I often am asked how sex therapists solve problems. This is a relevant question for a person or couple seeking help with a variety of sexual concerns. Let me start by clarifying that AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists) certified sex therapists are well trained to address sexual issues.

Even certified sex therapists vary in their approaches to dealing with sex and relationship dilemmas. I get lots of calls and email from those asking these and related questions. I always explain how I deal with the problem they describe, but it is noteworthy that another sex therapist may well have a different strategy.

Sex Therapists and Sex Coaches are Not the Same

Sex therapists are not sex coaches, although therapists often coach people as well as diagnose and treat their problem. Unlike certified therapists, coaches are not licensed, and they are not trained to deal effectively with mental and physical issues. Coaches do not have malpractice insurance, and they cannot offer receipts that health insurance companies will reimburse.

Similarly, marriage counselors are not trained to solve sexual problems unless they are also certified sex therapists. I often have to undo advice given by marriage counselors and sex coaches. Mostly, they operate out of their own biases and experiences rather than from an evidence-based approach.

Unlike most marriage counselors, I do NOT see a couple together at first. I schedule a three-hour block, and I see each person for a session and then I see the couple for a session. This gives me the information I need to offer a treatment plan by the end of the third session.

Not all sex therapists are well voiced in sex research, which would allow them to better develop a suitable treatment plan. Nor are all sex therapists aware of specific medical aspects of sexual problems. Some say “see your doctor,” but not all doctors are well versed in sexual medicine.

Choose a Sex Therapist Who Respects the Research

I work closely with naturopaths and M.D.s to solve issues such as low sexual desire, erectile problems, vaginal pain and other debilitating issues. I am very aware of the medical issues, and doctors appreciate my knowledge when we confer about a client. I am a sex researcher as well as a sex therapist.

I utilize CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and I give homework to exchange negative and distorted thoughts for rational, positive thoughts. I give reading and writing assignments. Not all sex therapists do this. Some are “how do you feel” therapists, which is most definitely not a treatment plan.

Finally, I use humor to provide a balanced perspective to solve any relationship or sexual concern. I am the author of an illustrated humor book at Amazon, Sex from Aah to Zipper, and I do standup comedy. I also did a TED Talk, which has plenty of humor (on my homepage).

So my approach to sex therapy is uniquely my style. I am proud of my success record, and I invite those wanting to see me to email or call me. I always get right back to those who contact me.

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