Current Sexual Health Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 79–87 | Cite as

Couple Sex Therapy Versus Group Therapy for Women with Genito-pelvic Pain

  • Sophie BergeronEmail author
  • Kathleen E. Merwin
  • Justin P. Dubé
  • Natalie O. Rosen
Clinical Therapeutics (B McCarthy and RT Segraves, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Clinical Therapeutics


Purpose of Review

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for genito-pelvic pain targets the reduction of pain and the improvement of sexual function/satisfaction. CBT has the additional advantage of being amenable to group and couple formats. However, guidelines for the choice of format have not been specified in the literature. The present review aimed to compare group and couple CBT and to formulate recommendations concerning when to choose one approach over the other.

Recent Findings

Although group CBT has been studied more extensively via randomized clinical trials, both approaches are helpful in reducing women’s pain and improving their sexual function/satisfaction. Advantages of group CBT include cost-effectiveness and social support, whereas advantages of couple CBT include incorporating the partner and focusing on couples’ intimacy.


Given its cost-effectiveness, group CBT should constitute a first-line treatment. Couple CBT should be recommended when both partners are motivated to improve their sexuality and relationship.


Genito-pelvic pain Cognitive-behavioral Couple therapy Group therapy Treatment Relationship factors 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Bergeron
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kathleen E. Merwin
    • 2
  • Justin P. Dubé
    • 2
  • Natalie O. Rosen
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyIWK Health CentreHalifaxCanada

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