Sex therapists help men and women overcome sexual anxiety, performance issues and relationship problems. They meet with people in a professional setting, like any other mental health practitioner would.
Many sex therapists begin sessions by asking patients about their intimate needs and concerns. This gives them a well-rounded view of the patient’s situation so they can tailor their mental health treatment plan.
The first to explore sexuality from a scientific standpoint, Kinsey’s research grew out of his interest in sex patterns in gall wasps. He conducted face-to-face interviews with thousands of people to get a better understanding of their sex lives.
He and his team published a series of reports in 1948 and 1953, based on the 18,500 interviews. The first volume, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male,” became a surprise national bestseller.
But his work was also controversial. During the Cold War, congressional investigations and a fear that he was being corrupted by the Rockefeller Foundation caused pressure to end his funding.
Today, psychologists at the Kinsey Institute are still exploring sexuality, but from a different perspective. They use tools that include a two-axis sexuality scale that accounts for attraction to opposite sexes and levels of bisexuality.
William Masters was a noted sex therapist who changed the way people talked about sexuality. Born into an affluent Cleveland family, Masters attended the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and graduated from Hamilton College before going to medical school at the University of Rochester. He then did a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at St. Louis Hospital and Barnes Hospital.
He later became the chief OB-GYN at Washington University Hospital and taught in the department for more than 50 years. In the 1940s, he read Alfred Kinsey’s work on zoology and was immediately interested in human reproduction.
Masters began studying human sexuality in 1954, and he hired his second wife and co-researcher Virginia Johnson two years later. Together, they explored sexual behaviour and demystified the mechanics of sex.
Their pioneering research into the physiology of sex was highly influential and fed into the’sexual revolution’ of the 1960s. They also helped to correct many misconceptions about sex and sexuality, especially among women and the elderly.
She was a noted sex therapist who helped transform the way we think about sexuality. Virginia Johnson, who died Wednesday at 88, was one-half of a husband-and-wife team whose taboo research on sexuality in the 1960s turned them into worldwide celebrities and best-selling authors.
In 1957, a twice-divorced mother of two with no college degree, she answered an advertisement for an assistant put out by William Masters, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Washington University in St. Louis, and he instantly saw her potential as a source of women’s insight into his groundbreaking sex studies.
Masters took her under his wing and treated her as an equal. He trained her in medical terminology, therapy and research. She was given equal credit in their publications.
Often referred to as the “Father of American psychology,” William James was an influential philosopher, psychologist, and historian. He wrote several works that are considered to be classics of the field, including The Principles of Psychology.
He was born into an affluent family in New York City on January 11, 1842. His father, Henry James, was a Swedenborgian theologian who wanted to provide his children with a well-rounded education.
The James family made regular trips to Europe, where they were exposed to the best schools and immersed in culture and art. This ultimately paid off for the children, who went on to become important literary figures and philosophers.
After his education, James joined Harvard University in 1872 as a physiology instructor. Throughout his long career there, he also taught philosophy and psychology. He also participated in a discussion group called The Metaphysical Club, which included Oliver Wendell Holmes and Charles Pierce. He remained at Harvard until 1907. James died in 1910.