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Sex Therapy, Female

  1. Cindy M. Meston,
  2. Christopher B. Harte

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0850

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Meston, C. M. and Harte, C. B. 2010. Sex Therapy, Female. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. University of Texas at Austin

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Sex therapy is goal-specific and is concerned with alleviating sexual impairments that cause distress; it may also include broader goals such as improvement of a couple's communication and relationship quality. The initial phase of sex therapy is concerned with the accurate diagnosis of the sexual dysfunction presented by the patient. This may pose a difficulty for many psychotherapists, considering that (1) the diagnostic criteria provided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA] 2000) is often unclear, (2) there is high comorbidity with respect to sexual dysfunctions, and (3) there is a paucity of research examining age-related norms for the female sexual response.


  • sex therapy;
  • sexual desire;
  • sexual arousal;
  • orgasm;
  • sexual pain