Intimacy Coaching, Sex Coaching, Sex Education, Intimacy Counseling, and Relationship Counseling are labels for services that are often used in synonymous ways, but wat exactly are the differences between these modalities?
But first this: mind that there’s a technical difference between Coaching and Counseling. Coaching is rather about receiving support to reach the goals you have already set before you, but Counseling is more about exploring who you are and what you want, and subsequently helping you to identify blockages and problems and solve those.
Nevertheless, in practice, coaching and counseling sessions are often combined or blended, and many coaches are also counselors, and vice versa.
Coaching and counseling activities can work in a number of ways. For instance, sessions can consist of talks, exercises, visualizations, roleplay, psychoanalysis, surrogate partner therapy, and/or embodied practices.
It depends very much on the training of the individual professional i.e. therapist (the coach or counselor) what methods and techniques are used, and what conceptual backgrounds are applied, like for example, Psychoanalysis, Tantra, Somatics, Sexological Bodywork, Massage Therapy, Taoism, Emotional Dearmoring, Contemporary Science, and so on.
There are different methods in offering coaching and counseling sessions: they can be given live in-person at the therapists workplace or at your home, or by contrast — live online over the Internet, or through written communication, for instance, via email. Workbooks, readers, and streaming video may also be (additional) options. It’s also not uncommon to offer group coaching and counseling sessions in the form of retreats, workshops, and training courses.
In any case, let’s take a quick look at the definitions of the various types of coaching and counseling.
Intimacy Coaching and Counseling
Intimacy Coaching and Counseling is about helping people to feel safe and comfortable within an intimate relationship, typically a relationship with a partner.
Intimacy covers a broader domain than sexuality, and as such Intimacy Coaching or Intimacy Counseling may include the sexual aspects of an intimate relationship (if applicable), but goes way beyond only sex.
Feeling comfortable and safe with closeness, openness, and connectedness to your partner, physically and emotionally, are important aspects of Intimacy Coaching.
Sex Coaching and Counseling
Sex Coaching and Counseling is about helping those who experience a decrease in sex within their relationship (and feel uncomfortable with it), or helping those who have specific sexual dysfunctions.
Although this type of support is typically about the more physical aspects of sexuality and lovemaking, addressing intimate, emotional, and spiritual issues play an equally important role in resolving sex problems.
Communication, education, understanding one’s sexual potential, and engaging in trauma and sexual healing are often vital elements in Sex Coaching and Counseling.
Relationship Coaching and Counseling
Relationship Coaching and Counseling is about helping individuals, couples, and groups to build, rebuild, and/or nurture meaningful, loving, and supportive relationships with a partner, family, friends, acquaintances, and/or professional colleagues, and so on.
Depending on the type of relationship affected, one may learn how to be intimate and close, improve communication skills, and/or deepen pleasure and comfort within relationships.
Sex Education — also known as Sexual Education — is about helping people to gain information and skills to make the optimum decisions for themselves regarding their sex life and sexual relationships.
It’s a very vast realm that can include topics such as having children, the use of sex toys, sexual anatomy, intimacy, safe sex, consent and boundaries, fertility issues, gender identity, kink, fetishism and BDSM, sexual health and sexual dysfunctions, and much more.