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The Practice of Psychosexual Medicine

The Practice of Psychosexual Medicine

Psychosexual Medicine is psychosomatic medicine applied to sexual disorders. It offers a type of brief therapy, based on psychoanalytic skills introduced by Drs Michael Balint and Tom Main and developed by Institute Members.

It is practised by health professionals who understand how emotional factors, not always experienced at conscious level, interfere with sexual performance and enjoyment.

The underlying causes of a problem may be physical or psychological in varying proportions, but are rarely limited to one or the other. The attitudes, anxieties and fantasies revealed during the consultation and the physical examination are particularly relevant to the understanding of the sexual problem.

A trained health professional uses these skills briefly in a single consultation or over a longer period. This may be in primary or secondary care, in hospital, specialist clinics or General Practice.

For a patient, engaging with an IPM trained health professional is the beginning of a special therapeutic relationship.