Frequently Asked Questions

What is Psychosexual Therapy?

Psychosexual therapy is the process of addressing both the sexual and relationship difficulties on either an individual or couple basis. The physical and psychological aspects of the individual or couple are explored using full clinical assessment in order to produce the best possible treatment options. Some of these problems may be physical, like the inability to achieve an erection, premature ejaculation, or vaginismus. Or they may be psychological, like loss of interest in sex, addiction or obsession with sexual stimuli.

What Does the Intensive Therapy Involve?

At the moment this is only provided by our Clinical Director – Mary Clegg.

Mary’s flexible approach to therapy enables her to offer assessment and treatment sessions to suit the individual or couple’s needs and timescales. Intensive therapy involves face-to-face residential therapy if you wish to have a short break away from the distractions of everyday life while you deal with your issues. It involves you or you and your partner booking into local accommodation in Halstock North Dorset over a set number of days where your difficulties are explored through therapy and you are given some extra support to explore your issues through tasks and exercises. You are able to discover at your own pace in a safe contained environment what are the blocks and problems that may be making your relationship unhappy. Where this takes place and for how long can be agreed specifically with Mary.

What Sort of Problems does The Mary Clegg Clinic Deal With?

Our flexible approach to therapy enables us to offer assessment and treatment sessions to suit the individual or couple’s needs and timescales.

  • Male and female sexual functioning problems e.g. Inability to get and maintain an erection, loss of desire or arousal and pain issues. Couple relationship breakdown
  • Individual and Couple relationship difficulties
  • Addiction and obsession with sexual stimuli
  • Sexual identity or gender issues

Also, the Clinic is able to help with anxiety, depression and a wide range of mental health issues. Please contact us to discuss your issue and we will be able to tell you whether we are able to help.

Does Mary Liaise with my GP or Hospital Consultant?

Mary Clegg Clinic offers a wide range of treatments, which may include medical examinations and clinical assessment to determine if there are any physical problems that are causing your difficulties. We may need to liaise with your GP or Hospital Consultant to arrange for these tests and investigations. This will be explained clearly to you, you will be given a copy of all correspondence if you want it and we may also ask you to take our requests to your GP. All correspondence with your GP will be confidential and your therapist will only give him/her the information deemed necessary for your health and well being. Neither your GP nor anyone else will be contacted by your therapist without your permission.

What Sort of Physical Issues will be Addressed?

The Mary Clegg Clinic therapists all work in an integrated way, which means that they address the physical and emotional aspects of your problems together.They will assess every aspect of your mental wellbeing and in particular, where you have a sexual difficulty they are able to assess:

For Men:

  • Erection or Ejaculation Problems
  • Loss of Sensation
  • Arousal or Lubrication difficulties
  • Pain issues Peyronie’s Disease

For Women:

  • Difficulties with Orgasm
  • Loss of Sensation
  • Arousal or Lubrication difficulties
  • Pain issues
  • Vulval conditions
  • Vaginismus

I don’t know much about Sex and Sexual Technique. Can the Mary Clegg Clinic help me?

Part of the work of a psychosexual therapist is sexual education. It is a normal routine part of their assessment of you. If your therapist feels that you need help and more information in this area they will work to support you.

How does the Mary Clegg Clinic work with my Emotional Issues?

Therapy is regarded by some as needed only by those people needing a prop to support them. We do not believe that for a moment. Therapy requires courage and a lot of commitment. From the outset it is important to recognise that while anyone may influence you, the only person with the power to change things is you….and you do have that power.

Sensing real connections in our relationships is vital to us as human beings. Being able to experience this in a therapeutic relationship can of itself help us to become more confident and genuine in the way we relate to our partners and others in our lives. Counselling is a process that enables you to talk about your problems or difficulties in your life. Counsellors help, through talking, to manage your life better by changing the way that you respond to difficulties. Your therapist will help you explore different ways of dealing with a situation, but the choice of whether you do anything about it is yours.

Some aspects of my life are very private. Will that be respected?

Sometimes there are things we want to say but maybe have difficulty in expressing them or feel that now is not the right time. Your therapist will encourage you to talk about many aspects of your life and will support you to express your feelings. But your wish not to discuss a particular issue will be respected.

What will I have to do as a Part of Therapy?

