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Finding the Best Sex Therapist for You
Here are some questions you may want to ask a potential therapist:
What population do you focus on in your current practice?
If a therapist says they see “everyone,” children, adults, families and couples, you may want to be wary. Good sex therapists and couple’s counselors usually just focus on that, and maybe one or two other areas.
What do you consider “normal” sexually?
It’s important to have a therapist who is “sex positive.” That is, you want a therapist who thinks a wide range of sexual activity is normal and healthy. You do not want a therapist who has their very rigid and fixed idea of how often and how a couple should be having sex.
What are your feelings regarding the physical (medical) components of the problem?
True, we’re biased here. But any sex therapist that isn’t open to the idea that there may be a physical component isn’t keeping up with the current literature and isn’t being responsible.
What are some of your approaches?
Often the best therapists are not ones that use “one magic solution,” but will incorporate a number of modalities. Be wary if a therapist says: “I only use the ____ method of therapy.”
What is your accreditation?
The largest accrediting body for sex therapy is AASECT: The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Their website has a tremendous amount of information on what different types of accreditation are available and lists of local sex therapists. This is not to suggest that there are not excellent clinicians without AASECT accreditation. But it can’t hurt.
Questions to ask yourself:
Do you want to see someone individually (by yourself) or with your partner?
The first thing to consider if whether you want to see a therapist by yourself or you want to see a therapist with your partner. That is, do you need an “individual therapist” or a “couple’s therapist” Most therapists who see couples also have experience with individual counseling but be aware that couple’s therapy is truly a specialty and you want to see someone who has experience with couple’s. Just because someone is an excellent individual counselor does not mean that they are successful with couples.
Someone would probably choose to see an individual sex therapist first, rather than a couple’s counselor, because they have personal issues they would like to work on, private concerns they would like to explore, a history of abuse or trauma, secrets that worry them. Or, they are not part of a couple and have sexual issues to address.
A couple might seek a couple’s sex therapist because they are fighting with each other about sex, they have significantly mismatched expectations about sex or, in general, something about their sex life is negatively affecting their overall relationship. Experience counts here. Someone who has a long-time flourishing practice is probably a better bet than a brand-new sex therapist.
Do you (and your partner) feel comfortable with the therapist?
Here’s the bottom line. Both you (and your partner if there is one) have to feel you can be open and comfortable with the therapist. You have to find someone you feel understands your situation and will guide you responsibly towards a real solution.
Reasons to Seek out a Sex Therapist
Here are some examples of expressions we’ve heard from patients who see us for sexual issues:
- “I feel disinterested in so many aspects of my life. Sex is just one.”
- “He is a terrible lover. He always jumps right to intercourse.”
- “I am so angry at him. All he ever wants is sex.”
- “I feel turned on by other men but not by my husband.”
At Congtythamtu Women’s Sexual Health, we often explore a patient’s sexual difficulties from a physiological standpoint. At the same time we use the psychosexual intake interview as a foundation for examining what else may be going on in a woman’s relationship and sex life.
Sometimes, we observe emotional obstacles to sexual satisfaction that are embedded in the relationship itself, or are part of the emotional state of the patient. We will often suggest that patients see a sex therapist (either in our office or closer to home) during or after completion of our treatment.
We’re here to help. Contact us for a free phone consultation and see if scheduling an appointment makes sense for you.
You can also search for qualified sex therapists in your area by visiting .