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Marian O’Connor, Head of Training Psychosexual Therapy at Tavistock Relationships, reflects on the work the internationally renowned charity is doing to prepare therapists for changes in 21st century relationships, this piece has been covered in a number of media outlets.

Marian Oconnor LensCorrected

As a psychosexual and relationship therapist with over 30 years of experience, over the years I have seen hundreds couples and individuals presenting with a variety of problems associated with sexual intimacy.

Three decades on, I see that sex is still a very difficult topic for couples to discuss and it’s also a topic therapists find it hard to discuss with their clients, unless they have had specialised training.

The couple relationship has always been complicated, with each individual bringing to the table a myriad of conscious and unconscious hopes and desires. In the 21st century changes affecting gender roles and sexual identity, a greater willingness to talk about emotions and problems, the influence of social media, the availability of sexual content on the internet, the rise of polyamory and open relationships has meant that people are grappling with ever more questions about what it means to be in a ‘good enough’ relationship, or to have a ‘good enough sex’.

At Tavistock Relationships we have seen a continual increase in the numbers of people seeking couple therapy. Last year we held 20,734 therapy sessions, including over 1,000 via our online service. 

Our relationship counselling, psychosexual therapy (which is different from the work of a sex therapist) and support services are open to everyone, whatever their sexuality, gender or relationship status.

The psychosexual courses we offer at Tavistock Relationships, whether as an accredited Professional Training (our two-year long Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy), or as a Certificate in Psychosexual Studies (our eight session Certificate course), is backed up by our continued research and innovation to create cutting edge interventions that remain relevant to changing relationships in the 21st Century.

Established in 1948, Tavistock Relationships is a centre of advanced practice and study into relationships and their importance for family and social stability.

Following evaluation, interventions which are found to be effective and help to advance thought and practice through learning, are shared by Tavistock Relationships for the public benefit and via our training programmes for other professionals working with couples and families.

These interventions, which address the needs of distressed relationships, mean our practitioners receive the best grounding to help people having problems in their relationships. 

If you are considering adding the skills to work with sexual issues more thoroughly with clients, out psychosexual trainings (COSRT approved) are recruiting. Or you  may be wanting to start a new career as a sex therapist with a psychosexual approach, find out more here.