How you prepare

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 medicine clinic. Your health insurer or employee assistance program may offer recommendations as well.

As another option, you can check with a professional organization, such as AASECT. Or look on the professional organization websites of psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and psychiatrists to locate a 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 your problem, 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 that you're taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, other supplements or herbal preparations, and their doses
  • Questions to ask your therapist about your sexual concerns
Jan. 15, 2016
References
  1. Holloway V, et al. Sex drive and sexual desire. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 2015;28:424.
  2. Membership FAQs. American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. https://www.aasect.org/top-faqs. Accessed Dec. 14, 2015.
  3. What does a sex therapist do? NHS Choices. http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1683.aspx?CategoryID=68. Accessed Dec. 14, 2015.
  4. Sexual health fundamentals: Sex therapy for non-sex therapists. Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. https://www.arhp.org/publications-and-resources/clinical-fact-sheets/shf-therapy. Accessed Dec. 14, 2015.
  5. Sex therapy and counseling. The North American Menopause Society. http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/effective-treatments-for-sexual-problems/sex-therapy-and-counseling. Accessed Dec. 14, 2015.
  6. Althof SE. Sex therapy and combined (sex and medical) therapy. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2011;8:1827.
  7. Fruhauf S, et al. Efficacy of psychological interventions for sexual dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2013;42:915.
  8. Rullo J (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 17, 2015.
  9. Faubion SS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 17, 2015.