About me

Who is it for

What I offer

What to expect



Contact Me

The Ethos

Sexual Health is:

“…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”
(WHO, 2006a)




I qualified as a Specialty Doctor in Sexual Health in 1995 and in recognition of my longstanding contribution to this Specialty
I have been awarded the Fellowship of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.


The sexual wellbeing of my patients has been at the core of my work ever since I started, which made it a necessity for me to be able to address not only the physical side but also the emotional aspects of sexual wellbeing; I began training with the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine in 1999, completed my Membership in 2002, and expanded
my training in 2013. I currently hold the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychosexual Therapy, facilitating my Membership with the College

of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT).

Clinical Experience in Body-Mind Medicine


I see patients with sexual health problems, be it physical
or psychosexual, within my NHS work, and I have an
independent psychosexual therapy practice.


This means that when I am consulted by an individual or a couple presenting with a sexual difficulty, which often presents as physical in nature, I have the knowledge and the experience to be able to understand fully what the causes are and help untangle the knot of physical, emotional, and socio-cultural factors at play.


I am qualified to treat both the physical and psychological aspects
of sexual difficulties.





I am a fully licensed medical practitioner revalidated by the General Medical Council.
I subscribe to the COSRT code of ethics and conduct procedures. My annual appraisal ensures that I am externally held to account

to maintain my accreditations, reflect on my practice, and keep up to date.


My experience also ensures a safe, professional service, where I work only within the limits of my expertise, and may suggest working collaboratively with other healthcare professionals depending on client's needs.

My work is regularly supervised.

Psychosexual Therapist.

Overcoming sexual problems
to increase sexual

and relationship wellbeing.

My practice promotes equality, diversity
and inclusion.


Who is it for?


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


Psychosexual therapy is for anyone, over the age of 16,
with a sexual and/or relationship problem, regardless of
whether they are single, married, separated, divorced,
heterosexual, gay, bisexual, transgender, or just uncertain.
My practice promotes equality, diversity and inclusion.


Physical and/or Psychological Cause


I can help you with your sexual difficulty if it is caused by a physical problem, or a psychological one, or a mixture of the two.



Stepping Forward


Click on Psychosexual Therapy for a list of some of the sexual difficulties that I can help you with. It may be that your concern is not listed, or you are unsure which difficulty you have. This is not unusual and I can still be of help; our sessions can clarify things for you very quickly.


It is also common to feel nervous, embarrassed or ashamed when discussing sexual matters. Every person I see has overcome many barriers to attend, and has taken an extremely brave step; it is my responsibility not to let you down.


“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”


Mary Angelou

What I Offer – Physical Treatments and/or Sex and Relationship Therapy


Sexual Wellbeing and You


Treating sexual problems is important because your sexual
health can have a huge impact on your general
wellbeing and your personal relationships.


Sexual Difficulties


Below is a list of some of the sexual difficulties that can be helped.


Sexual difficulties experienced by men:


Erectile concerns

Loss of interest in sex

Premature ejaculation (coming very quickly)

Orgasm problems

Painful intercourse

Delayed ejaculation (coming after a long time/not at all)

Concerns regarding sexuality and/or gender

Relationship issues


Sexual difficulties experienced by women:


Loss of interest in sex

Painful intercourse


Orgasm problems

Concerns regarding

sexuality and/or gender

Relationship issues

Physical and/or Psychological Therapy


Being medically qualified I can work closely with your GP (with your consent) if diagnostic/screening blood tests or other investigations are required in order to fully assess your problem and make an accurate diagnosis.


There is a range of physical treatments available for some of the listed conditions such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and vulval pain. I am able to prescribe treatments that may help
e.g., tablets, injections, and pumps for erectile difficulties.


For other problems the treatment may be purely psychological and managed solely with Sex and Relationship Therapy.

Sometimes combinations of physical and psychological interventions are successful.


An Integrated Approach


The type of Psychosexual therapy that I offer is an integrated approach. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) forms the core, and other approaches, such as Systemic, Psychodynamic, and Medical therapies, are also employed, as appropriate.


Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy


CBT involves recognizing negative automatic thoughts, managing anxiety, and following a series of homework exercises individually and/or with your partner, if you have one. Even if the cause of your sexual difficulty is physical, any secondary anxiety can result in a host of problems such as a worsening of the problem, reduced arousal, low
self-esteem, relationship conflict, and poor emotional intimacy.


Relationship issues


If you are in an intimate relationship, any conflict may be causing or compounding your problem; conversely, a sexual difficulty can cause emotional conflict between you and your partner. Attending therapy will aim to address any relationship problems you may have and may help prevent an irretrievable breakdown in your relationship.


