A common modelling technique used in sex therapy is the PLISSIT model, the model is used to determine the different levels of intervention needed for specific clients. Created by Jack S. Annon in 1976, the letters in the PLISSIT model stand for:
P – permission
LI – limited information
SS – specific suggestions
IT – intensive therapy
Created for sex therapy and sexology, the PLISSIT model is also used in life-threatening surgery.
This levels of increasing intervention and interaction are related to what kind of help is given to a client. The levels are mainly focused around how comfortable to client is about discussing their sexual health and sexual dysfunctions.
The first level is permission, and this involves the sexologist giving their client permission to feel comfortable about a topic, and giving them permission to get medical assistance. This was created as some clients require permission to voice their concerns about sexual issues to understand them, and helping them to move on. At this stage the sexologist is essentially acting as a non-judgemental listening partner, that allows the client to openly discuss their issues without embarrassment.
The second level of this model is limited information, this is where the client is given information about the topics in discussion. This means that the sexologist leans the sexual clients want to discuss, so that they can provide specific support for the topics.
The third level is where the sexologist gives the client suggestions that are related to specific situations. The therapist can then give the client specific suggestions to help fix their mental or health problem. This can also include suggestions on changing your lifestyle.
The final level is intensive therapy, here the sexologist would refer the client to other mental and medical professional in order to help the client deal with deeper, underlying issues.