In the United States, there are therapists for just about any problem. Although some therapists are general and can help with most issues that adults deal with, others specialise in specific areas. People choose to go to specialists since they are ultimately experts in their studied fields. Sex therapists are employed for those who have issues with sex.
Sex therapy is not about talking people into having more sex. Sex therapists discuss sexual issues with their clients, in an attempt to correct those issues and how they affect the client sexually. Although some clients have issues such as phobias that may prevent them from having sex, they may be referred to a sex therapist rather than a general therapist, since the problem with sex may be causing other mental or physical issues to arise.
As a sex therapist you will see at least nine clients a day for about 50 minutes each. You can work in your own private practice or among other psychiatrists, therapists or social workers. In this field you will be dealing with both individuals and couples who are suffering with sexual issues due to psychological or medical problems. Many of your client's will be referred to you by general practitioners and other health professionals.
To become a certified sex therapist (CST), you have to first complete a master's degree. The preferred master's field is in mental health; you can acquire this by completing a degree in social work, divinity, professional counselling, family and marriage therapy, psychiatry or psychology. Several sex therapists have also gone on to earn doctoral degrees in similar fields. You must also complete 90 hours of human sexuality training, 60 hours in sex therapy training, 10 hours in a Sexual Attitude Reassessment seminar, 50 hours in sex therapy sessions and an American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) membership.
You must provide an AASECT certificate to be a licensed sex therapist. Certain universities provide courses that fulfil the requirements of this licensed. If you attend a university that doesn't, you can earn training by attending seminars and conferences. AASECT also holds workshops and summer institutes.
Personal Abilities and Qualities
To be a sex therapist you must be comfortable with discussing sexuality and you must also have sufficient experience working with people who have mental issues. If you have had mental issues in your own life you must deal with these before working with other people. Lastly, you must be good at communicating and listening as well as being open-minded and nonjudgmental.
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