Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy — a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a mental health provider. Through sex therapy, you can address concerns about sexual function, sexual feelings and intimacy — either in individual therapy or in joint therapy with your partner. Sex therapy can be effective for adults of any age, sex or sexual orientation.

Sex therapy is usually provided by psychologists, social workers, physicians or licensed therapists who have special training in issues related to sex and relationships. Certified sex therapists have graduate degrees and can demonstrate their competence in sex therapy by becoming credentialed by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).

Certified sex therapists do not have sexual contact with clients, in the office or anywhere else. Sexual coaching that involves physical contact is not part of mainstream sex therapy.

Sex therapy is usually short term, with a limited number of sessions. The treatment plan depends on the concerns to be addressed.

Feb. 14, 2013