise in their relationship. It creates a safe environment for open communication in dealing with conflict, differing sexual expectations and desires.
It can also help to identify and resolve existing psychosocial stressors such as substance abuse and marital problems.
Sex therapy is a type of short-term counselling that is useful in helping you feel less stressed and more confident during sex. A sex therapist helps you understand how emotions can play a role in the physical symptoms of ED.
You will be given resources to learn more about sexuality, techniques to improve sexual communication and exercises to enhance sexual enjoyment.
Sex therapy has been effective in increasing sexual confidence and feelings of insecurity that results from ED.
Erectile Dysfunction can be psychologically taxing and may lead to lower self esteem and confidence. However, there is help available to not only manage but potentially address underlying conditions that may be leading to ED. We recommend discussing these therapies in addition to various medical treatments with our medical team to improve your sexual health.