Based at the Porterbook Clinic, the Relationship and Sexual Service is a city-wide service providing assessment and treatment for service users with psychosexual problems.

Therapy is offered to individuals and partners over the age of 18 years. A variety of therapeutic approaches are used, and treatment is designed to fit the specific needs of service users.

The service is part of Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.


Our statement

Our service is committed to providing high quality care to all who access it. We respect and celebrate all sexual orientations and gender identities within our service; everybody is welcome.

Our Equality Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Overview 2020-2024

How is the service accessed?

All referrals, other than internal SHSC ones, should come via the GP. A referral form can be downloaded by clicking here.

GPs can download pre-referral screen guidelines by clicking here.

We do not accept self-referrals. 

Occasionally, we receive referrals that are not suitable for our service. When this happens, we will advise the referrer of this. If this only becomes clear during the assessment, we will inform the referrer and service user, with recommended signposts to a service that may be more suitable to meet the service user’s needs. 

Service Eligibility

The Relationship & Sexual Service sees service users with sexual dysfunctions as defined by the DSM-V. These are listed below:

Male Bodied Sexual Dysfunctions

  • Premature (Early) Ejaculation
  • Delayed Ejaculation
  • Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
  • Erectile Disorder (Unreliable Erections) where an organic cause has been ruled out

Female Bodied Sexual Dysfunctions

  • Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder (Vaginismus and Dyspareunia – pain at the beginning of, during or after intercourse)
  • Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder
  • Female Orgasmic Disorder

Treatment is also provided for,

  • Relationship difficulties where (i) these are present with a predominantly sexual problem, and (ii) the relationship is in a good enough position to make use of psychosexual therapeutic interventions for the sexual difficulty.
  • Problems of libido, either reduced or excessive sexual interest/drive.
  • Specific sexual phobias or fears.

Referral Criteria

  • Service Users must meet the service eligibility criteria as listed above.
  • Service Users should be aged 18 or over.
  • The service does not accept urgent referrals.
  • Long-term psychotherapy, care or support is not available from this service.
  • Individuals and/or partners should be motivated to address their difficulties by attending regular appointments (usually held every two to four weeks) and completing in between session tasks.

Exclusion Criteria

Service Users cannot be seen by the service where:

  • There are issues of sexual compulsivity, paraphilia or addiction, including pornography, drugs and alcohol.
  • Their sexual difficulties or behaviour have brought or are at risk of bringing them into conflict with the law.
  • The sexual difficulties are caused by a medical issue or physical health condition and there is no or limited psychological component e.g., diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, neurological disorder.
  • Relationship problems which are not attributable to a sexual difficulty or dysfunction.
  • Intimate relationships where infidelity is a recent or current significant contributor to relationship difficulties.
  • Service users who are experiencing a crisis in their mental health or suffering from an acute psychotic illness.
  • Service users who present a risk to other people or are at risk of harming themselves.
  • Service users are seeking support with sexual orientation or gender identification.
  • Service users who are pregnant.

What to Expect

Once we have received a referral for you into our service, we will send you a background information questionnaire, where you will have the opportunity to provide us more specific information regarding your difficulties.

Once you have returned this questionnaire, we will contact you via text to arrange a brief, 20–30-minute phone call with one of our psychosexual therapists.

The purpose of this phone call is to check that the treatment we provide will be appropriate for you. If it is decided between you and the therapist that it is, you will be placed on our internal waiting list and invited for an initial assessment once your name reaches the top. This initial assessment session is a detailed one and involves the therapist asking questions about the history of the difficulty you are experiencing and how it is impacting you. The appointment can last up to one and a half hours. You will meet your therapist in this assessment and find out more about what psychosexual therapy might involve for you.

After this assessment, you will be offered up to 11 follow-on therapy sessions, which we usually recommend are spaced at fortnightly intervals, to give you time to put into practice some of the in between session tasks your therapist may suggest as part of your treatment. We contact your GP at the start and end of therapy, to let them know that we are working with you and when we are discharging you from our service.

Not all psychosexual difficulties are fully resolved within the 12 sessions that we can offer, but most improve substantially, and there is the option to be re-referred for further psychosexual therapy six months post-discharge. 

What is Psychosexual Therapy

Psychosexual Therapy is a psychological intervention that is aimed to resolve the sexual difficulties that people experience in their lives. A range of different interventions can be used within this therapeutic approach including,

  • Psychoeducation to help you understand how the difficulties you are experiencing arose and ways that you can work to address them.
  • Cognitive behavioural techniques to help identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that may be contributing towards and maintaining the problem.
  • Support with enhancing communication skills and assertiveness.
  • Where relevant, input to assist with addressing body image concerns or self-esteem issues that are impacting on your sexual function.
  • In between session tasks for you to do between each session, either on your own or with your partner(s), if you are in a relationship(s).
  • Recommended reading.

