Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Intimacy & Sexual Counseling

Intimacy & Sexual Counseling

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Request an Appointment

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Call 713-441-9229 to speak with our specially trained Coordinator or
request an appointment online.

If you are a physican and would like to refer a patient please call 713-441-9229 or download our Physician Referral Form.

The Methodist Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine
6550 Fannin Street
Houston, TX 77030
713-791-5023 fax
Maps & Directions

Compassion. Not only is it our favorite word but it is one of five values at The Methodist Hospital and the Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine that we strive to achieve. Patients who have undergone surgery at the Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine also benefit from the integration of a mind and spirit approach to follow-up care.

Surgery can provide remarkable solutions to the body. Patients who have undergone correctional or treatment procedures at The Methodist Hospital have the physical satisfaction of knowing their bodies have been restored. At the same time, surgery can also give way to emotional changes that can affect a couple’s (sexual) relationship post-surgery.

Patients at the Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine turn to licensed professional counselor Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed, LPC, to help them recover emotionally from the drastic changes of surgery, disease and illness. Ms. Rapini recommends that patients come in with their partner so she may guide the couple through emotional concerns and with methods of returning to healthy sexual activity.

Problems with sexuality after surgery usually arise because of insecurities about the changes that our bodies have undergone due to medical conditions. More than the physical changes, the emotional scars of how we feel and how we deal with the change becomes the greater challenge. It is extremely common for the patient and their partner to seek help for intimacy issues post surgery.

Common emotional side effects from surgery often include:

  • Fear – "What is happening to me and my partner?"
  • Anger – "Why me?"
  • Sadness – "My life is ruined"
  • Guilt – "Am I being punished for sexual behavior in the past?"
  • Confusion – "What now?"

Methods used during intimacy and sexuality counseling aim to reestablish the couple’s sexual health by understanding their bodies in a new way and by rediscovering the sensations felt before surgery.

While there are many methods used in Methodist’s Intimacy and Sexuality Counseling program, the benefits of this program have proven to be great successes in helping couples regain comfort with their minds and bodies. Patients and their loved ones do not have to continue the battle alone to return to full and active lives.

Therapeutic Treatment Options

Intimacy and sexuality therapy teaches patients patterns of communication with their partner and how to take on new roles during times of intimacy. Rapini’s methods encourage patients and their spouses to empower themselves by exercise, stimulation of the senses, and spending time together by slowing down the pace of their everyday lives, which can often be a distraction in regaining sexual health. Rapini will also teach the couple how to be better listeners and how to discuss fear and rejection openly with each other.

Therapeutic techniques will help the patients to:

  • Rediscover the joy of sexual expression by experimentation
  • Take daily ‘mini-vacations’ to bring the couple emotionally closer
  • Discuss issues of grief and "letting go"
  • Communicate emotional feelings properly
  • Create an environment of comfort and trust

Therapeutic techniques will also help the partner to:

  • Actively participate in therapy
  • Focus on the positive
  • Discuss fears of rejection
  • Discuss fears of disease or illness
  • Be a good listener