You can ask your primary care provider for a referral to a sex therapist, or you might check with a local hospital or medical center to see whether they have a sex therapy clinic. Your health insurer or employee assistance program may offer recommendations as well.
As another option, you might check with a professional organization, such as AASECT. Or look on the professional organization websites of psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists to locate an appropriately licensed and qualified provider of sex therapy.
Before scheduling sessions with a therapist, consider whether the therapist would be a good fit for you. You might ask questions like those below.
- Education and experience. What is your educational and training background? Are you licensed by the state? Are you credentialed by AASECT? What's your experience with my type of sexual issue?
- Logistics. Where is your office? What are your office hours?
- Treatment plan. How long is each session? How often are sessions scheduled? How long might I expect treatment to continue? What is your policy on canceled sessions?
- Fees and insurance. How much do you charge for each session? Are your services covered by my health insurance plan? Will I need to pay the full fee upfront?
Before your appointment
Prepare for your appointment by making a list of:
- Details of the problem you have, including when it started, whether it's always present or comes and goes, professionals you've seen, and treatments you've tried and their outcomes
- Key personal information, including your medical conditions and any major stresses or recent life changes
- All medications, vitamins, supplements or herbal preparations that you're taking
- Questions to ask your therapist about your sexual concerns
Remember, effective sex therapy requires trust and good communication between you and your therapist. If you don't feel enough rapport with your therapist to lead to effective resolution of your concerns, consider finding another therapist.
Feb. 14, 2013
- Let's talk facts about psychotherapy. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.healthyminds.org/document-library/brochure-library/lets-talk-facts-psychotherapy.aspx. Accessed Dec. 18, 2012.
- Frequently asked questions. American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. http://www.aasect.org/faqs.asp#About_Therapy. Accessed Dec. 18, 2012.
- Althof S. Sex therapy: Advances in paradigms, nomenclature, and treatment. Academic Psychiatry. 2010;34:390.
- Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com/resourceToc.aspx?resourceID=5. Accessed Dec. 18, 2012.
- Cope DW. The sexual history and approach to the patient with sexual dysfunction. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 18, 2012.
- Rohe DE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 31, 2013.
- Bostwick JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 8, 2013.