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Sex Therapy Program Experience (So Far)

The Short Version

This article will summarize my sex therapy certification program experience (so far). Learn more about my motivation for enrolling, why I enrolled in the program I did, and what the program consists of. *There are NO affiliate links. I wanted to share because it has been such a great experience!

Motivation for Enrolling

I will admit I’m not entirely sure how I came across the information about becoming a sex therapist. I remember seeing something online and it caught my attention. I can help people have better sex? Sounds good to me!

 Some of the reasons I decided to pursue a sexuality specialization include:

  • Untalked About. There are many topics that have stigma, shame, or trauma around. As fun as sex can be, the untalked about part of sex and all that goes along with it was what attracted me to the specialty.  I was ready to turn the light on the darkness of the topic.
  • Not Knowing. As much as I was ready to help people talk about and explore sex and sexuality-related topics, I knew I did not know as much as I wanted to. What did I not know? At the time, I couldn’t even answer that question. I just knew I was curious, open-minded, and ready to explore my own beliefs.
  • Prepared. I wanted to be better prepared for when clients talked about their own experiences. This included more knowledge, enhanced sexuality-related vocabulary, and more resources to help. 

The Chosen Program

I researched sex therapy training programs for awhile before deciding on Sexual Health Alliance (SHA). This program seemed like a great fit because they offer: 
 
  • Experts. I wanted to learn from the best, most up-to-date, and inclusive experts. SHA offers experts including Dr. Justin Lehmiller (Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute, author, educator), Midori (Expert on Alternative Pleasures) and more!
  • Community. A sexuality-related community is a place to share information, connect, and learn. SHA offers both in-person and online events. 
  • Continuous Learning. Sexuality is an evolving field where new research is being done, new techniques, and new understanding. I didn’t want a program where there was a finish line. I wanted to keep learning. SHA has online conferences, in person conferences, and certification programs. 

More About The Program

The sex therapy certification program covers quite the range of information. It goes far beyond the physical act of sex. In fact, it starts off with what is sex? The course explores identity, relationships, culture, intimacy, and diversity.

Areas included in the training include:

  • Ethics.
  • Developmental sexuality.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Gender identity.
  • Intimacy skills.
  • Diversity in sexual expression and lifestyles.
  • Health and medical factors that may influence sexuality.
  • Range of sexual functioning.
  • Sexual and reproductive anatomy.
  • Sexual exploration.
  • Sexual orientation. 
  • Substance use and sexuality.
  • Pleasure enhancement skills.
  • Learning theory.
  • Personal reflection skills.
  • History of discipline of sex research.
  • Principles of sexuality research.
There is an abundance of information and subtopics within each area.

Completing Certification Program

The Sex Therapy Certification program through Sexual Health Alliance is complete once the following requirements are met:

  • Master’s Degree in Counseling or Mental Health in progress or completed. – Completed
  • Sexuality Attitude Reassessment (SAR)
  • Human Sexuality Core Knowledge – Completed
  • Sexuality Education – Completed
  • Three live, online weekend online conferences – Completed
  • Successful completion of capstone project
 

What's Next?

Whoa! That seems like a really lot when typed out. I have learned a lot so far and continue to learn more every day. Once that is completed, I will be working towards the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapist (AASECT) Sex Therapy Certification.

 

The AASECT certification requires:

  • Minimum of 300 hours of AASECT supervised clinical treatment of clients who present with sexual concerns.
  • Fifty hours of supervision with an AASECT Certified Supervisor of Sex Therapy.
Like I mentioned, it’s a long process.