A recent discussion on one of my professional list servs highlighted a common misconception that many in the public have about sex therapists. Specifically, it seems there is the idea circulating that sex therapists are only trained in helping individuals with sexual problems. This online professional discussion seemed to resonate with many, as it dragged on for several days and involved numerous contributors.
Suffice it to say, it got me thinking about my own experiences answering prospective clients’ questions, and it is indeed true that I am often asked whether, in addiction to sexual difficulties, I can also help people with other issues such as depression and anxiety (note to self: add this to the FAQ section). I answer that, as a certified sex therapist, I am first and foremost a licensed psychotherapist, so my foundational training is in general psychotherapy. Before sex therapy, I worked in hospitals and outpatient mental health clinics, just like any other mental health professional. Indeed, there is no separate track for sex therapy; if you want to become a sex therapist, you have to become a psychotherapist first (and then add a ton more specialized training after that).
The most common question I get however is whether I can provide couple’s therapy as well, or if not, should the individual hire a couple’s therapist in addition. This answer is complex because sometimes I get referrals from couple’s therapists when there is a particular sexual difficulty that they feel is out of their comfort zone, but suffice it say, a sex therapist generally must absolutely be skilled at couple’s therapy as well. Why? The short simple […]