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Hypnosis for Psychogenic Impotence & Sexual Dysfunctions

“It has been said that sex is only 10% of a good relationship and 90% of a bad one” (Kappas, 2010).  While Dr. Kappas, a noted Marriage & Family Therapist as well as a pioneer in hypnotherapy wasn’t likely the first person to make this observation, he felt strongly enough about the comment to open an important chapter addressing sexual performance with it in one of his many books.  Dr. Kappas went on to say that “sex problems can destroy a relationship more quickly and easily than any other kind of difficulty.”

For women perhaps the most typical sexual issue for which they seek hypnotherapy is for the inability to lubricate or achieve orgasms during intercourse.  Additional issues may include vaginismus, an involuntary spasm of muscles making penetration difficult, or dyspareunia which is painful intercourse.

On the other hand perhaps everything seems to work fine every now and then.  The issue is that she just isn’t interested very often and doesn’t know why.  She may have been referred to as “frigid” or other terms, but in fact she may be surprised to find that she has a three day cycle and that this is perfectly normal for her.  In fact a cycle such as this is an identifiable trait, and can be as applicable to males as well (Kappas, 2010).

For men the typical problems include impotence or the failure to be able to attain an erection on cue.  Additional issues or concerns include premature ejaculation, or ejaculatory incompetence. 

Obviously in situations such as these an examination by a medical doctor is the prudent move, as there could be underlying pathological or other issues.  Afterward assuming the doctor finds nothing contraindicating such, prescriptions such as Viagra are often offered and may resolve the issues.  Other times, they either may not work, or not work well.  The following example of such an instance is from a case study published in “Psychotherapy Networker:”

The first three times Alex took Viagra, it worked as promised.  “Whew,” Alex thought., [sic] glad he hadn’t raised this touchy issue with Lorraine, his wife of 28 years…

But the fourth time Alex took Viagra, he got an erection and was able to insert, but he promptly began to lose his erection and felt very panicky…

[While Viagra doesn’t work for everyone,] even for successful Viagra users, 20 to 35 percent of the time, the drug doesn’t work.  More striking still, the estimated dropout rate for Viagra within a year is between 40 to 80 percent of users. (McCarthy, 2004)

With performance anxiety being widely accepted as the biggest enemy, is it any wonder that situations such as this would only compound the problem?  So with sex being such an important component to a healthy relationship, what is a person to do when the little blue pill doesn’t work, or at least work reliably? 

Research has shown that for many, hypnotherapy may hold the answer.  In fact on the subject of psychogenic impotence alone, a single well respected clinician in Dallas, Dr. Harold Crasilneck reported  having used hypnosis to restore erectile function with approximately 3000 patients, yielding an 88% success rate (Crasilneck, 1990).  Later reports also found hypnosis superior to either testosterone or trazadone prescriptions (Aydin, Odabas, Ercan, Kara, & Agargün, 1996), and while acupuncture also showed promise, hypnosis was shown to still be the more effective solution (Aydin, et al., 1997).

The key to much of the reported success is likely that many if not most of the barriers to healthy sexual function lies in our subconscious or unconscious mind.  As stated earlier, performance anxiety can be the biggest enemy, and that truth applies to women as well as men.  To compound the issue, once doubts, concerns, or fears begin to enter the equation after a previous incidence, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  Fortunately the subconscious mind is where hypnotherapy excels, and many of the techniques outlined by Masters and Johnson over 40 years ago lend themselves to being complimented greatly by the hypnotic approach.  (For a more detailed explanation and illustration of how past failures become "knowns" to the subconscoius mind see the Theory of Mind slideshow.)

Of course each instance is unique, and must be addressed as such.  Certain cases may require medial intervention or that of a psychotherapist.  Others may find help though one of the time tested approaches for which hypnosis is best known.  In some instances simply dealing with excess stress or anxiety may hold the key.  In other cases the answer is one that is truly unique to the hypnotic approach.  The time honored tool of regression allows one to go back in time under hypnosis and reconnect with what they may recall as a “perfect encounter.”  By then anchoring that state the client begins to create a new association or “positive known” as it is termed in what hypnotherapists refer to as the Theory of Mind.  As this is done, the current association which may be a “negative known,” begins to be replaced, allowing a newer healthier, and more positive change in behavior.  While this is an abbreviated explanation, one can begin to understand the application.

To learn more about how hypnotherapy can help with relationship or other issues, contact us online or call the office at 469-225-9040.

Please note that sexual dysfunctions could be a symptom of other concerns, and only a licensed physician is qualified to make such a determination. 


Araoz, D. (2005). Hypnosis in human sexuality problems. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 47(4), 229-242.

Aydin, S., Ercan, M., Çaskurlu, T., Tasçi, A. I., Karaman, Í., Odabas, Ö., ... & Sevin, G. (1997). Acupuncture and hypnotic suggestions in the treatment of non-organic male sexual dysfunction. Scandinavian journal of urology and nephrology, 31(3), 271-274.

Aydin, S., Odabas, Ö., Ercan, M., Kara, H., & Agargün, M. Y. (1996). Efficacy of testosterone, trazodone and hypnotic suggestion in the treatment of non‐organic male sexual dysfunction. British journal of urology, 77(2), 256-260.

Kappas, J. G. (2010). Relationship Strategies The E&P Attraction (6th printing) Panorama Publishing.

Masters, W. H., & Johnson, V. E. (1970). Human sexual inadequacy (Vol. 225). Little, Brown, and Company:Boston.

McCarthy, B. (2004). Beyond Viagra Why the promise of cure far exceeds the reality. Psychotherapy Networker, 28(3), 61-65.