Psychosexual Issues

What are psychosexual issues?

Psychosexual issues are sexual issues that are psychological in origin rather than physiological. They may come about as a result of stress, anxiety, depression, trauma and other causes.


Sexual problems can vary in severity and intensity. Some can be minor and temporary whereas others may have been around for a long time.

Examples of psychosexual issues

  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Painful intercourse
  • Difficulties with orgasm
  • Arousal disorders
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Premature or delayed ejaculation
  • General breakdown in a couple’s sexual relationship
consultation taking notes

Treatment for psychosexual issues

Therapy will help you understand the origins of your difficulties. Usually the focus will be on unravelling the underlying causes rather than the sexual difficulties themselves. That said, there will also be some guidance on strategies that can help you better manage the difficulties you’re experiencing.


Following your initial assessment, we will spend some time developing a psychological formulation of your difficulties so we can create a unique treatment plan. In some cases, we may refer you to a psychosexual therapist if we think this would be helpful.

Frequently asked questions

You should seek support for psychosexual issues if you find that you are struggling with your sexual performance or you are experiencing a lot of anxiety when it comes to sex and intimacy. If this area of your life is causing you stress or concern, it’s always beneficial to seek professional help as these kinds of difficulties can become an obstacle to enjoying an intimate relationship.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is typically the most effective therapy, as well as seeing a psychologist who has specialist training in dealing with psychosexual issues.

Whilst it’s always helpful to first see your GP to exclude any physiological issues, there are some signs that could indicate that your difficulties are psychological. If, for example, you are able to achieve sexual pleasure on your own, it is unlikely that there is something physiological at play. But if you find that you have a lot of anxiety when having sex with a partner then it is more likely to be psychological.

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr. Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced Consultant Psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.

Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr. Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.

Dr. Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.

She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.