Department of Psychology

Department of

Psychology

Department of

Psychology

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Psychology Clinic Sex Therapy Service

PLEASE NOTE* Because of the clinic closure due to COVID-19, all sessions for the SRTS are currently being conducted virtually.

Sex and Relationship Therapy Service

Director:
Dr. Caroline Pukall, C.Psych.

Supervising Psychologists:
Dr. Caroline Pukall, C.Psych.: sex and relationship therapy
Dr. Stéphanie Boyer, Ph.D., C.Psych.: sex therapy and sexuality-based group programs
Dr. Luis Flores (supervised practice): relationship therapy

Student therapists:
Stéphanie Gauvin
Robyn Jackowich
Larah Maunder
Meghan McInnis
Dan Tassone

Sex and Relationship Therapy Service Team

Student therapists are an integral part of the Sex and Relationship Therapy Service (SRTS). They are selected by, and work under the supervision of, Dr. Pukall and/or other supervising psychologists at the Service (listed above). All student therapists are in the PhD Program in Clinical Psychology at Queen’s University and have the required academic background in the area of sexuality. Additional learners (e.g., observers), who meet the criteria above, also may be included in certain roles related to the Service.

Sexual Issues

The SRTS offers treatment to adults (i.e., individuals aged 18 years and over). Services are geared toward individuals who experience distressing sexual concerns, including:

  • low sexual desire
  • difficulties with sexual arousal/interest,
  • erection difficulties,
  • problems with ejaculation,
  • genital pain (e.g., vulvodynia),
  • difficulties with sexual intercourse/activity due to anxiety/discomfort (including vaginismus), and
  • problems with orgasm.

We offer treatment to individuals and those in relationships who attend therapy with or without their partner/s. For those who experience general relationship issues (e.g., communication problems, conflict) and will attend therapy with their partner/s for these concerns, please see “Relationship Issues” section below for more information on the services offered by the SRTS.

We also offer group programs for certain sexual concerns for group program information and offerings. Please note that, usually, individual clients will attend a group program before individual sessions are considered, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

We do not offer treatment to clients with sex/porn addiction or paraphilic disorders, such as pedophilic disorder or fetishistic disorder.

When there is another presenting concern (such as complex and/or unresolved trauma or problematic substance/alcohol use) that needs clinical attention before someone can fully benefit from our services, we will offer our services after appropriate treatment has been completed.

To make a referral, click here.

Relationship Issues

We offer relationship therapy for those who have distressing concerns with their relationships (e.g., communication problems, disagreements or conflict, sexual desire/frequency discrepancies, etc. that interfere with their relationship) and who will attend therapy with their partner/s.

We do not offer treatment to clients in relationships with intimate partner violence, ongoing infidelity, or sex/porn addiction.

To make a referral, click here.

Gender support and transition-related assessments

We provide support for individuals who are transitioning and/or who do not identify with their birth-assigned sex, in the forms of support, therapy, and assessments (e.g., for a referral for hormone therapy, surgical procedures). Note that we only see trans and nonbinary clients aged 18 years and older.

To make a referral, click here.

What type of therapy is offered at the SRTS?

The type of therapy that we provide is evidence-based, meaning that its effectiveness is supported by scientific evidence. Our approach is primarily based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and some of the relationship therapy is rooted in Integrative Behaviour Couples Therapy (IBCT).

CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on how the way that you think and behave impacts your mood, and in turn, how that is connected to your sexual life/relationship. It is a structured and skills-building therapy, and it involves active participation from clients during sessions and in between sessions to practice these skills. CBT is also goal-focused, which means that during sessions, we focus on your goals for therapy. A CBT approach is used in sessions with individuals and may be used in therapy with those in relationships.

IBCT may also be used in relationship therapy. IBCT combines techniques from behavioural couples therapy with strategies to cultivate acceptance and understanding of each other’s emotions.

The therapy that we provide is different from what’s called “supportive counselling”. Supportive counselling is a type of counselling that involves meeting with your therapist on a regular basis to talk about your concerns, but has less of a focus on structure, goals, and practicing skills between sessions.

We adhere to a range of 12-16 sessions for most cases involving individuals and those in relationships who attend with their partner/s. Our group programs usually consist of 4-12 sessions.

What can I expect?

For those presenting individually for sex therapy, whether in a relationship or not: The initial appointment is a consultation that lasts around 1.5-2 hours. It is completed with Dr. Pukall (and/or another supervising psychologist) and a student therapist to determine whether our treatment services are appropriate for you, including specific recommendations about what program/s (e.g., individual, relationship, group) and other resources we recommend. If you are interested in the services offered, you will be provided with information related to the program.

Please note that, usually, individual clients will attend a group program before individual sessions are considered, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Learn more about the upcoming group programs.

For those presenting with their partner/s for relationship therapy: Depending on the nature of the issue, the consultation may last 1.5-2 hours (with Dr. Pukall and a student therapist) or several one-hour sessions (with Dr. Flores and a student therapist). The consultation is completed to determine whether our treatment services are appropriate for you, including specific recommendations about what program/s (e.g., individual, relationship, group) and other resources we recommend. If you are interested in the services offered, you will be provided with information related to the program.

How much does each session cost?

Consultation and individual/relationship session fees are based on a sliding scale ($20-150 per session). For participation in our group programs, please note that the fees below are per session (group programs range from 4-12 sessions and range from $10-75 per session). If you participate in a group program, an individual consultation is required and the fee for this consultation is included in the group program fee. However, if you decide to not participate in the group program following the individual consultation, you will be charged the equivalent of one group session.

Arrangements for lower fees can sometimes be made for those with undue financial hardship.

 

Combined Family
Income

 

Suggested Rate
(per individual session for
individual and
relationship therapy)

Suggested Rate
(per group session)

 

>$90,000

$150.00

$75.00

$85,000-89,999

$140.00

$70.00

$80,000-84,999

$130.00

$65.00

$75,000-79,999

$120.00

$60.00

$70,000-74,999

$110.00

$55.00

$65,000-69,999

$100.00

$50.00

$60,000-64,999

  $90.00

$45.00

$55,000-59,999

  $80.00

$40.00

$50,000-54,999

  $70.00

$35.00

$45,000-49,999

  $60.00

$30.00

$40,000-44,999

  $50.00

$25.00

$35,000-39,999

  $40.00

$20.00

$30,000-34,999

  $30.00

$15.00

<$30,000

  $20.00

$10.00

 

How long is the waitlist?

Average wait time is variable and depends on many factors. Presently, it is about 6-12 months.

Do I need a referral?

You can self-refer or you can be referred by any health care provider or other person. To make a referral, click here.