Part 1: What Does that Lingo Mean?
Many times friends, family, strangers, and clients have asked me, “What is a sex therapist?” and “What is it you do?” Many times the facial expression says, “Do I really want to know her answer?”
I decided to write a blog about not only the practice of sex therapy and how one can find and chose a therapist, but also how I became a sex and relationship therapist.
First, no, I do not have sex with my clients. A sex therapist is a trained and licensed mental health professional. These professionals are either a master’s or doctor’s level clinician or has obtained a medical degree with a focus in psychiatry. At some point, they decided to narrow their focus of treatment to sexual disorders and sexuality and have obtained further education and (possibly) certification.
In the United States, any professional claiming to be a therapist MUST be licensed by the state where they choose to practice or see clients. For example, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Georgia. In Georgia, you may also see Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), or LAMFT/LAPC/LMSW, who are licensed therapists under supervision. Each state has the equivalent of the above licenses though different terminology may be used.
A Certified Sex Therapist (CST) is certified by a national organization called the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (this blog will focus on the “therapist” part, but visit AASECT.org for more information about educators and counselors). NOTE: Some states require state certification in order for a therapist to claim they are a sex therapist though most states do not require any additional training or certification. Please contact your local state board to determine if this is a requirement in your state.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series, which will provide tips to find a sex therapist in your area.
For more information about Courtney Geter, LMFT, please visit www.SexAndRelationshipTherapist.com