Applying a common factors perspective to sex therapy

Karen M. Donahey*, Scott D. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The field of sex therapy has followed a path similar to the field of psychotherapy; that is, following the emergence of various psychological theories and schools came the rapid proliferation of methods and techniques all designed to treat the various psychological disorders. Outcome research has provided little evidence of differential effectiveness among the various treatment methods; however, significant research findings have shown that treatment is superior to both placebo and no-treatment control groups. The overall effectiveness of various treatment approaches may have more to do with what they have in common than on their differences. Four factors have been identified as the principal elements accounting for improvement in all forms of psychotherapy. These factors are extratherapeutic, relationship, expectancy or placebo, and models and techniques. Applying a common factors perspective to sex therapy, rather than focusing on developing new therapies or techniques specific to sex therapy, may be more important in enhancing treatment outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sex Education and Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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