Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Erectile Dysfunction: How It Helps

UPGUYS > Blog > ED Treatment > Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction: How It Helps

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on July 19, 2022

If you struggle with erectile dysfunction, then it's important to know that you're not alone. One study found that 52% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 struggled with erectile dysfunction, with other studies reporting even higher numbers.

While millions of Canadian men suffer from ED, there are many proven therapies and treatments that can help resolve the issue. In fact, cognitive behavioural therapy for erectile dysfunction can be incredibly helpful.

While there are many possible causes of the disorder, psychological factors such as stress and anxiety can play a major role. This is what makes therapy so helpful as an effective treatment option. Here's what to know about CBT for erectile dysfunction and how it can help you, too.

What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a, well, type of behavioural therapy. In this context, behavioural means that it helps people change the way they think and behave.

CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are all connected. So, if we change our thoughts, our feelings and behaviours will also change. 

Best of all, CBT is a short-term treatment that doesn't require medication. Therefore, it can be used to treat various mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. 

It generally involves meeting with a therapist for weekly sessions. During CBT sessions, therapists will help you identify your negative thoughts and behaviours. They will also teach you how to replace them with more positive ones. 

In addition, therapists may also give you homework assignments to do outside of the session. These homework assignments may include things like journaling or practicing specific coping skills that they've taught you.

How Can CBT Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

CBT as a type of psychotherapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and OCD. 

Recently, CBT has also been shown to be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. 

Why? Well, let's talk about ED. It's a fairly common problem that typically stems from mental blocks. Additionally, it can cause considerable distress for men and their partners. So even if the cause isn't mental, the side effects and resulting symptoms might be.

In short, coping with ED is tough.

While there are a number of medical treatments for ED, these treatments don't work for everyone. If you've tried the little blue pill, for example, and have found that it just isn't working for you, you might feel even more emotionally affected.

CBT offers a unique and effective alternative to these types of medical treatments for ED. How does CBT work? The first step is to identify the negative thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to the problem. 

For example, men with ED may believe that they are not good enough or that their penis is too small. If that's the case, then identifying the cause behind those feelings is key. Once these negative thoughts and beliefs are identified, the next step is to challenge and reframe them. 

What Are the Benefits of CBT for Treating ED?

Studies have shown that CBT can help men with ED to:

  • Overcome negative thoughts and beliefs about sex and their bodies
  • Increase confidence and reduce performance anxiety
  • Improve communication skills and sexual assertiveness
  • Enhance sexual pleasure and satisfaction

However, here are a few of the most prominent real-world benefits we've seen.

Understanding Why & When the Problem Began

Understanding the reasons behind why a problem began can be the first step in resolving it. The same is true for erectile dysfunction. In order to effectively treat erectile dysfunction, it is important to understand why and when the problem started. 

By understanding the root cause of the problem, you and your therapist can develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs. You will then be able to explore different ways to resolve the problem. 

If a bully in middle school made fun of your body in gym class, for example, you might be subconsciously walking around with the idea that you're not a "real man" (whatever that means).

You might be subconsciously carrying the weight of that false narrative into the bedroom, too. If that's the case, you might be having issues maintaining an erection due to those mental blocks that, through therapy, you're able to identify and resolve.

Regardless of the cause, understanding why and when the problem began is an important first step in finding a solution and working through any mental blocks you have about sex or your body.

Develop Correct Goal Setting Techniques

Developing the correct goal-setting techniques is essential for those who want to overcome erectile dysfunction through cognitive behavioural therapy. The first step is to identify the realistic goals that you want to achieve. 

These goals should be specific, measurable, and achievable. Once you have set your goals, it is important to create a plan of action that will help you to achieve them. This plan should include specific steps that you will take on a daily basis. 

In addition, it is important to set a deadline for yourself so that you can stay on track. Finally, it is important to monitor your progress and make adjustments to your plan as needed. 

Participating in CBT can help you understand what's a realistic goal while also helping you track your progress.

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.

Acquire Tools & Helpful Exercises

Acquiring tools and helpful exercises from cognitive behavioural therapy for erectile dysfunction can help improve sexual function. After all, sexual function is a process that requires communication between the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. 

Erectile dysfunction occurs when any of these components are not working properly. Acquiring tools and helpful exercises help you to identify and correct the issues that are affecting your sexual function. 

It also gives you the ability to effectively communicate with your partner about your sexual needs and concerns. In addition, it can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can improve your overall sexual health and ability to get up and stay up. 

How Does CBT Work to Treat ED?

One of the ways CBT works is by helping patients to identify and challenge negative thought patterns about sex and their bodies. For example, someone with ED may believe that they are not good enough or that their body is not attractive. 

