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Searching for Sex Therapy

The best way to find professional help for your own sex life.
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Once you find a therapist, make only one appointment for a consultation. Don't sign up for a series of treatments before meeting at least once.

During the consultation, don't be shy about asking questions, advises AASECT Executive Director Howard Rupple, Ph.D., Ed.D. He suggests the following questions:

  • What is your educational background?
  • Are you involved in professional education work or training?
  • What is your approach to therapy? What will happen during the session? What kind of time commitment is necessary?
  • What are your fees?
  • Have you had experience treating the problem I have?
  • What do you require of me? (For example, some therapists will only see a person who is in a committed relationship.)

If a therapist doesn't fully answer your questions, if you don't agree with a therapist's approach or demands, or if you simply don't feel comfortable, go to the next professional on your list, Rupple suggests.

For sex therapy to work, you must have a degree of trust and comfort with the therapist, agrees Roseline Meadow, PhD, a psychologist, a sex therapist, and the author of Women's Conflicts About Eating and Sex. She advises asking how long the person has been a therapist. "It takes years to develop skill in sex therapy," she says. "You learn by doing in this profession."

What about academic titles and publications? "Kindness and empathy are more important," Meadow says.

Keep evaluating once you begin therapy. According to Meadow, ongoing self-evaluation of therapy is important: "If after eight or 10 sessions you're not making progress, then get a second opinion."

Other Resources:

The American Assn. of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists

The American Academy of Sexologists

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