A sex therapist is someone who helps individuals and couples understand the complex issues that can arise in their relationships with a focus on sexual intimacy. Often, these sessions are a combination of talk therapy (psychotherapy or counseling) and sensate work, where the client is encouraged to explore their physical sensations in relation to their sexual feelings and desires. The therapist will help the client to reframe their challenges as solvable, finite situations rather than something that is out of their control and provide tools for better communication, which in turn can lead to enhanced satisfaction, deeper connections, and more intimate lives.
When a sex therapist is chosen, it is important to make sure that they are licensed mental health professionals with specific training and certification in sex therapy. In particular, they should be members of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, as well as have a degree in psychology, medicine, social work, or counseling.
Additionally, it is important to find a sex therapist that you and your partner feel comfortable with. The relationship with your sex therapist is one of the most important components to successful therapy, so you should be able to openly discuss sensitive topics in a safe environment. Often, sex therapists will offer a free initial consultation or a brief phone call to ensure a good fit for both parties before deciding to work together. It is also possible to work with a sex therapist via telehealth, which can help you find a suitable provider even if there are no local providers available.