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How do I choose a sex therapist?

Jan L. Shifren, MD
Reproductive Endocrinology
There are several approaches you can take to finding a qualified sex therapist. Your gynecologist or urologist may be able to make a referral. Also, if you're working with an individual or couples therapist, he or she may direct you to a sex therapist. Another good source is the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, an organization that certifies sex therapists.

Once you have a name, take the following steps to determine whether the person is a good match for you:
  • Call the sex therapist. Some therapists will talk with you on the phone for 15 or 20 minutes to describe their philosophy and approach to treatment and address any questions or concerns you may have.
  • Ask about the approach used, the frequency of sessions, the possible duration of therapy, and the fees involved. Some insurance plans cover sex therapy, just as they do couples therapy or other counseling.
  • Be sure the therapist has extensive training in couples therapy and experience in working on sexual problems.
  • Schedule a first visit. Having an initial meeting is not a commitment to ongoing therapy. Use the session to get to know the therapist and gauge whether you feel comfortable and think you and your partner can benefit from working with him or her. If at all possible, both you and your partner should attend this meeting.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.