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The current randomized study evaluated an online cognitive behavioral therapy program for female sexual problems. PursuingPleasure (PP) consisted of six online modules that included psychoeducation, sensate focus, communication exercises, cognitive exercises, and e-mail contact with a therapist. PP incorporated mindfulness training and online chat groups as well as assessed partner sexual functioning. Participants demonstrated a completion rate of 57%, with 26 women with female sexual problems and related distress completing the program compared to a wait-list control group of 31 women also experiencing sexual problems and distress. Sexual problems reported by women in both groups included difficulties with sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and pain. The treatment group demonstrated significant improvements in all domains of female sexual response (except for sexual pain) and significant reductions in the reported frequency of sexual problems and distress. Partner sexual functioning showed positive change. Improvements in female sexual functioning and some improvements in male partner sexual functioning were maintained at three-month follow-up. Limitations and suitability of clients for this treatment approach for women who are geographically isolated, who are unable to attend face-to-face therapy, and who possess a high degree of motivation are discussed.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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