Ian Kerner

Teen and Young Adult Therapy

"Sexual problems are clearly prevalent among adolescents, and distressing to many who experience them," wrote researchers in a recent study of teen and young adult sexuality. Half of the participants (ages 16-21) reported having a sexual problem, and half of those young people said it caused them significant distress. According to the study, boys and girls reported sexual problems at a similar rate.1

Sexuality at any stage of the life-cycle can be confusing and fraught, but today’s teens and young adults face particular challenges to healthy sexual development such as:

  • the absence of comprehensive sex education,
  • the prevalence of internet porn in place of education and positive modeling,
  • the pressures of social media and dating apps and
  • balancing consent with sexual expression.

Many of the teens and young adults that Ian works are grappling with:

  • Performance anxiety and its impact on sexual function
  • A lack of sexual self-esteem
  • Curiosity and fear around sex and lack of accurate information
  • Feeling out of control around aspects of sexual behavior, such as porn use
  • Navigating the pressures of sex, dating and relationships in an age of apps and social media
  • Self-validation of one’s sexual identity and overcoming shame and fear in the authentic expression of one’s sexuality
  • co-morbidity of sexual issues with body dysmorphia and other mental health issues such as depression and social anxiety
  • Sex on the autism spectrum

Talking about sex with a teen/young adult can be challenging, even in the most sex-positive of homes. Most teens paradoxically find themselves living in sex-evasive environments but needing to function in an overly-sexualized culture. Ian offers a safe space for teens and young adults to open up an empathetic, honest and scientifically-accurate conversation around sexuality. Through therapy, they can develop the insight and tools to express their sexuality safely, respectfully and authentically.


1. O’Sullivan, L. F. (2015). Sexual Function and Problems with Adolescents and Young Adults. Current Sexual Health Reports, 7(1), 12-18.