Do you giggle at the thought of someone having the job title of “sex therapist”? Or do you think those people must have the best job in the world??? (Nudge, wink.)

Get over it…Sex therapists are like any other psychotherapist, except that they specialize in helping individuals and couples who are having sexual problems. These therapists generally have counseling, social work, or psychology degrees as their training basis, but choose to do additional training beyond what’s minimally required in sexuality study as part of their degrees. There’s even a credentialing body for sex therapists: the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).

However, despite the alluring job title, no sex between clients happens in their offices, and the therapist does not participate in sexual encounters with clients, either. (Sorry to disappoint you!)

Once you recover from the giggles, you might want to consider whether you and your partner could benefit from the services of a sex therapist.

Some reasons to consider seeing a sex therapist:

  • Concerns about sexual desire
  • Concerns about sexual performance (erectile dysfunction, lack of orgasm, premature ejaculation, etc.)
  • Painful intercourse
  • Differences in sexual desire between partners
  • Sexual interest or orientation concerns
  • Intimacy issues related to chronic illnesses (including mental illness!) or disability

Sex therapy is usually short-term, and addresses the issues with specific strategies quickly. The therapist will gather a history of the issues during an intake session, determine your goals, and recommend homework for you and your partner.

Examples of homework might include:

  • Practicing ways to be intimate without having intercourse
  • Reading about sexual techniques
  • Focusing on the five senses during sex
  • Changing the way you interact with your partner during sex

As you practice the homework, you and your partner will give feedback to the therapist, who will continue to work with you to fine-tune your plan until you and your partner have addressed all concerns. It’s not unusual for other problems to pop to the surface when addressing intimacy concerns because so many emotions are tied to it, such as anxiety, depression, and sexual abuse history.

To find a qualified sex therapist, click here.


WebMD: What does a sex therapist do?

American Association of Sexuality Counselors, Educators and Therapists

Sex Therapy information on



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From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (January 20, 2012)

From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (January 20, 2012)

From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (January 21, 2012)

    Last reviewed: 3 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Thieda, K. (2012). Do You and Your Partner Need a Sex Therapist?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 28, 2015, from



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