A board certified sex therapist (preferably AASECT) usually has a treatment plan to solve any sexual and relationship problems a couple or individual brings to therapy. Without a concrete plan, it is difficult to solve problems.

I always make my treatment plan clear. I give homework and home-play, depending on the problems needing solutions. My approach requires that clients do the work between sessions.

In some cases, couples or individuals drop out because they fail to prioritize the work between sessions. This is unfortunate, because their problems are unlikely to be solved without a creative and thorough treatment plan. Sometimes I hear from these dropouts later. Almost none of them found they could fix their issues without additional professional help.

Some go to therapists who do not suggest work between sessions, but I often hear that they did not fix their concerns. Some then return to my practice. They were spinning their wheels when they could have made progress.

I have clients read and do a variety of writing assignments to facilitate changing thoughts, feelings and behaviors. I craft behavioral changes from increased communication and experimentation. It is not all homework. Some of it is home-play (which is fun!). I encourage laughter, playfulness and regular dates to comedy clubs, theater and other fun activities.

I am aware that some therapists do not make a treatment plan clear, if they have one at all. The “how do you feel?” approach is much too common. It may help clients feel better for awhile, but it does not solve their problems!

When a client pays good money for therapy, she/he/they need to act on a therapist’s suggestions. Clients do not want to become a feel good client with no plan to stay that way. I use a lot of humor to help clients achieve more balance and happiness in their lives.

I am very direct, and I am successful. I make clear what I expect. I utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) along with medical consultations when they are called for. I often use John Gottman‘s works, and I am a fan of David Burns (CBT) and Albert Ellis. I draw on my experience and my books and other media to design a treatment plan. I then hone the plan as I go.

Most of my work is short-term. I take weeks to months to solve problems. Occasionally I do long-term therapy—usually when there are complicated relationship issues. Sometimes I encounter clients who have gone to the same therapist for years with no clear resolution of the same nagging problems. Most therapists run out of new suggestions after years.

Therapists should refer out when they have nothing new to offer. This is an ethical issue. Some find me from their own research on Google, and others take referrals from past therapists or doctors. Clients deserve to understand whatever treatment plan is in place. They are consumers. They can choose to go elsewhere. When another therapist can help, I refer out (e.g. to trauma therapists in cases of severe abuse). This helps me accomplish my treatment plan.

It helps to peruse a therapist’s website to see if there is a good fit between the therapist’s training and methods, and a client’s goals. I invite potential clients to fully read my website and ask me any questions before starting therapy.