A new study by Leslie Schover, Ph.D., a psychologist and sex therapist, demonstrates that couples who have just a few sessions of counseling after a man has treatment for prostate cancer fare better in the bedroom than couples who don't. In this article and interview on ABC News, a couple describes what is a very typical problem after recovery from prostate cancer, even these days when surgery is supposed to be delicate enough not to interfere with sexual function.
The problem is that medications alone like Viagra(TM) aren't always strong enough to overcome erectile dysfunction. That can be true not just after recovery from prostate cancer, but also in men who have other illnesses such as diabetes. Because advertising and prescribers themselves hold out the promise that the pill will solve everything, men and their partners can become confused when they don't work.
That's where counseling comes in. In the "sad but true" department, medical doctors often don't have the time to spend educating their clients in detail. But a psychotherapist is paid for the time, and at a less costly rate than a physician.
Where do you find a psychotherapist who has the knowledge to help? The first suggestion is to try the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, where you can click on the map to find a directory of trained professionals. If you don't see anyone in your area, you can contact the AASECT office. The second suggestion is to ask your physician for a recommendation. Also, the nurse in your physician's office may have the time to sit and talk with you about treatment options and ways to improve the effects of medications. But if you are having a rocky time in your relationship, or can't seem to reconnect the way you want to, then you'll want to see a sex therapist who is trained to treat both sexual and relationship issues.