Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on August 30, 2012

Sources

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, PhD. Adjunct Professor, NYU. Assoc. Fellow, Calhoun College, Yale University. Fellow of Butler College, Princeton University. Author: Sex for Dummies; Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50; Dr. Ruth's Guide to Talking About Herpes; Dr. Ruth's 30 Da

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Video Transcript

Narrator: When is it time to see a sex therapist?

"Dr. Ruth" Westheimer, PhD: Don't wait until you hate each other because if you walk into my office with a partner and you hate each other, I don't give you a second appointment. I say go to see an attorney because I couldn't work. Psychosexual therapy is short term. It's a behavior therapy, maybe sometimes six months. There has to be communication and a relationship. Otherwise sex therapy does not work. If there's sabotage, if they do all kinds of things to avoid, it's called an avoidance pattern, then sex therapy is not indicated. So you have to tell them that. Maybe it works when you say people, I can't work with you. You better go to an attorney. It's happened to me over and over, and they say, no, no, no, we'll try, we'll try. We'll work with you. You have to be honest about these things.

Narrator: Do you think that people feel like they've failed if they have to go get help with their sex life?

"Dr. Ruth" Westheimer, PhD: No question. They do think that they failed, but they also very often blame each other. So they don't say I failed, they say if you only were not so tired, if you only wouldn't stay in the office so late, if you only wouldn't put the children ahead of the husband, all kinds of things like that. So that's something that you have to discuss in the privacy of an office.