Sex therapy for HSDD may involve a number of treatment strategies.
Personal type of sexual desire
Perceiving oneself to be dysfunctional lowers sexual self-image, thus adding to the problem. A therapist will often begin by explaining the sexual response cycle and the type of sexual desire that is being experienced. Living with a type of sexual desire may be less difficult if there is an understanding that it is ‘within accepted normal limits,’ and if an individual agrees to nurture and enhance it. A sense of hope and of normality can in itself be therapeutic to both partners.
Within a relationship, couples often view the symptomatic partner as the one with the problem. In fact, HSDD is a relationship problem. One technique to help couples realise this is the therapeutic reframe, in which the therapist helps the couple think about HSDD in a different way. The therapist emphasises that the couple struggles together and will need to work together to resolve the problem.
Throughout the process of therapy, couples gradually learn that sexual desire and satisfaction are created, fostered, practiced and nurtured by the self and the partner, and that it is not just something that happens to one of them.
Usually the therapist starts by focusing on the problem of sexual desire. However, during the course of treatment, other individual or relationship issues might become more important. These often include anxiety, anger, sexual ignorance or lack of communication.