How do Sexologists work?

Posted On: July 27, 2009

The PLISSIT Model of Sex Therapy developed by Jack Annon and is the basic format for used by Clinical Sexologists.

PLISSIT is an acronym for a model of sex therapy. It stands for permission, limited information, specific suggestions, and intensive therapy. It represents a specific model designed for treatment in sex therapy by Jack Annon in 1974.

PLISSIT is basically a graduated system of therapeutic sieves, in which the easy cases are caught and eliminated first, while the more difficult cases sink to the bottom in steadily diminishing numbers. Thus, Annon’s pragmatic and practical model is a useful reminder for all therapists and their clients that not every sexual problem requires to go through the whole therapeutic arsenal.

There are four levels of the therapy designed for each successive level to provide increasingly deeper levels of treatment.

An example of the first phase of the treatment would be for the therapist to use the session reassuring the client/s that their behaviors, thoughts, feelings, fantasies are normal. This is further explained that this is normal as long as the behavior does not negatively impact the other person.

The second phase, limited information, is when the therapist provides specific information to the client/s regarding their concerns such as sexual response, anxiety, size of one’s penis, sexuality and aging, clitoral response, orgasmic responses, effects of medication might have on sexual performance, etc.

The third stage, specific suggestions, is comprised of homework assignments such as the use of techniques of stop/start techniques, masturbation, or others recommended by the therapist. These are designed for the couple to reach goals such as improved communication, reduce any anxiety, or learn new arousal behaviors.

The final phase, intensive therapy, is needed in when there are relationship problems which are at the root of the sexual problems. This is the phase required when the first three phases do not resolve the sexual problems. This intensive therapy ranges from psychosexual or insight-oriented during which the therapist interprets and reflects to the clients to help them gain awareness of their feelings which may be inhibiting their sexual response.

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