Q&A Session with Therapist William Conant

Posted May 19, 2023 by Cristina Vrech

William Conant

William Conant

Individual, Couples and Psychosexual Therapist

A highly professional Integrative Therapist (BSc) with over 12 years of experience. A professional member of BACP and CORST. Psychosexual, Couples and Individual Therapist.

Specialising in intimacy and communication issues, psychosexual difficulties, fertility and IVF, addiction, divorce and separation, affairs, cheating and betrayals and couples whose relationship has been negatively impacted by illness.

Offering online and in-person appointments.

William Conant can help with...

William Conant has been with the Leone Centre for several years now, so a Q&A session to discuss his background, experience and ongoing work as a therapist was somewhat overdue.  This is how the session unfolded.

Will photo

Can you tell me about the journey that led you to becoming a therapist, and how it has enriched your life?

Coming from a family where emotions were ‘weakness’ and strongly discouraged, being packed off to boarding school at the age of 7 and ‘solving’ my emotional struggles with certain addictive processes, led me into therapy in my mid 20’s.

After a rather unfortunate choice of therapist originally (not a bad therapist but not the right one for me) I eventually found a therapist that enabled me to recognise and resolve my issues. At that time I was working in the film industry and becoming more and more disillusioned with it. My own positive therapeutic journey allowed me to make a decision to move into the therapeutic world as a professional.

As a therapist, what do you see as opportunities for growth and transformation when working with individuals in Psychosexual Therapy?

Psychosexual Therapy is a form of therapy that focuses on addressing sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction, desire, Vaginismus / Vulvodynia etc.

Through psychosexual therapy individuals can grow and transform their relationships, learn to communicate boundaries and desires, whilst becoming increasingly aware of their own needs.

It can create an enhanced intimacy and to the overcoming of sexual dysfunctions such as delayed ejaculation, erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. Overall psychosexual therapy can provide a safe space to explore sexual functioning and help clients develop new skills and transform their intimate lives.

When working with couples in Psychosexual Therapy, what approaches have you found to be effective in helping them navigate challenges and deepen their connection?

As an Integrative therapist I am able to tailor my approach to the needs of my clients. This can be determined by my client’s past history, their cultural background and the current state of the relationship. Whilst I am informed by my initial integrative training of the psychodynamic, humanistic and existential approaches, I add a more cognitive behaviour approach when working with psychosexual issues. With the use of exercises to improve communication and sexual issues, clients learn to express their desires, anxieties and fears to each other.

What are some common issues brought up in Psychosexual Therapy, and how do you approach these with empathy and understanding?

Some common issues are low libido, ED, Pain on penetration (vaginismus, etc), premature ejaculation, sexual addiction / compulsion, sexual identity, sexual trauma, imbalances in sexual desire, inability to talk together about sexual preferences.

Often the hardest part of any therapy is making the decision to ask for help and making the initial call to a therapist. There has usually been a process of trying to fix it ourselves or pretending it doesn’t exist or it will get better. Theses struggles need to be processed and emphasised with, in order to create the environment to work on a resolution to the presenting issue.

In the context of Covid, how do you see people’s mental health and relationships being impacted, and what role do you play in helping the process of healing?

Covid has caused many people to face significant impact on their mental health with increased stress, anxiety and depression. Financial pressures, social isolation and uncertainty about the future contributed to these struggles. Whilst some couples have felt it has brought them together, others report increased conflict and tension, as well as challenges to balancing work, childcare and financial issues.

I consider my role is to provide a safe and supportive space to help individuals and couples to express their concerns in navigating these issues. Helping them to develop coping strategies to help mitigate their stress and anxiety. Helping couples improve their communication, conflict resolution and their ability to balance their responsibilities to themselves and each other.

How do you find that your training in Psychosexual Therapy benefits couples, and how do you incorporate these principles into your work?

Psychosexual Therapy involves an understanding of the psychological, physical and social factors that contribute to sexual functioning. Psychosexual therapy also emphasises the importance of communication and intimacy in sexual relationships and can help clients improve their communication and emotional connection.

I create a non-judgemental space for clients to discuss sexual issues, desires, preferences and needs,  addressing underlying emotional or psychological factors such as stress, anxiety or depression. I provide education about sexual anatomy, physiology and function and use techniques such as sensate focus exercises to bring people together. Signposting clients, when appropriate, to medical professionals to rule out any physical factors that may be impacting sexual functioning.

What do you find to be the most fulfilling and enriching aspects of your role as a Psychosexual Therapist, and how do you stay motivated to support your clients?

The opportunity to help clients overcome deeply personal and intimate challenges and to support them in developing more fulfilling sexual relationships. To see client’s make changes to improve their lives gives me great fulfilment.

I keep myself motivated by maintaining a strong professional support network to discuss the more challenging cases, engaging in ongoing professional development training and remaining current with the latest research and treatment protocols and practicing self-care to maintain my own mental well-being. Celebrating the success and progress of my clients is also very motivating.