Sex Therapy

A Little About Sex Therapy

Sex, sexuality, gender, and sexual orientation permeate every aspect of our being in some way:

…who we believe ourselves to be, who we love, how we love, how we express affection and love, how we experience intimacy and pleasure, what we believe about ourselves, our bodies, and our lives, how our bodies function, how we heal from traumatic experiences, how we interact with others in our lives, and how we view the world.

When these parts of our lives are out of alignment, when we feel like we’re wearing a mask, when we feel like the parts don’t fit in some way, it can be really difficult to talk about them.

These are the most intimate parts of ourselves, and the pain caused by these challenges can be some of the deepest, most difficult pain any human can experience.

It is in these moments that we are the most fragile, the most vulnerable.

We need someone who understands, and who won’t judge.

At Petrichor Counseling, our therapists who specialize in sex therapy know that their clients are suffering.

Their education, knowledge, training, experience, and ability to connect make for a safe, non-judgmental space in which you can explore these challenges. They are gentle, respectful of your boundaries, and will move at the pace you set.

Petrichor is an affirmative practice which values diversity in all areas of life, and appreciates the unique life experiences of our clients.

Sex therapy is talk therapy.

There are lots of specialties within the umbrella of sex therapy, and at Petrichor Counseling, LLC, we have several sex therapists who cover a number of these areas.

Sex therapists help you explore all of these areas in a specific and targeted way in order to help you resolve challenges that arise with respect to these struggles in our lives.

Think of going to a sex therapist like going to a cardiologist for heart problems.

While you could go to a general practitioner and receive quality care which would attend to your heart, a cardiologist has specific, expert knowledge of heart health and will be able to more carefully tend to your heart, while still attending to your overall health as well.

Similarly, while any ethical therapist will discuss issues around gender and sexuality with a client (though many clients often report that their previous therapists did not), a sex therapist will specialize in the issues particular to your needs, while still tending to your overall mental health as well.

So what happens during a sex therapy session?

During your first session, your therapist will likely ask you some questions, such as what brings you in for therapy, as well as a family history, a relationship history, and a trauma history.

The first session is also an opportunity for you and your therapist to start to get to know each other, too. It’s important for your therapist to build trust with you so that you can feel comfortable talking about the deep, personal, private issues that brought you in.

Sex therapy never involves any nudity, touching, sexual acts, or sexual behavior of any sort.

Your therapist will not engage in viewing pornography with you, referring you for sexual activities such as prostitution, nor engaging in sexual talk, a sexual or romantic relationship, or fantasy of any kind outside of clinical discussion of your experiences for therapeutic purposes. Your sex therapist cannot be your friend nor date you either during your tenure in therapy or after your therapy is completed.

It is important to know that these ethical boundaries exist for your protection, to preserve the therapeutic relationship, which must be built on safety and trust in order for your therapy to be successful.

Some of the struggles under the sex therapy umbrella at Petrichor Counseling, LLC:

Therapists at Petrichor Counseling who specialize in sex therapy:

  • Mari I. Mars, MS, LPC, CST:
    LGBTQIA+, transgender and gender issues, sexual trauma, kink/BDSM, non-traditional relationships, relationship issues, sexual dysfunction, chronic sexual pain, sexuality and spirituality, recovery from wounding relationships…
Sexless Relationships
Sexual intimacy is a language humans use to express love and affection. It is also one of the few biological functions that our body is instinctively programmed to do.

The absence of sex in relationships can be one of the most strenuous adversities that a couple faces. The need for sex is natural and valid, and when that need is not met, it can be nearly as taxing as a lack of food and water.

Overcoming this struggle can feel nearly herculean and impossible, like an impasse that two people can never bridge.

Our sex therapists at Petrichor Counseling, LLC have decades of experience in healing the chasms in relationships caused by sexual starvation. They will use a variety of techniques which tend to each whole person, the dynamic between the couple, and specific to rebuilding intimacy and desire.

If you are struggling with a sex-starved relationship, don’t wait any longer. Call us today.

Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction is a lack of desire, arousal, or sexual performance anxiety. It can range from lacking libido, to erectile dysfunction, to premature ejaculation, to chronic sexual pain (see below).

When our bodies won’t cooperate, it can be a humiliating and frustrating experience. It can cause strain in our relationships, affect our self-esteem and self-image, and prevent us from experiencing deep, abiding intimacy with those we love.

