The biopsychosocial phenomenon of sex.
When I first started my grad school degree in human sexuality, I learned that in an effort to make sex neat and tidy, academics tried to make human sexuality fit into just one category – either just biological, just psychological or just sociological. Really, though, that would have made registering for college classes so much easier if it fit into only one category. Yet, over the years, academics found that sex was never THAT simple- which is why whole degrees are done studying it. And, as we all know, sex itself isn’t that neat or tidy!
My first class in grad school was based upon the biopsychosocial model and how human sexuality fit this intersectional mold. From then on, all my classes augmented each other; if one touched upon the psychology of it, another touched on the biology of it, and yet another on the sociological.
Why you could use multiple insights about your sex and personal life
These days, we see therapists, educators, nurses, doctors and coaches who are specially trained to work in the human sexuality field. This is awesome, and we need all these people! But often an issue people face, is that their sex and relationship issues aren’t just biological. Often, it’s something that also has psychological and sociological implications. And the kicker is that they may not even know it.
What do I mean by this? Here’s an example.
A woman has a libido issue. She and her partner want different amounts of sex. She may go to her doctor to see if they can prescribe anything for her. In reality, that’s not the whole story. Little does her doctor know that she feels pressured to have sex every other night with her partner. That is where a therapist can step in and also give really great advice about how to communicate with her partner- and show her that she is totally normal in how much she wants sex and that she doesn’t actually have to do it for her partner, but rather for herself. She can choose to have sex or not.
Or another example. A woman goes to her therapist dealing with orgasm issues – she isn’t able to orgasm as easily as she used to. She and the therapist talk all about this and it doesn’t come out until later that she just had a child and is on medication for postpartum depression. She has gone for several sessions paying her therapist out of pocket for something that she really needed a doctor’s help with, too.
In both cases, we at Isbel are able to provide all of the experts at once! Often the sex issues people have are biopsychosocial. Since sex isn’t a subject we often talk about, so many people don’t even realize it’s this multi-faceted! So instead of spending time and money with one expert, we give our clients all three in one go. It’s a new approach to sex and personal life-related questions and issues, but it gets to the heart of sex and women’s health in a way no one else can.