photo courtesy of Emma Schmidt /
Emma Schmidt, sex therapist
“Sex” is sometimes a difficult word to say out loud – it’s intimate, it’s emotional and it’s not something people like to talk about. Emma Schmidt is a practicing sex therapist and has pulled the plug on sex talks here in Cincinnati. Schmidt became interested in the field of sex therapy while studying for her undergraduate degree in psychology as she volunteered for the Women Helping Women organization in Cincinnati.
“Health and human sexuality are things I have a passion for,” she says. Pulling from this passion, Schmidt went on to gain a Master of Arts in counseling from Cincinnati Christian University as well as a sex therapy education degree at the Institute for Sexual Wholeness at Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta.
“There are a lot of skewed messages in the world about sex and who we are as sexual beings,” says Schmidt. “I wanted to be able to help people find a better side of that, a side that includes beauty and intimacy.”
Schmidt began her own private practice in May 2011, working everyday toward her goal of creating more healthy images of sex. She also continues to work in areas such as sexual addiction, which was the basis for her interest in sex therapy. Also in her repertoire is ProjectRespect, which focuses on the importance of sexual education.
“Child psychologist Jeffrey Prather and I empower parents to help their kids develop a deep understanding of how respect is an essential ingredient in self-esteem, relationships and sexuality,” says Schmidt.
Sexual dissatisfaction and dysfunction are two of the most common reasons people seek counseling from a sex therapist. “The role of a sex therapist is to help guide a client through their sexual concerns,” says Schmidt. By working on behavioral techniques such as communication styles and consulting with other physicians, sex therapy can help alleviate components of sexual dissatisfaction or dysfunction and create progress toward the client’s sexual goals.
“I provide a very open and non-judgmental atmosphere that I find helps a number of people who haven’t experienced a lot on the topic of sex,” states Schmidt.
When it comes to sex, there is one thing that everyone wants to know. What is the secret to a healthy sex life?
“I think what makes a healthy sex life is also what makes a healthy relationship,” Schmidt says. The first guideline is simple: Take adequate time for weekly date nights or a monthly weekend getaway. Second, create intimacy with your partner with compliments or a kind and thoughtful gesture. Third, communication is key — talking with your partner about each others’ needs and desires is sure to bring the two of you closer in as well as outside of the bedroom.