Application of the sexual health model in the long-term treatment of hypoactive sexual desire and female orgasmic disorder

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Using the Sexual Health Model as a framework, this case study illustrates the treatment of female orgasmic and low desire disorder in a long-term case with numerous complexities and other co-morbid mental health diagnoses. Derived from a sexological approach to education, the Sexual Health Model defines 10 key components posited to be essential aspects of healthy human sexuality: talking about sex, culture and sexual identity, sexual anatomy and functioning, sexual health care and safer sex, challenges to sexual health, body image, masturbation and fantasy, positive sexuality, intimacy and relationships, and spirituality. The client was selected because of the commonality of her initial presenting concerns and the etiological and treatment complexity of the case, which necessitated the use of all the sexual health treatment modalities provided at our center-individual, couple, and group therapy, sexual medicine, and psychiatric care. Her case is distinct in that her sexual dysfunctions and negative cognitions, while common, occurred in the context of serious relational, family sexual abuse, depression, and life-threatening medical problems, which necessitated long-term treatment. This case illustrates the multifactoral etiology of complex sexual dysfunctions requiring treatment that deals with varied psychosocial and biological factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-478
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of sexual behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota


  • Female orgasmic disorder
  • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder
  • Orgasmic difficulties
  • Sex therapy
  • Sexual desire
  • Sexual health


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