It is important to note that our treatment programmes require you to be motivated and committed to addressing your difficulties through the attendance of regular therapy sessions (usually held every two to four weeks) and the completion of the in between session tasks that you and your therapist will agree together in your sessions. You will never be asked to undertake a sexual task in a session.

As a psychosexual therapy service, we do not prescribe. We may recommend medicines or sexual aids that can be prescribed by your GP.

What is psychosexual therapy - a video message

Katie and Jody explain what psychosexual therapy is.



If you cancel two consecutive appointments, or a number of intermittent appointments, or fail to attend an appointment, we will not be able to offer any further appointments.  

If you cannot make an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer your time to someone else. 

Waiting times

Individuals we are booking into our service currently have had to wait four to six months for a first appointment.

Individual waiting times are variable, and we cannot give specific times for individual waits.

Please keep us updated of any changes to your contact details to ensure we can offer you an appointment when one is available for you. We would like to sincerely apologize for this situation and for any inconvenience or difficulty this may cause you.

If you are waiting for an appointment please take a look at this letter which outlines the support available while you are waiting.

Useful Websites and Resources

Before your appointment with the service you might find it useful to read one of the leaflets below:

Useful websites and other resources

Therapy and counselling providers – College of Sexual and Relational Therapists. – offers low cost, long-term psychotherapy for individuals who cannot afford or access therapy elsewhere. – a counselling centre with over 45 therapist associates providing a range of private psychotherapy and counselling in Sheffield. – a professional body for counselling and psychotherapy, including a register of therapists. 

Therapy for trauma or abuse – a specialist service offering free counselling for anyone aged 13 and above who has experienced sexual abuse, violence or rape. - offers free, long-term specialised trauma therapy to women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse or exploitation, adult sexual abuse and adult sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and violence in childhood or adulthood, neglect, torture, and trafficking, been a witness or victim of a crime or accident. - provides trauma-focused therapy for women and girls (16+) who have experienced any kind of abuse and trauma.

Genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder - for information and support for vaginismus. - resources for practical advice and information about vulva pain. – aims to educate, connect, support and empower people living with this condition. – National Vulvodynia Association – resources for patients, health-care providers and more. – information on various genito-pelvic pain conditions. – International Pelvic Pain Society. – Professor Lorimer Moseley explains pain.

LGBTQIA – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender information and support. – provides emotional wellbeing support for LGBTQ+ young people aged 11-25 in Sheffield. - Trans Active aims to help the trans community in and around Sheffield socialise and improve their fitness and mental wellbeing. – a charity that works to increase understandings of gender diversity and improve the lives of trans people. Provides a support line for trans and gender questioning People. - provides information regarding sexual health and maintaining a satisfactory sex life for trans and non-binary people.

Male Sexual Health – provides treatment for testosterone deficiency. - for information about erectile dysfunction.

Menopause – download Dr Louise Newson’s balance menopause app for information and support on all issues menopause related. Dr Newson also hosts a podcast – The Dr Louise Newson podcast. – provides information on menopause and all aspects of post reproductive health in the UK. – provides support to women, their families and partners, who have been diagnosed with POI (premature ovarian insufficiency), also known as premature menopause. – provides information, advice and consultation for women on issues regarding the menopause in general, menopause in the workplace and menopause and sexual function.

Mental Health – for those struggling to cope and who require support. – offering information and support for those living with a mental health problem or for those with a relative or friend experiencing mental health difficulties. - provides support, information and advice as well as offering a local service at The Wellbeing Centre. this can be found at:

10 Sharrow Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S11 8A

0114 258 4489

If you are experiencing something that makes you feel unsafe, distressed, or worried about your mental health, you can contact your local crisis service in Sheffield by calling NHS 111 and selecting the mental health option.

Single Point of Access is a Sheffield Health and Social Care service, which can provide urgent help if your usual service is closed out of hours, or you are not receiving support from services. They can be contacted on 0808 196 8281 or 0114 226 3636.

Sexual Desire and Orgasm for Women – focuses on teaching women about sexual pleasure and how to get to know their body. – focuses on supporting women to find their own pleasure. – improving sexual experience and pleasure for women. – Dr Karen Gurney – ’the surprising truth about desire everyone needs to know’.

Premature Ejaculation – an app which aims to provide solutions for men wanting to enjoy longer lasting sex.

Sexual Wellness and Sexual Medicine - the Real Sex Education; Diggory Waite is joined by his mother, accredited sex, and relationship therapist Cate Campbell, to give you the sex education you never got at school. - the Sexual Wellness Sessions Podcast is a series of interviews hosted by psychosexual and relationship therapist Kate Moyle. – an independent clinic providing treatment for men and women suffering from a range of sexual difficulties. – a blog and podcast about sex, relationships, gender and bodies. – provides a wide range of services including free, rapid HIV testing, condoms, lubrication, and counselling. – International Society for Sexual Medicine. – British Society of Sexual Medicine.

