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Breaking Down Barriers: How EMDR Can Help Overcome Sexual Intimacy Hesitations

Sexual intimacy is an important aspect of any healthy relationship, but it is not always easy. Both men and women can struggle with sexual intimacy hesitations for a variety of reasons. Psychological problems, such as past trauma or anxiety, can have a significant impact on a person's ability to enjoy a fulfilling sex life. Fortunately, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has been shown to help individuals overcome these obstacles and create safe and healthy sexual relationships.

Statistics of Sexual Intimacy Problems in Men and Women

Sexual dysfunction is a common problem for both men and women, with an estimated 43% of women and 31% of men reporting some level of sexual dysfunction (Clayton et al., 2018). These problems can range from difficulty becoming aroused to an inability to achieve orgasm. Psychological factors, such as anxiety and depression, are often linked to sexual dysfunction.

Psychological Problems and Sexual Intimacy

Psychological problems can significantly impact a person's ability to enjoy a fulfilling sex life. Trauma, such as sexual abuse or assault, can lead to feelings of fear, shame, and anxiety that make sexual intimacy difficult. Anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also cause sexual dysfunction.

Benefits of EMDR in Overcoming Sexual Intimacy Hesitations

EMDR therapy is a type of psychotherapy that can help individuals overcome psychological barriers, including those related to sexual intimacy. One of the benefits of EMDR is that it allows individuals to process traumatic memories without having to talk about them in detail. This can help individuals maintain control and minimize embarrassment during the processing. Additionally, EMDR can help individuals develop new coping skills and reframe negative beliefs about themselves and their sexuality.

Healthy and Safe Sexual Relationships

EMDR therapy can help individuals overcome sexual intimacy hesitations and create healthy and safe sexual relationships. By addressing the psychological barriers that are impacting their ability to enjoy intimacy, individuals can gain confidence and improve their relationships with their partners.


Clayton, A. H., Goldfischer, E. R., Goldstein, I., Derogatis, L. R., & Lewis‐DiLaura, K. (2018). Validation of the Sexual Interest and Desire Inventory—Female (SIDI‐F), a scale designed to measure severity of female hypoactive sexual desire disorder. The journal of sexual medicine, 15(12), 1752-1764.

Dominguez, S. K., Andrasik, F., Gauthier, J., & Hensley, B. J. (2019). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for sexual trauma survivors: A systematic review. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 20(2), 232-248.

Feeney, J. A., & Zoellner, L. A. (2018). Sexual dysfunction in PTSD: An emerging area of research. Current Sexual Health Reports, 10(1), 33-38.

Ferriera, R. J., & Feeny, N. C. (2019). The impact of childhood sexual abuse on sexual functioning in adulthood: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32(5), 701-710.

Greenberg, L. S. (2018). Emotion-focused therapy: A clinical synthesis. Focus, 16(4), 364-372.

Kaplan, H. S. (2018). The new sex therapy. Springer Publishing Company.

Lanouette, N. M., & Canning, S. S

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