Do you suffer from a feeling there is something wrong with you due to your sexual behavior? Does this feeling wash over you in situations and make you want to run and hide? If this is the case with you, you might think attending a therapy group for improving your sexual behavior is the last thing for you. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.
Sexual Shame is Such a Common Thing
People have sexual shame for all reasons. They don’t feel like they perform well enough, their genitals are too small or are oddly shaped, they’ve been made fun of by past partners, parents, or others in authority, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes people have this feeling because they struggle in controlling sexual behavior they see as bad or immoral. Whatever the case, the common denominator here is the same. It doesn’t respect culture or socio-economic class. It afflicts all social and cultural groups, so don’t start thinking your situation is unique. They way you feel shame may very well be unique, so it helps to be able to identify it, but you are most certainly not alone in suffering because of this.
What Can You Do About It?
You can try to act like it’s not there. You can give into it and either try to swear off a particular form of sexual behavior you think is ‘bad’ or ‘evil.’ You can go the other way and engage in it all the time, but you may have already had that experience and found your emotional suffering just went up because of all the shame you felt at giving in to it. You may have even tried some other things, but the problem with all of them is that it’s just you doing this in isolation...all on your own.
Why Group Therapy Can Be The Answer
Sexuality is essentially a social experience because it is typically experienced in the context of a relationship with someone else. To the extent we have some degree of brokenness in this area, we need to find our solutions and support in the context of relationships as well. It can first be with a supportive therapist, but the essential component has to do with what has been called sexual health conversations. There are not many places in society where we can have these because of things like stigma, ignorance, and lack of confidentiality can make these unsafe. I also like to quote renowned social worker, speaker, and writer Brene Brown who has said the more you talk about shame, the less you have it. There are few better venues to talk about and get over your experience of sexual shame than in group therapy. You also have ample opportunity to get a different vantage point on your problems by getting feedback from others who have more objectivity on your problems than you do…just because they aren’t you!
How I Can Help
I have been working with men who have varying degrees of sexual shame for almost 10 years now as a therapist. I have spent a lot of time and energy overcoming my own experience of shame for a lot longer than that, and can attest to how worth it is to devote your time and energy to getting past this issue. I have seen many people get better by being in group and believe that almost anyone can get better if they have the right attitude and intentions.
How To Find Out If Group Is For You
It all starts with a phone call or an email. You can call me at 512-374-0100 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a free 45-minute in person consult to help decide whether group therapy would be right for you. You can also leave your contact information in the form below. If nothing else, I can certainly refer you to someone else who might be able to help you in overcoming sexual shame. If everything looks good, you could start my group in as little as a month. If you’ve tried everything else, but still haven’t given group a try it may very well be the right thing to do.
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents 16 years of age and up in private practice.
Click here to find out more about how Scott can help you with sexual shame and compulsive sexual behavior.