The principles of sexual counselling may be described by referring to Jack Annon’s PLISSIT Model, which is a counselling tool used in sexuality assessment and therapy.
PLISSIT is an acronym for the following:
LI: Limited information
SS: Specific suggestions
IT: Intensive therapy
Permission – helping a client to explore and normalize his/her sexual dreams, fantasies, desires feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and communicate them freely and in a non-judgmental manner. The major role of permission is to normalize internal sexuality related thoughts and emotions and create guilt-free and shame-free sexual behaviors and experiences. Normalizing in many cases is sufficient to reduce negative connotations and barriers and it helps to produce positive attitudes toward sex issues.
Limited information – aims to correct false beliefs, sexual myths and incorrect information, and provides factual knowledge about realistic sexual expressions and behaviors.
Specific suggestions – direct interventions which help the client change his/her sexual behaviours and expressions in order to reach desired goals.
Intensive therapy – when more complex and in-depth analysis and interventions are needed. Usually it is a combination of cognitive-behavioural techniques and other therapeutic approaches, including psychodynamic therapy, family therapy, PTSD treatment and others.