At Petrichor Counseling, LLC, our sex therapists use specific tools and techniques gleaned from decades of education, training, and experience to help you overcome this challenge.

Through focused talk therapy, they will educate you to help you understand what is happening to your body and why. And, they will give you resources and practical instructions to address whatever your needs may be. They will also tend to your relationship, and your overall mental health as well.

Struggling with sexual dysfunction? Reach out for help now.

Non-traditional Relationships
In our culture, traditional relationships tend toward an understood model of monogamy.

Most people don’t specifically verbalize their monogamy contracts ahead of time, which can cause challenges throughout the life of the relationship. And sometimes, people realize as a result of living in a monogamous relationship, that monogamy simply isn’t right for them.

So what happens when monogamy isn’t right for you? What happens when you enter into a non-traditional or non-monogamous relationship and encounter struggles and have no one to which you can turn for help, for fear of being judged?

Petrichor Counseling, LLC’s sex therapists are educated, trained, and experienced in tending to non-traditional relationships. They understand the struggles that naturally accompany these kinds of relationships, and they value the diversity and beauty that such relationships bring to the lives of their clients. They will assist you in navigating these tricky waters, and in crafting a relationship that’s right for you and your partners.

If you need help navigating a non-traditional relationship, don’t hesitate to reach out today.

Kink and BDSM can be anything from role play, to light play with props, to crafted contracts for intricate relationships, and beyond. Kink and BDSM can be rewarding, fun, expressive, and even pleasantly painful experiences. Because it is often viewed as taboo in our culture, people who enjoy kink and BDSM frequently have difficulty finding help for their struggles, as they are often judged and dismissed.

The complexities and knowledge set needed to effectively serve people who enjoy kink and BDSM requires a specialization and extensive experience.

Our sex therapists at Petrichor Counseling, LLC are skilled in these areas and can guide you to a more fulfilling and rewarding kink/BDSM experience through talk therapy which focuses on education, dynamic, and practical skills.

Do you want to have a more fulfilling kink/BDSM experience? Call us today.

Sexuality and Spirituality
Sexuality and spirituality are two of the most profound and important components in the lives of human beings. Frequently, the two don’t mix.

Many of us struggle with reconciling these parts of their lives. We may have received conflicting messages which served to create a painful split inside of us, an incongruence which feels insurmountable. Such experiences frequently result in deep shame, fear, and sadness.

The sex therapists at Petrichor Counseling, LLC understand the distress and agony that often accompanies the clash of these two parts of our lives. We will gently tend to your pain, helping you explore the discomfort, address the shaming messages you received, and heal the anguish, all the while being mindful and respectful of your beliefs, whatever they may be.

Do you struggle with reconciling your sexuality and your spirituality? Let us help. Reach out now.

Chronic Sexual Pain
Chronic sexual pain can be devastating. It can wreak havoc on our self-image, how we view ourselves as women (or men), our very identity. It can destroy relationships.

It is a confusing and frustrating experience, with so many possible medical and psychological causes that can take years to sort through. It can negatively impact our mental health and that of our partners. In short, it is not just physically painful, it is emotionally painful, too.

Chronic sexual pain plagues as many as 16% of women. Our therapists at Petrichor Counseling, LLC are helping clients navigate chronic sexual pain. We will educate you and help you understand what is happening to your body. We will help you reconnect with your body in a healing way, and will tend to your emotional wounds all along the way.

If you suffer with chronic sexual pain, let us help. Make an appointment now.

Sexual Trauma and Abuse Survival

Approximately 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.

You are not alone.

Sexual trauma is profoundly violating in the most intimate and vulnerable way. It destroys our trust in others, in the world, and in ourselves. It is humiliating and shaming, physically painful and emotionally agonizing.

At Petrichor Counseling, LLC, our sex therapists also specialize in trauma. We use methods such as Brainspotting (a brain-based form of trauma treatment which reconnect mind and body to facilitate healing) combined with the tools and techniques of sex therapy, all administered with compassionate understanding in a non-judgmental setting.

We know the devastation sexual trauma can cause, whether in the recent or distant past.

You need comfort, safety, and healing.

To schedule, please call (470) 736-9595 or email


[email protected]

We Are Here to Help You.

Your drought in life may be the most severe it’s ever been right now. You may be facing the most difficult challenges you’ve ever encountered. Whatever has brought you to Petrichor, know that there is someone here to help you.

You are not alone. Let us bring the rain. Your drought is finally ending.