Ian Kerner

Sex Therapy (for individuals and couples)

As a sex therapist, Ian works with both individuals and couples on challenges that are common to the “American bedroom” but often lead to lives of quiet desperation. He welcomes all forms of sexual orientation and takes a sex-positive stance. Ian encourages patients to understand, embody and express their desires and identities from a position of “sexual authenticity.” Areas of focus include:

  • Lack of sexual interest, sex ruts, low desire, mismatched libidos
  • Sexual incompatibility, sexual boredom
  • Premature ejaculation, erectile disorder, delayed ejaculation
  • Painful sex, inhibited arousal, orgasm issues
  • Expanding the sex script/enhancing sexual creativity
  • Problematic sexual urges, thoughts and behaviors
  • Erotic conflicts
  • Impulsive/compulsive use of porn
  • Sexual effects of internalized shame and guilt
  • Processing and recovering from sexual trauma
  • Sex after infidelity
  • Opening up a relationship, navigating consensual non-monogamy and polyamory
  • Sexual identity issues and mixed orientation relationships
  • Integrating kink, eroticized power play, and other forms of sexual adventure into one's sex life
  • Navigating changes in the sexual life-cycle
  • Special issues related to LGBTQ sexualities
  • Sex therapy with trans* patients
  • Working on the relationship issues in which sex problems are often embedded
  • Co-morbidity of sexual problems with other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and the sexual side effects of medication
  • Addressing sexual narcissism, perfectionism, and performativeness

Ian takes a multi-layered, biopsychosocial approach to exploring sexual issues (see below), and his therapeutic style is both psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral. This means that Ian works from both the inside-out (locating the sources of issues in oneself) and the outside-in (changing behaviors and relational interactions). The sex therapy Ian offers is often short-term and focused on solving problems, but in an atmosphere of empathy, safety and thoughtful reflection. Sex therapy typically includes homework assignments as a way of implementing and measuring change. In some instances, Ian also uses EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to target sexual problems and the effects of sexual trauma.

Sex therapy sessions are generally scheduled every two weeks. When necessary, Ian will also help with referrals to specialists such as urologists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists and physical therapists. If you are already seeing a psychotherapist for individual or couples therapy, sex therapy can often be structured as an adjunct to your current therapy. To that end, Ian is happy to communicate with your primary therapist on an overall treatment plan that will not conflict with, but rather will enhance, your current therapy.

If you’re grappling with a sex issue and you’re also in a relationship, please consider couples sex therapy even if you and/or your partner feel like it’s your issue to deal with and resolve. As sex researchers Masters and Johnson wrote, “There is no such thing as an uninvolved partner in any relationship in which there is some form of sexual inadequacy.” Sometimes it’s also possible to begin with individual sex therapy and transition to couples sex therapy.