Sex Therapy Certificate: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Sex Therapy?

Sex Therapy is a type of mental health counseling that focuses on anything and everything to do with sexuality including; sexual functioning, intimacy, orientation, and identity and focuses on the psychological, behavioral, cultural, and emotional issues relating to sexuality. Sex Therapy is a subset of mental health counseling that is almost uniformly offered in outpatient settings. The route to sex therapy requires a Masters or Doctorate Level degree in mental health and hold a respective state license. Professionals holding this credential then get additional training in understanding the bio-psycho-social necessities of understanding sexual health. Sexuality Therapists are mental health professionals that do not remove their clothes and do not touch their clients; they sit in an office and use talk therapy to address problems and deep seeded issues around sexual health. What Sex Therapy is NOT: Sexuality Educators: trained to develop curriculum to provide information about sexual health to groups of all ages. Sex Counselors: Health professionals, typically medical, someone who’d scope of practice includes taking care of a persons overall general health. We know these professionals can touch bodies as a scope of their profession. Then get additional training to provide counseling along with their patient care. Sex Surrogacy: Most often confused with sex therapy. A person who has been trained to provide teaching to an individual about sexual response, interaction, performance and who will touch, be naked with, engage in, and have sexual activity with the client (only legal in certain states). Although this might be therapeutic it is different and separate from sex therapy. Sex Coaching: Offer directives, again without touching, to clients but does not have the same level of training as the other professions.

2. How long is the Sex Therapy Certificate Program?

Students entering the certificate program can complete the requirements in as little as 5 quarters (16 months). Classes are held on Wednesdays from 3:30pm-6:30pm and one weekend per quarter. Students can work with the Director of Sex Therapy to create a plan of study that works with their professional goals.

3. What is the Curriculum for the Sex Therapy Certificate?

Q1: Orientation:

  • Fundamentals of Sex Therapy (30 CEUs)
  • Sexual Attitude Reassessment (20 CEUs)

Q2: Case Consultation in Sex Therapy:

  • Diversity in Sexual Expression (30 CEUs)
  • Special Topics in Sex Therapy (10 CEUs)

Q3: Case Consultation in Sex Therapy:

  • Sex Therapy in Abusive Systems (30 CEUs)
  • Special Topics in Sex Therapy (10 CEUs)

Q4: Case Consultation in Sex Therapy

  • Advanced Theory in Sex Therapy (30 CEUs)

Q5: Case Consultation in Sex Therapy

4. Can I receive Financial Aid for the Sex Therapy Certificate?

We are currently seeking approval for this certificate to be eligible for federal student loans; please check with Financial Aid for updates.

5. What is the course-load for the Sex Therapy Certificate?

1-2 courses per quarter (average 3-6 hours per week) In general, the course load is reasonable and standard for graduate-level training, in terms of reading and writing. The classes are highly experiential and require on-going awareness of self-of-the-therapist issues and in some of the classes to demonstrate active learning and application of the techniques.

6. Can I complete the Sex Therapy Certificate and another program concurrently?

The sex therapy certificate does not restrict you from completing other post-doctorate training. Please note that you may not be eligible for Financial Aid if you are concurrently enrolled in another program at the same institution.

7. What is the Advantage of Completing the Sex Therapy Certificate with Antioch?

Antioch University Seattle is the only program in Washington State that is both accredited by COAMFTE/CACREP and an approved by AASECT as continuing education credit provider. Since you are receiving education hours from an accredited institution, they do not expire with AASECT and more easily transferrable to other university programs. Antioch has a unique mission to train our professionals 8. Can I take one class without enrolling in the Sex Therapy Certificate Program? Yes. Certain classes in the Sex Therapy Certificate program our available to community members to register. Our ‘Special Topics in Sex Therapy’ Courses are 1-credit (10 CEUs) weekend courses and are available to take without enrollment in the certificate program if space is available. 9. I am ready to get started! What are the next steps? Please complete our online application. For application requirements: Certificate in Sex Therapy

10. What are the benefits of becoming an AASECT Certified Sexuality Therapist?

There are many benefits of working towards becoming an AASECT Certified Sexuality Therapist. AASECT affirms the fundamental value of sexuality as an inherent, essential, and beneficial dimension of being human. AASECT accepts as its mission the advancement of the highest standards of professional practice for educators, counselors and therapists. With its history of impeccable standards for training, experience, and ethical behavior, AASECT is increasingly recognized as the guardian of professional standards in sexual health. Sex therapy meets the client where they are at and supports and encourages sexual health. Sexuality therapist’s work with a variety of clients from those who identify as Gender, Sexual, or Romantic Minorities, working with children and families around healthy sexual development, clients wanting to increase and improve intimacy with their partner(s), to clients who have adverse sexual experiences, disability, or oppressive sexual experiences. It is very comprehensive and approaches sexual wellness from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to mental health and wellbeing.

11. What are the requirements to become an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist?

  1. Membership in AASECT
  2. Review and abide by the AASECT Code of Ethics
  3. Academic and Professional Experience (Master’s level or higher in Mental Health)
  4. Clinical Certification and Licensure
  5. Human Sexuality Education: 90 Hours of Core Knowledge
  6. Sex Therapy Training: 60 hours and 30 hours of couples therapy training
  7. Attitudes and Values Training Experience
  8. Clinical Fieldwork, Training, Internship, or Professional Training Experience
  9. Supervision
  10. Application and Approval

12. What about supervision towards my AASECT Certification? When does this occur?

The Case Consultation in Sex Therapy Class provides you with clinical consultation and supervision with an approved AASECT Supervisor. The consultation course is designed to meet the minimum hour requirements for supervision. Once you have completed the Sex Therapy Certificate, it is your responsibility to continue supervision until you apply for full certification as a sexuality therapist with AASECT.

13. What about clinical experience?

Students enrolled in the Sex Therapy Certificate are responsible for finding their own source for clinical experience.

14. Can I call myself a certified Sex Therapist once I start these classes?

No! Only once you have been certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists ( and meet all of the certification requirements, you can identify yourself and market yourself as a “certified sex therapist.” Once you have completed the certificate, and while you are working towards your clinical hours and under supervision with AASECT, you can market yourself offering “sex therapy” as a modality of your work.

15. What if I already graduated, or are attending a different Masters Program in the area?

This program is open to all graduate students and post-graduates! For those of you who are interested in the certificate and working full-time, the required course work for the sex therapy concentration will be held at the same time every quarter for consistency in your schedule. Regular course work: Wednesdays from 3:30-6:30pm and one weekend of each quarter. Additionally, the experiential component integrates well into clinical settings. 16. I am an Antioch Alumni. Can I audit the Sex Therapy Certificate courses? No. Courses specific to the Sex Therapy Certificate are not open for auditing. If you are an Antioch Alumni, we offer a discounted rate for all certificate classes.

17. I have other questions, who can I contact?

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Concentration Director, Fiona O’Farrell at [email protected] with any other questions.

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