Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Sex Therapist


Sex. It's the most natural thing in the world. But, for many people, it's also frightening, mystifying, and difficult to talk about, let alone engage in. Often, when people have been sexually molested, endured a sexually-related illness, or been psychologically traumatized, they are unable to react sexually. They may no longer trust others, they may no longer feel loving towards themselves. They may believe their sexual feelings are dangerous and wrong. For these people sex therapists are important, because it is these therapists who can work the clients through their problems, and encourage them to accept themselves and sex as important parts of their lives.

Sex therapists work with individuals and couples who are having trouble relating to their partners or to themselves sexually. They listen, they advise, and they listen some more. They work within the belief system that sex is good, that relationships should be meaningful, and that intimacy is a desirable goal. Sex therapists meet all sorts of people, and must be non-judgmental, non-sexist, and not homophobic. They treat emotional problems, communication difficulties, and past traumas as part of the therapy. Sex therapists try and get to the root of the problem, as well as addressing the surface issue. These may only be the result of a much bigger problem, and it is up to the therapist to uncover and treat that underlying issue.

Parents may choose to visit a sex therapist to discuss how to deal with their child's emerging sexuality. The children will most likely never see the therapist, as the therapist only advises the parents on sexual education, and how to talk with their children about protection, hetero- and homosexuality when the time comes. Sex therapists may host workshops and classes for families, school groups, and community and religious centers, giving information on everything from abuse recovery to using a condom.

Sex therapists also help people who are experiencing difficulties because of physical disabilities, illness, surgery, aging, or alcohol abuse. They may be trained in a number of areas, making them ready for any issue or complaint that may come up.
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Addictions Counselor
arrow Bereavement Counselor
arrow Career Counselor
arrow [ view all related careers ]

Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology
Programs Offered:
  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
  • M.A. Psychology
  • And more...



  Interests and Skills  
First of all, sex therapists need to be comfortable discussing the sex lives of strangers openly, honestly, and in detail. Therefore, they must be professional, mature, and non-judgmental. They need to be good listeners, as well as excellent communicators. They need to have an interest in anatomy as well as psychology. They need to be skilled mediators, as they may be dealing with couples who have differing views and opinions. They need to be sensitive, tactful. respectful, and they need a good sense of moral ethics. Sex therapists should be interested in other people's problems, and, most importantly, they need to view sex as a healthy, important part of adult life.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Interview the individual client, or the client couple, to obtain relationship history and understand sexual and non-sexual patterns and dynamics
  • Help them understand their feelings and behavior through various techniques
  • Ask leading questions, in an effort to guide their thinking
  • Help each person develop healthy communication skills, so they can express themselves sexually
  • Coach them in new skills and strategies to deal with issues
  • Consult with or refer clients to other social services
  • Keep clear, confidential records of clients' progress
  • A typical day for a sex therapist will involve a lot of listening. They will listen to the client's complaints, and try to develop a diagnosis as to why their client is unhappy sexually. They will give advice, and ask questions. They will come up with strategies to help the client, and try and restore feelings of trust, comfort, and self-worth through couples' sessions, group sessions, games, role playing, and by speaking with other social service workers or physicians who may have come in contact with the individual before. They also update comprehensive reports documenting their clients' progress regularly, and stay informed about new findings in the study of sexuality and couples' therapy.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Sex therapists can find themselves working in various places, including private clinics, hospitals, community centers, and in the media (television, radio, and newspapers and magazines). When meeting with their clients, they will have comfortable offices, in which they clients feel at ease, and are able to discuss the most private of problems. They may work alongside physicians, teachers, and social workers. They usually have regular hours, with evenings and weekends off.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Sex therapists can choose to work in hospitals, clinics, and in private practice. They may choose to open their own practice after gaining experience in the other environments. Anyone working as a sex therapist is most likely qualified to move on to family and marriage counseling. There is also the option of returning to school and becoming a nurse or a doctor, or a professor of sexuality studies. Sex therapists also write books, articles, and even get television and radio shows in order to better address the sexual issues of the public at large.

  Educational Paths  
Sex therapists usually have at least a bachelor's degree in psychology, family studies, medicine, nursing, pastoral counseling, social work, or sexology, along with a course or diploma in counseling and therapy. The educational path of a potential sex therapist should cover sexual and non-sexual therapy techniques, as relationship problems and past traumas can be the main glitch in the client's sex life.

It is a good idea for sex therapists to register themselves with an association. Registration ensures clients that the therapist is a legitimate, trained counselor. Certification by these associations requires that therapists have rigorous, recognized training, so it may be a good idea to contact an association to plan your specific educational path.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology
Programs Offered:
  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
  • M.A. Psychology
  • And more...

Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

Programs Offered:
  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Master of Arts: Pastoral Counseling: Discipleship and Church Ministry
  • Master of Arts: Pastoral Counseling: Crisis Response and Trauma
  • And more...

Ohio Christian University
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

University of the Rockies

Join the community of thought leaders at University of the Rockies. Pursue your graduate degree from the University’s School of Professional Psychology or School of Organizational Leadership.

Programs Offered:
  • MA in Psychology, Career Management and Counseling Specialization
  • Doctor of Psychology, Mediation & Conflict Resolution
  • MA in Psychology, General Psychology

California University of Pennsylvania

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

Programs Offered:
  • Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online
  • Advanced Addictions Counseling Certificate
  • Advanced Addictions Counseling (Certificate) - Online
  • And more...

Bradley University

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

Programs Offered:
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional School Counseling (PSC)
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)

Argosy University

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs Offered:
  • Counseling Psychology (EdD)
  • Counseling Psychology/Marriage & Family Therapy (MA)
  • Psychology (BA)

Keiser University Graduate School

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Programs Offered:
  • PhD in Psychology

Northcentral University

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs Offered:
  • DMFT - Mental Health Administration
  • MAMFT - LGBTQ Couple and Family Therapy
  • DMFT - Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship
  • And more...

Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2017 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.