Effective Therapy from Psychologists

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Overcome premature ejaculation.

Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist in Sexual Health, answers FAQs about premature ejaculation:

What is premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation is a common sexual problem affecting men. It is also something that in my experience men can feel ashamed about and understandably causes a lot of distress – often because men avoid sexual relationships. Premature ejaculation is often thought of as ejaculating too quickly – in fact this is not the case. There is no accepted “normal” length of time to last before ejaculating. One survey found the average time to ejaculation during intercourse was two minutes. The problem is actually one of lack of control over ejaculation. Of course this usually means that men with this problem ejaculate before they want to and so usually report the problem as one of ejaculating too quickly. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on the sensible idea that ejaculation, like bladder control, is learnt and that the answer to gaining control over ejaculation is learning through practice.

Why do some men have this problem?

The most convincing theory in my opinion is that control over ejaculation is something you have to learn and some men learn this skill while others do not. This is probably because something stops this normal process of learning as men develop sexually such as lack of experience. Masturbation during adolescence is an obvious way men learn to develop control and it is easy to see how if men do not practice masturbation for example, for religious reasons, they may not learn control over ejaculation.

What is the most effective evidence based treatment?

In my experience there are a lot of myths and misunderstanding about the causes of premature ejaculation and many men suffer in silence or buy treatments online that have no evidence for effectiveness. There is no evidence that biological factors such as hormones play a role in premature ejaculation or that, treatments, such as desensitising sprays or antidepressants, solve the problem in the long-term. The good news is that there is good evidence that cognitive behavioural therapy can solve the problem. Success rates in outcome studies of cognitive behavioural treatments for premature ejaculation range from sixty seven to ninety five percent. I hope these figures encourage you. Clients are taught to acquire control over ejaculation through a series of graded exercises that involve masturbation, and any beliefs that interfere with the learning process are addressed. In my own clinical experience the exercises usually work well. The skills acquired then form a solid basis on which to build upon during actual sexual encounters. I have worked with many men with this problem who suffered from it for many years, and overcame the problem quickly, and it was a shame that they had not accessed the right help sooner. So I would encourage anyone with this problem to get help.