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​What is a sex therapist?​

A sex therapist is a trained and licensed psychotherapist who has specialized training in working with issues of sex, sexuality, and pleasure.  Sex therapists are social workers, psychologists, marriage, and family therapists, licensed professional counselors and nurse practitioners. This means that most sex therapists also work with individuals, families and couples dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, past traumatic events, substance abuse, medical concerns, end of life issues, and general life transitions. Sex therapists work to help people develop a better relationship to their bodies, desires, sense of self, and relationship to their intimate partners in more authentic, vulnerable, and honest ways.

 What causes sexual difficulties?

Struggles with sexual functioning and pleasure may stem from past traumatic events, medical issues e.g., spinal, and neurological issues, endocrine, immunological, or pathogenic processes such as infection or other serious health concerns, relational problems, psychological or social struggles, or some combination of all these events. In addition, sometimes people begin to discover new aspects of their sexuality and desire that they had not previously been attuned too and, while excited about these new discoveries, do not know how to share these discoveries with their partner for fear of rejection or damaging the relationship. The reasons behind these struggles are numerous and, when combined, can negatively impact how people allow themselves to access themselves or their partners sexually. When people enter sex therapy, they can expect a welcoming and respectful environment in which the therapist begins an assessment of the presenting concerns, information and sexuality education as needed and directed therapeutic interventions designed to assist you in exploring and creating a sexuality that is reflective of your desires and needs.

Finding a Sexual Health Professional

This section of my website is designed to help you choose a qualified sex therapist, or other sexual health professional, to assist you in meeting your needs. The first place to begin exploring someone’s qualifications is to ask whether they are certified as a sex therapist through The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, or AASECT. Another indicator that a clinician has met both academic and clinical requirements is professional membership in The Society for The Study of Sex Therapy and Research, or SSTAR. This organization is comprised of prominent researchers, academics, and therapists in the field of behavior health, medicine, sociology, and sex therapy. Professional membership in this organization, requires a peer reviewed examination of one’s application including review of one’s academic accomplishments, professional credentials, and a minimum of three years of training and practice in the field of behavioral health and sex therapy.

 

​The Intersection of Sex and Couples Therapy

Not surprisingly, a common issue faced by many couples are issues related to sexual desire, functioning, frequency, and quality. These issues require systemic interventions, and these interventions are best provided by therapists who are training in how to work effectively with couples. Most sex therapists have also been trained, supervised, and supported in becoming skilled in providing couples’ therapy.

Sex therapy: About Me
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