Couples Therapy

Relationships & Sex
The birds and the bees or sex therapy, couples therapy and more from Deva Segal, LMFT
You really love your partner, but you lack sexual connection, and it’s now starting to be harder to ignore between you two.
Or, among other relationship problems, your sex life has hit an impasse and it’s now become this taboo, difficult thing to talk about. When you commit to another person, you bring your hopes and dreams into the relationship. Those hopes and dreams bring expectations when it comes to sex with your partner. If expectations fall short, it can leave you feeling guilty, disappointed, restless, or even doubting whether you want to stay with your partner.

Even the best relationships require work. Going to couples therapy is an act of courage that honors both your and your partner’s well-being. Together, as a team, we can explore negative patterns affecting your happiness and improve how you resolve conflicts together.
Couples counseling in California virtually with licensed therapist Deva Segal.
How Can Couples Sex Therapy Help You?
Sex therapy works by helping couples address the sexual challenges affecting them physically and emotionally. This type of treatment offers a structured safe space to explore relationship issues that might not adequately be addressed in individual or couples therapy alone. As a couples therapist and certified sex therapist, I have advanced training and experience to help with how your relationship impacts your intimacy. Some of your issues may look like:

Differences in sex drives: Desire discrepancy happens when one person has a significantly higher or lower sex drive than their partner. This can leave both people feeling stuck or unfulfilled. The truth is that there is no “good” or “normal” type of desire, but when partners keep disagreeing about the frequency of sex, it can cause conflict.

Difficulties with sexual functioning: Sexual dysfunction exists on a large spectrum, such as having pain with sex, difficulties with orgasms, or erectile dysfunction. The symptoms can range from being mildly distressing to extremely challenging. Working with a sex therapist can help you both work together to cope with the issue collaboratively.

Desire to explore a different kind of sex: Some couples can easily transition into integrating new fantasies or kinks into their sex lives. Others find it more difficult or awkward to talk about. This can be especially true if one partner has the desire to open the relationship.

Figuring out new relationship agreements: You may have started from a strong foundation or mutual set of assumptions about what your boundaries would be with other people. Those rules are no longer working for one or both of you. This could have triggered a serious relationship crisis. Sometimes, the agreement itself isn’t the problem, but figuring out how to maintain it well is.

Navigating sex after a major life change: From moving in together to having children to undergoing medical procedures, sex evolves over the lifespan. Hormones also play a pivotal role in affecting desire and pleasure. If you and your partner aren’t on the same page anymore, you may notice an increased sense of emotional distance.

Coping with sexual trauma: Sexual trauma can fundamentally affect safety and intimacy. If either you or your partner has experienced such trauma, you may be aware of the difficulty of managing and talking about such complex emotions.
What You Can Expect From Working Together
If you’re not clear on how to address relationship impasses around sex, you’re certainly not alone. Sex is still a sensitive, secretive topic, and many couples just aren’t given the tools to resolve their sexual difficulties. Working with me means having support in navigating these tender, vulnerable discussions. I also strive to help people move through the fears they have when it comes to talking about sex. My approach to working with clients is holistic, culturally-informed, and relational. Sex therapy isn’t just about talking about sex. Instead, I treat you both as whole people with rich experiences and thought processes. In this work, I always consider how various relationships, values, and identities shape who you are. While every course of treatment is unique, you can expect the following from couples therapy:

Identify realistic goals: During the first part of therapy, we’ll collaboratively discuss what you’d both like to see changed. We’ll also explore how the current issues are affecting your relationship satisfaction. Having this roadmap ensures that we’re all on the same page for your treatment.

Challenge problematic sex myths: Both individuals and couples sometimes have damaging stereotypes about what sex should (or shouldn’t) look like. Couples therapy often entails addressing these detrimental myths to help develop healthier belief systems.

Receive direct feedback: There’s often a trial-and-error component associated with couples therapy. You and your partner will be instructed to try new things, and you’ll come back to our sessions talking about your experience doing them. My goal is to monitor your progress and provide you both with ongoing guidance to ensure you’re working toward your relationship goals.

Practice real-time methods for healthy communication: It’s no secret that poor communication can cause or worsen sex problems. That said, conflict resolution isn’t necessarily intuitive, and you may have not been taught how to really build a healthy relationship. My couples therapy aims to help you both truly listen and talk to one another.

Increase self-acceptance: If you don’t accept yourself, it’s so hard to trust your body or feel secure in your relationship. Valuing who you are allows you to bring new confidence to everything you do, including sex.

Honor your sexual wants: No matter what they are, your sexual wants matter. Even if your wants don’t match the other person’s, they should not be shamed, suppressed, or avoided. Ideally, in couples therapy, you and your partner can come together to strengthen your sexual relationship.
My Therapy Practice in San Francisco, California
No matter what’s happening in your life today, you and your partner deserve to have a happy relationship and a satisfying sex life. This applies whether you’re newly dating, have been partnered or married for many years, exploring or navigating an ethically non-monogamous relationship.

As a certified sex therapist, my goal is to help you both work through ongoing relationship distress, build a deeper connection, and experience more pleasure together. Change requires work, but most couples find that it’s well worth that effort.

In my practice, I welcome all genders, sexual identities, and different relational and monogamy agreements. I am a sex work ally and have advanced competency in kink practices. Many of my couple therapy clients have one or both partners who are LGBTQIA+ identified. Matching my own background, I often work with people of mixed ethnic and cultural identities, first and second-generation immigrants, and BIPOC clients. Come as you are.

Book a free consultation to see if we’re the right fit.

“God keeps breaking the heart again and again until it remains open.” – Inayat Khan
Deva is a licensed psychotherapist (LMFT CA #103816 / ME #MF7207 / SC #TLC 825 MFT) and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist practicing in the downtown Financial District of San Francisco, CA. She has worked with clients aged 6 to 88 in different settings since 2011. These days, she helps individuals and couples get more in tune with their wants and needs. She has a special focus on sexuality and folks of mixed ethnic or racial backgrounds.

She slightly prefers pie over cake, but loves dogs and cats equally.

582 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94104 · 415-496-6660

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