What to expect


The Assessment


During the initial sessions I conduct a comprehensive assessment of your issues.  This will help you to unravel and deepen your understanding of the factors contributing to and maintaining your challenges.  For example, if you have a physical problem, like erectile dysfunction, affecting your sex life, it may be caused by psychological issues in much the same way as a migraine might be caused by stress; or we may discover that the tightening of your vagina is not due to stress, but is in fact secondary to an undiagnosed physical problem.


We would work together in a goal-orientated fashion in order to create an agreed treatment plan that suits your particular needs and circumstances.


The Therapeutic Relationship


The therapeutic relationship that we build within the sessions will provide you with a safe, empathic and confidential environment within which to explore and address the factors that maintain your difficulties. These factors often sit within the present, and an exploration of the past will occur only if directed by you and relevant to your concerns.

Individual or Couple Therapy


You can be seen individually or with your partner; if you are in a relationship the latter is encouraged, as the success rate is much higher if both partners attend. If you attend with your partner you will have opportunities to talk separately and in complete confidence. If your partner doesn’t want to attend, or you are currently single, it can still be useful to attend therapy.


Length and Frequency of Sessions


Each session lasts 50 minutes (longer for the initial history taking). The number of times you need to attend will depend on the nature of your difficulties. Some problems are resolved more quickly than others; you may need only a couple of visits, or choose to remain in therapy for an extended period of time. I will review your progress regularly with you and I will strive to work within the limitations of your budget.
On average clients need between 10 and 20 sessions.

The frequency of sessions is also variable, ranging from weekly to monthly. I most frequently see clients on a fortnightly basis.




I currently see clients in a consultation room, or from my own home, depending on availability to suit you, and the nature of your problem.


Click here for the address and map location of my
Consultation Room in Midhurst, West Sussex



Individuals £60 per session


Couples £75 per session



All appointments can be paid for at each session by cash or cheque, or if you prefer by bank transfer.


Cancellations notified with less than 24 hours' notice

will be charged at the full rate.

Every effort is made to reschedule, space permitting.

Contact Me


You are welcome to

contact me on my mobile

or via email listed below.


I will endeavour to return any messages within 24 hours, and I would be delighted to answer any questions you may have.


Telephone: 07931 074614


Email: ellie@drelliebirtley.co.uk



South Downs Counselling and Mediation

Church View

Knockhundred Row


West Sussex
GU29 9DQ


Church View is opposite Lloyds Bank, Midhurst.
Public car parks are situated in North Street, the New Grange Centre and Grange Road.








Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I come to see you?


Being qualified and experienced in both the psychological and physical aspects of sexual issues qualifies me to offer a unique and complete approach to the problems you may be facing.

In addition, my service will bypass a long waiting list and I can offer flexible hours to suit your availability.


How will I know you are the right therapist for me?


The therapeutic relationship we build within the sessions will provide you with a safe, empathic and confidential environment within which to explore and address the factors that maintain your difficulties. These factors often sit within the present, and an exploration of the past will occur only if directed by you and relevant to your concerns.


What is Psychosexual Therapy?


Psychosexual therapy is treatment by a qualified practitioner, which addresses a sexual dysfunction, or emotional block within a relationship. It has a proven success rate, looking at physical, emotional, and socio-cultural aspects, which are causing distress. Sexual difficulties as a result of only physical causes may also benefit. Click on the Sex and Relationship Therapy page for further details.


Is therapy the right choice?


Therapy isn’t suitable for every person and every problem, and our first session is to assess whether therapy is the right way to address the difficulties you’re experiencing. If the answer to this is ‘No,’ then we can explore medical options or I can help you find alternative support.

Will therapy work?


My role is to assess your difficulties and then support, challenge and explore with you the factors that are maintaining them, using medical, behavioural and/or psychological approaches.
The goals of therapy may change as we progress and I will
take account of this as a part of our reviews.


How long does Psychosexual Therapy take?


This may vary from 1 to 20 sessions, depending on your needs.
The frequency of sessions is also variable, ranging from weekly to monthly.  You can end the therapy at any time; I just ask for as much notice as possible to cancel a session, to avoid having to charge you.
Please give a minimum of 24 hours' notice.


Can I be seen without a partner?


It’s entirely up to you. If you attend with your partner you will have opportunities to talk separately and in complete confidence. If your partner doesn’t want to attend, or you are currently single, it can still be useful to attend therapy.


Is the therapy confidential?


Yes. It is only in extreme circumstances

that I would seek your

agreement to break confidentiality.