By challenging these negative thoughts, CBT can help patients to break free from the self-defeating thinking that is keeping them trapped in their ED. 

In addition, CBT can also help patients to develop more positive attitudes toward sex and their bodies. This can involve learning new ways of thinking about sex and sexuality, as well as exploring different types of sexual activities that may be enjoyable. 

After all, body image issues and hangups about sex aren't exclusive to women, despite what we see in mainstream media these days.

Ultimately, CBT can provide people with the tools they need to overcome their ED and enjoy a healthy and fulfilling sex life.

What Should You Expect From Participating in CBT for ED Treatment?

While each person's experience with CBT will be unique, there are some general things that you can expect if you decide to participate in this type of treatment. 

First, you can expect to meet with a therapist on a regular basis. During these sessions, you will talk about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. You will also work on challenging and changing any negative or distorted thinking patterns. 

In addition, you may be asked to practice new skills or behaviours outside of the therapy sessions. 

How long will you do this for? It depends, really! CBT usually lasts for a few months, but the number of sessions will depend on your individual needs. 

It's important to be sure to discuss your expectations with your therapist beforehand. Relax and take a deep breath. Just tell them what your concerns are and what you're hoping to get out of the sessions.

Are There Any Side Effects Associated With CBT for ED Treatment?

While CBT has been shown to be an effective treatment for ED, there are some potential side effects that should be considered. The most common side effect of CBT is anxiety. This is because CBT often requires people to face their fears and deal with difficult emotions. 

Additionally, people may also experience fatigue, headaches, and insomnia. While these side effects are usually mild and go away on their own, it is important to consult a doctor if they become severe. 

FAQs About CBT for ED Treatment

Have questions? We've got answers! Here are some of the most common questions we get asked and see other men ask online about what to do for ED and cognitive behavioural therapy for erectile dysfunction.

How Long Will I Need CBT?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked about CBT for erectile dysfunction treatment. And unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. 

The length of time you will need to stay in therapy will vary depending on the severity of your ED, as well as other factors such as your age, health, and psychological history. 

In general, however, we find that most men need between 10 and 20 sessions of CBT before they start to see significant improvement in their symptoms. 

Additionally, we typically recommend that men continue to see their therapist for periodic "tune-ups" even after they have achieved success with treatment. This helps to solidify the gains made in therapy and prevent relapse. 

Can I Do CBT by Myself?

Technically, yes. However, that's similar to learning how to replace your own engine versus letting an experienced expert with decades of research and training do it.

Sure, you can do it, but it's going to be a whole lot more effective if you let a professional do it.

How Expensive Is CBT in Canada?

The cost of CBT can vary depending on the clinic you visit and the length of your treatment. In general, CBT for erectile dysfunction will cost between $200 and $300 per session. 

For some men, this may not be affordable, but there are a number of ways to reduce the cost of CBT. Many clinics offer discounts for prepaid packages, and some insurance companies will cover the cost of CBT if it is deemed medically necessary. 

There are also a number of online resources that offer free or low-cost CBT for erectile dysfunction. With a little research, it is possible to find affordable CBT for erectile dysfunction in Canada.

Click here to learn more about accessible mental health resources in Canada.

Is Mindfulness a Good Alternative to CBT?

There is no easy answer to this question. It depends on the individual and the specific situation. 

For some people, mindfulness may be an excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety. For others, CBT may be more effective. 

And for still others, a combination of both may be best. Mindfulness and CBT are both effective methods for managing stress and anxiety, but they work in different ways. 

Mindfulness focuses on present-moment awareness and accepting thoughts and feelings without judgment. 

CBT, on the other hand, involves identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs. The best approach depends on the individual's needs and preferences. 

If you're not sure which to try, speak with a mental health professional to find out which method may be best for you.

Key Takeaways: Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction Right for You?

If you are considering cognitive behavioural therapy for your erectile dysfunction, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

First, cognitive behavioural therapy is not a quick fix. It takes time and effort to make changes to your thoughts and behaviours, and you may not see results immediately. However, if you stick with it, cognitive behavioural therapy can lead to lasting changes.

Additionally, we understand that cognitive behavioural therapy isn't going to be right for everyone. If you have tried other treatments for your erectile dysfunction and have not seen results, it may be worth considering cognitive behavioural therapy. 

However, if you're not ready to commit to the time and effort required for cognitive behavioural therapy, there are other options available.

Namely, we suggest that you consider medical treatment for erectile dysfunction. Browse through our treatment options available to receive ED meds straight to your door, discreetly.




Disclaimer
This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.