This may seem to be an easy question to answer, but it is not. A brief perusal of Google reveals that there are so-called “sexperts” who claim they can solve any sexual problem. Some are “sex coaches,” which is very problematic because coaches have little to no real training, and they cannot be licensed and no one can get insurance reimbursement from them. They are not therapists, but often sex coaching is an end run around the arduous process of becoming a certified sex therapist. They do not have malpractice insurance because they lack a license and the legal requirements to obtain such important insurance.

I see far too many clients who first went to either a sex coach or a “sex therapist” who is not credentialed by AASECT, The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. I am certified by AASECT, as are others if you dig to figure out who is certified. Some are in the process of being certified, but they are not yet certified.

Anyone can call themselves a sex therapist, but this does not mean they truly are sex therapists with training and supervision. I often undo the advice given by sex coaches and so-called sex therapists. Credentials and experience count!

I view all of this as an ethical issue. It is unethical to present yourself as someone you are not. There should be more laws defining sex therapy and emphasizing that someone who says they are a sexologist may or may not be a legitimate sex therapist. Some have fraudulent or misleading resumes and websites. We do not need this George Santos like fiasco!

Some marriage counselors claim they do sex therapy, but unless they are AASECT certified they lack the credentials to do sex therapy. Most marriage counselors are lucky if they have had a course in Human Sexuality, and they often shoot from the hip from their own sexual experiences—hardly evidence-based!

A real sex therapist has training in sexology based on evidence rather than hearsay. When you Google “Sex Therapy” you find a large range of those who present themselves as sex therapists. If they lack a website detailing their credentials and Google Business reviews, do not go to them.

Sex therapists do in office work and telehealth. Better Help and other similar services usually do not include certified sex therapists. These services are not nearly as helpful as out of network therapists who have credentials. I have often had to undo the advice given from therapists on these telehealth services.

Similarly, Psychology Today and similar sites include many therapists who are not credentialed as sex therapists, who nevertheless get the seal of approval when this means essentially nothing. There are some AASECT certified therapists on Psychology Today, but you have to wade through listings to find them.

Some counselors claim they specialize in sex, but when you look at their credentials, they are not specialists at all. Unfortunately, some think they are specialists because they enjoy talking about sex. This is not enough! I advise people to check out credentials, reviews and experience before agreeing to meet with a therapist.

Click here for more information on Sex Therapy.