It is good to be an active partner in the therapeutic process and not a passive recipient. Being as honest as you can during the sessions is very important. The more you participate in the work done together the more likely you are to find therapy helpful. You may need to work on the issues that are discussed in sessions in your own time. Your therapist will suggest how you may do this and it could be in the form of development of skills at home. Our style of therapy is mostly talking about your issues but sometimes your therapist may engage you in further experiential work outside of the therapy session, they may work creatively using drawing, clay or picture cards and they may use anatomical models to educate and explore our physical body.  For clarity, all of our therapists are bound by very strict rules regarding touching clients and there is no way whatsoever you will be required to undress or perform or demonstrate sexual acts.  Equally, you will be required to sign a Therapy Practice Agreement as part of the contract between you and the Mary Clegg Clinic to ensure these boundaries are maintained.  This will be fully discussed with you in Session Time.

Will therapy be Difficult for Me?

Don’t be surprised if you find that the sessions are difficult and challenging. You may get in touch with thoughts and feelings you have previously preferred not to acknowledge; guilt, shame, anger, or sadness. It would be unrealistic to guarantee specific outcomes but your goals and expectations will be discussed fully. These will be evaluated using CORE outcome measures documentation to ensure you are helped to resolve the issues you have come for.

Does my Partner need to be Involved?

There is a great deal of evidence to show that if one partner has a problem and is in a relationship, then it affects the other partner. Sometimes one partner has a sexual problem and this creates a sexual problem for the other partner. Whatever your situation, The Mary Clegg Clinic therapist will encourage you to bring your partner with you. We have found that working with both partners gives a better chance of achieving your goals.

What if I am gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender? What help can the Mary Clegg Clinic provide?

Your therapist understands the different issues that affect gay, lesbian bisexual or transgender people and it makes no difference to therapy whatever your sexual orientation may be.

What help is there for Disabled People with Relationship or Sexual Problems?

Our therapists work with disabled people and they are in touch with organisations that can support and help people with physical disability or learning difficulties. Does my Mary Clegg Clinic therapist understand Faith issues and can they relate to mine? Mary Clegg clinic therapists have worked with many people of different faiths and cultures. As qualified professionals, they are aware of and work sensitively with the different aspects that a client’s upbringing, levels of modesty, culture and religion have to bear on their initiate relationships and expressions of sexuality. However, you are the expert on your Faith and it will be by a collaborative process that you will explore how your Faith affects your life. Your therapist is trained specifically to be non-judgemental, unbiased and to treat you with unconditional positive regard.

What if I have a Complaint?

The Mary Clegg Clinic has a robust complains procedure to ensure you have a positive experience with us. If you have a complaint please in the first instance address your complaint to our Clinical Director Mary Clegg: mary@maryclegg.co.uk. If we are unable to resolve your issue satisfactorily you are able to take your complaint to the governing body of your therapist. They are all subject to their codes of conduct, ethics and complaints procedures. For COSRT www.cosrt.org.uk For the BACP https://www.bacp.co.uk/crs/complaints.php For the National Counselling Society https://www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org/have-a-concern/

What is Accreditation of Mary Clegg’s Professional Organisation COSRT?

COSRT accreditation is awarded to psychosexual therapists who have met strict criteria in respect of training, experience, knowledge, ethical standards, clinical skills and commitment to continuous professional development; this is audited annually. They are bound by and work to the Codes of Ethics and Practice for General and Accredited Members. Our Clinical Director Mary Clegg was audited by COSRT for 2016.

What about Confidentiality – what Notes will my Therapist keep and who will see them?

During the process of therapy, ideally, you will trust your therapist with sensitive and personal information. They take your privacy very seriously just as you would expect from your GP. The sessions are essentially confidential, but in the case of abuse to children, acts of terrorism, personal or professional threats to others or the counsellor, there would be a legal obligation to pass information on to the police or to the Department of Social Services. Short notes are made after the session to record attendance and the progress of therapy. They are securely stored under lock and key. They are also used anonymously to aid peer consultative support (supervision). Attendance at the sessions implies acceptance of this situation. It is important to discuss any reservations that you may have with your therapist during your session with them. You will be required to sign a Therapy Practice Working Agreement if you have therapy with the clinic and this document sets out the framework and boundaries of your therapy with us. It will all be explained in session so you have informed choice.