Sexual Compulsivity – an organisation which works to help prevent addictive behaviours and sexual offending through therapy. – Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity. – offers sex addiction therapy and porn addiction counselling around the UK. Also provides support for partners and couple counselling. 

Recommended reading

Baker, J. (2015). Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls. Berkley, California: Seal Press.

Barker, M. (2018). Rewriting the Rules: An Anti-Self-Help Guide to Love, Sex, and Relationships. London & New York: Routledge.

Barker, MJ & Scheele, J. (2021). Sexuality a Graphic Guide. London: Icon Books Ltd.

Bates, L. (2015). Everyday Sexism. UK: Simon & Schuster. 

Brotto, L. A. (2018). Better sex through mindfulness: How women can cultivate desire. Vancouver: Greystone Books.

Brown, B. (2012). Daring Greatly. How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. UK: Penguin.

Bushe, F. (2021). My Broken Vagina. London: Hodder Studio.

Carter, M and L, (2015). 10 Steps to Completely Overcome Vaginismus. The Practical Approach to Pain-Free Intercourse Via 

Chalker, R. (2000). The Clitoral Truth. The Secret World at Your Fingertips. New York: Seven Stories Press.

Chambers, C., Ali, N., Phillips, R. (eds) (2020). A Match Made in Heaven. British Muslim Women Write About Love and Desire. London: Hope Road. 

Dodsworth, L. (2017). Manhood – The Bare Reality. London: Pinter & Martin Ltd.

Dodsworth, L. (2019) Womanhood – The Bare Reality. London: Pinter & Martin Ltd.

Downs, A. (2012). The Velvet Rage. Boston: Da Capo Press.

Friday, N. (1991). Women on Top. London: Arrow Books.

Friday, N. (1993). Men in Love. Men’s Sexual Fantasies – The Triumph of Love Over Rage. England: Clays Ltd.

Goldstein, A., Pukall, C., Goldstein, I., Krapf, J. (2023). When Sex Hurts. Understanding and Healing Pelvic Pain. New York: Hachette Books.

Gurney, K. (2020). Mind the Gap. The truth about desire and how to future proof your sex life. London: Headline.

Kaplan, (1989). PE. How to Overcome Premature Ejaculation. GB: Routledge.

McCarthy, B. & McCarthy, E. (2021). Contemporary Male Sexuality – Confronting Myths and Promoting Change. New York: Routledge.

Nagoski, E. (2015). Come as you are. The surprising new science that will transform your sex life. London: Scribe.

Perel, E. (2007). Mating in Captivity. GB: Harper Collins.

Perel, E. (2017). The State of Affairs. Rethinking Infidelity. GB: Harper Collins.

Rothschild, B. (2000). The Body Remembers. The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment. NW: WWW. Norton & Co.

Schnarch, D. (2009). Intimacy & desire: Awaken the passion in your relationship. Scribe Publications.

Van der Kolk, V. (2015). The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain, and Body in the Transformation of Trauma. London: Penguin.

Wolf, M. (1991). The Beauty Muth. London: Vintage.

Zilbergeld, B. (1999). The New Male Sexuality: The Truth about Men, Sex and Pleasure. London: Bantam Books.

Opening Hours

Appointments are available Monday – Friday between 9am-5pm.

We provide a hybrid model of face to face and online appointments. You can choose which type of appointment would suit you best.

Query helpline

The Relationship and Sexual Service offers a query line to any health professional who would like to seek consultation or advice regarding psychosexual issues that may be affecting service users they are working with.

The query line can be used for asking information about whether a referral is appropriate for the service, how to work with sexual issues a service user may be presenting with or for a more general enquiry.

If you would like to make use of the query line, please email or phone 0114 2716671, and we will be in contact to book a time for you to speak with one of our therapists.

Sharing your feedback on Care Opinion

Care Opinion is an independent organisation that gives you the chance share your experience of using our services, to help us make changes that benefit everyone. 

We want you to share honest feedback about our services. Good or bad we want to hear what you think. 

You can choose how much detail you want to go into about your personal story, but if there’s anything we could improve on we want to know. 

You can give feedback by filling in the form below.

Relationship and sexual service

Contact us

Clinical lead: Jeanette Caw
0114 2716979
0114 2718693 (Fax)


Porterbrook Clinic, Michael Carlisle Centre
75 Osborne Road
S11 9BF
United Kingdom

Operating hours

The service runs 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday.

Service CQC rating

Overall Trust CQC rating