Should you become a sex therapist?

By Kristie Overstreet on November 18, 2019

If you’ve ever wondered how to become a sex therapist, you are not alone. As a therapist or counselor, you may be considering a specialty so you can better serve your clients. You already enjoy couples counseling, and if you want to enhance your clinical skills, then you should consider becoming a sex therapist.

Both individual and couples clients that you work will benefit from your training as a sex therapist. However, before you jump into a specialization in sex therapy, here are a few basics to consider.

What is sex therapy?

There is a lot of misinformation and myths about sex therapy. From people’s assumptions to how the media portrays sex therapy, the public has a lack of understanding of what it is. This is why most sex therapists spend a lot of their time educating others about their role in helping clients.

Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy where concerns about sexual function, feelings, health, and intimacy are discussed with a trained clinician. Individual and couples sex therapy can help navigate conversations about all forms of intimacy.

What does a sex therapist do?

A sex therapist may be a licensed counselor, social worker, psychologist, or doctor that has received specialized clinical training. If you are interested in pursuing a career in this area, be sure to review the process of a sex therapy certification.

A sex therapist is just like any other therapist but has specialty training to help clients in all areas of sexuality. Desire differences, sexual dysfunction, gender identity exploration, sexual pain, and navigating sexual differences are just a few examples of topics that sex therapists work on with their clients.

What type of counselor makes a good sex therapist?

If you enjoy relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling, you may enjoy working as a sex therapist. There are a few skills that are helpful in the sex therapy field. Being open, affirming, non-judgmental, a lifetime learner, and able to have difficult conversations with your clients are a few examples of skills to have.

How to become a sex therapist?

One piece of advice is to make sure that you have experience as a counselor before specializing. This is helpful because the experience will help you sharpen the clinical skills that you will expand on in your sex therapy training. Most programs offer training that will allow you to continue to work as a clinician and become a sex therapist at the same time.

Different programs offer training for clinical sexologist, certified sex therapist, and sex educators. Be sure to research all of your options of study before you decide on the right path for you.

As you work through your decision-making process in deciding if you should become a sex therapist, be sure to reach out to others with experience to get their feedback. During the training process, you will assess your biases, judgments, assumptions, and feelings about sexuality. With the thorough training, you receive you, will be an even better clinician than you are currently. If you are ready to make a difference in your client’s lives specializing in sex therapy may be the right track for you.


Dr. Kristie Overstreet is a clinical sexologist, certified sex therapist, licensed professional clinical counselor, author, speaker, and consultant. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Sexology, Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She is a licensed counselor in California, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. She is also a Certified Sex Therapist and Certified Addiction Professional. She has over 12 years of clinical experience specializing in sex therapy, transgender healthcare, relationships, and helping counselors build their private practice. She is president of Therapy Department, a private practice that provides counseling, training, speaking, and consulting services across the United States.  For more information about Dr. Kristie's work visit


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