Selecting a Therapist
To select a therapist, you might ask your sexuality course instructor or health-care practitioner for referrals or contact either the American Association of Sex Educators, Therapists, and Counselors or the American Board of Sexology. After consulting some of these sources, you should have several potential therapists from which to choose. A professional who has specialized in sex therapy should have a minimum of a master’s degree and credentials as a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or counselor. To do sex therapy, he or she should also have participated in sex therapy training, supervision, and workshops. It is very appropriate for you to inquire about the specific training and certification of a prospective therapist.
To help determine whether a specific therapist will meet your needs, pay attention to how you feel about talking with the therapist. Therapy is not intended to be a light social interaction, and it can be quite uncomfortable to discuss personal sexual concerns. However, for therapy to be useful, you need to have the sense that the therapist is open and willing to understand you.
After the initial interview, you can decide to continue with that particular therapist or ask for a referral to another therapist more appropriate to your personality or needs. If you become dissatisfied once you begin therapy, discuss your concerns with your therapist. Decide jointly, if possible, whether to continue therapy or to seek another therapist. It is usually best to continue for several sessions before making a decision to change. Occasionally, clients expect magic cures rather than the difficult but rewarding work that therapy often demands.