Erectile Dysfunction is defined as “the persistent inability to achieve or maintain erection satisfactory for sexual performance. The estimated worldwide prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction among men ranges from approximately 7% to 52% of the population. In Australia, one study indicated that 7% of 40 to 49 year old men encounter erectile difficulties, with numbers increasing up to 92% in the 80 year old group.
Men who experience Erectile Dysfunction report feelings of failure, shame, guilt and even anger. While it is a normal part of the ageing process for erection to flag, many men believe that there is something inherently wrong with them if their erection fails. Seeing a sex therapist for treatment for Erectile Dysfunction can put many men at ease with their changing erections, as well as introducing novel approaches to sex and sexual satisfaction.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) “sexual dysfunctions are characterised by disturbances in sexual desire and in the psycho-physiological changes that characterise the sexual response cycle and cause marked distress and interpersonal difficulty.” Furthermore, Male Erectile Disorder (categorised under Male Sexual Arousal Disorders) is diagnosed using the following features:
a) The inability to attain or maintain an adequate erection until completion of sexual activity;
b) This concern must cause marked distress or difficulty;
c) This concern is not better accounted for by another mental health issue or medical condition.
Erectile Dysfunction Help
Treatment planning forms a vital component of sex therapy interventions pertaining to Erectile Dysfunction. Including background information, fulfilling diagnostic criteria and contracting treatment objectives in conjunction with the client informs the treatment strategy which will be employed for the duration of therapy. Incorporating strategies such as couples’ therapy, psycho-education and experiential activities where appropriate affects treatment outcomes, while assisting clients to manage their Erectile Dysfunction. Evaluation strategies are useful to understand whether goals have been reached and highlighting any continuing concerns. A comprehensive treatment plan is imperative in addressing Erectile Dysfunction while developing objectives and goals along with a treatment strategy is essential to positive outcomes.
Treatment planning is essential for progressive outcomes in treating Erectile Dysfunction. Once medical concerns have been addressed and diagnosis achieved, creating treatment objectives in conjunction with the client is imperative for client investment and therapeutic success. Employing an integrative approach broadens therapeutic tools and interventions while comprehensively assessing multiple contributing factors to Erectile Dysfunction. Integrating couples and individual therapy sessions with psycho-educational information and experiential tools may be successful in treating Erectile Dysfunction. Evaluating treatment strategies while scheduling follow up sessions are important to maintain and sustain continuing sexual satisfaction among individuals and couples experiencing Erectile Dysfunction.
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- McMahon C, Lording D, Stuckey B, Tan V, Gillman M, White W, et al. Vardenafil improved erectile function in a “real-life” broad population study of men with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction in Australia and New Zealand. The journal of sexual medicine [Internet]. 2006 Sep [cited 2012 19 September]; 3(5):[892-900 pp.]. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16942533.
- McKinlay JB. The worldwide prevalence and epidemiology of erectile dysfunction. International journal of impotence research [Internet]. 2000 Oct [cited 2012 19 September]; 12 Suppl 4:[S6-S11 pp.]. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11035380.
- Pinnock CB, Stapleton AM, Marshall VR. Erectile dysfunction in the community: a prevalence study. The Medical journal of Australia [Internet]. 1999 Oct American Psychiatric A. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Association AP, editor. Washington, DC.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.