When treating erectile dysfunction the first course of action is a physical rule-out. It is important to meet with a doctor to determine that the erectile dysfunction is not flagging a physical or hormonal imbalance. Usually, patients have checked this box before they call a therapist. It is difficult to see a therapist when everything in life works but your sex life.
We, both patient and therapist, must be careful listeners to the voice of the erectile dysfunction. Not all erectile dysfunction is created equal and therefore there is not a one-size-fits-all treatment model. Sometimes erectile dysfunction is a more generalized anxiety response. Erectile dysfunction can also be an expression of unrealistic sexual expectations: all men are ready to go sexually at any time with anyone. Erectile dysfunction may have to do with the aging process. Sometimes what gets labeled erectile dysfunction is a reflection of not being in the mood and erectile dysfunction is a misnomer. Perhaps you just had a big meal, are tired after work, or just don’t feel it.
Successful treatment of erectile dysfunction involves anxiety reduction, a lessening or cessation of viewing porn, and a close look at sexual details. I offer my clients techniques to stay body focused so they do not shift to disassociation, people pleasing, and negative thought. Ask any of our ancestors as far back as the caveman, worry, sexual anxiety, and pressure our unique bi-products of our age. The penis knows how to have sex. It really is that simple once the psychological blocks give way.