Sex Therapy Training

Certificate in Sex Therapy

About
Approach
Certificate Requirements
Speaker Series
Faculty and Speakers
Cost & Application Process
Scholarships
STP Statement of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

ABOUT

Sexuality is a central aspect of human life and yet is often mired in shame, deflection and avoidance. As such, discussions of sex are often left out of the therapeutic frame in both individual and couples therapy and, consequently, therapists are often ill-equipped to address their patients’ sexual concerns. In order to give therapists the skills, tools and clinical experience to confidently bring sexuality into their therapeutic alliances, ICP’s sex therapy program (STP) offers a two-year certificate program in sex therapy.

Founded in 1971, The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy (ICP) is one of the oldest and most respected not-for-profit mental health training and treatment facilities in New York City. The Institute is composed of a diverse group of over 200 therapists and is the only institute in NYC to offer sliding-scale sex therapy. It also accepts a number of health insurance plans.

ICP’s services are aimed at helping diverse people across age, racial/ethnic identity, creed, color, sexual orientations, gender identity/expression, disability, and marital or relationship status/form. ICP welcomes patients of all sexual orientations and takes a sex-positive stance.

APPROACH

STP therapists use a biopsychosocial approach to explore sexual issues, integrating psychodynamic, relational/systems, and cognitive-behavioral perspectives. Incorporating the latest science-based research, STP therapists are trained to work with both individuals and couples on common sexual challenges such as:

  • Lack of sexual interest, low desire, sexual incompatibility
  • Premature ejaculation, erectile disorder, delayed ejaculation
  • Painful sex, inhibited arousal, orgasm issues
  • Problematic sexual urges, thoughts and behaviors
  • Impulsive/compulsive use of porn
  • Sex after infidelity
  • Opening up a relationship, navigating ethical non-monogamy      and polyamory
  • Integrating kink, bdsm, eroticized power play, and other forms of sexual adventure into one’s sex life
  • Understanding and Managing fetishes
  • Special issues related to LGBTQ+ sexualities
  • Sex therapy with trans and gender non-conforming patients
  • Working on relationship issues within which sexual problems are often embedded

Our certificate in sex therapy combines didactic and clinical training, group supervision of cases, and covers a wide range of topics that span assessment, case formulation and treatment planning. Close attention is paid to the development and deepening of the therapeutic alliance and the processing of clinical material that happens both in the room and connected to homework assignments completed in between sessions.

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS

While anyone is welcome to take our didactic offerings, to be eligible for our certificate program, you must have a graduate degree in a licensable mental health field.

STP’s sex therapy program meets on Fridays throughout the academic year, with Group Supervision from 12 to 2pm. All candidates are required to carry three sex therapy cases from ICP’s clinic and to have available hours to see patients that include daytime and evening hours. Candidates are expected to continue with patients through the summer on a limited basis when their supervision group is not meeting. Upon completion of the certificate program, graduates are invited to participate in an ongoing supervised STP Staff Therapy Group.

Didactic courses are offered at either 9:30-11:30 or 2:30-4:30 on Fridays and generally candidates should expect to meet in one of those blocks at any given time along with group supervision from 12-2 (for four hours total per Friday). It’s also possible that candidates may have classes in all three blocks of time for a total of six hours, or conversely candidates may only have class in the 12-2 group supervision block.

Didactic courses include (subject to change):

  • Principles and Practices of Sex Therapy
  • Integration of Couples & Sex Therapy
  • Culture & Sexuality
  • Clinical Applications in Sex Therapy with Queer Clients
  • Clinical Applications in Sex Therapy Across the Lifespan
  • Clinical Applications in Sex Therapy Mind & Body
  • Summer Sex Series with Suzanne Iasenza (which meets for four weeks in June on Wednesday afternoons for ninety minutes).

SPEAKERS SERIES:

In addition to didactic courses, STP hosts a yearly Speakers Series for the broader community with three to four workshops per year. These workshops are usually 2-3 hours in length and candidates are required to attend all workshops.

Most of STP’s didactic sex therapy courses offer AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) CE credits that can be used toward AASECT certification or renewal of AASECT certification, and the client hours can count toward your AASECT clinical hours requirement as long as the candidate is also seeing an AASECT Certified Supervisor or Supervisor-in-Training and has submitted a contract to AASECT. Participation in STP group supervision does NOT meet the supervision requirements for AASECT certification. 

Please note that ICP’s sex therapy program is currently offered using  Zoom in its entirety, but is also subject to state mandates regarding telehealth and shifts in policy from insurance companies. Candidates must be licensed in NYS, and/or able to see patients in-person and remotely.

FACULTY AND SPEAKERS:

The Sex Therapy Program (STP) was founded and is directed by Suzanne Iasenza and Ian Kerner. Faculty supervisors include Nancy Garcia-Ruffin, Bruce Berman, Samantha Lutz and Mike Moran

Previous speakers and adjunct faculty in the Sex Therapy Program have included:  

For more information about the specific content offered by these speakers please click here.

COST AND APPLICATION PROCESS

To be eligible for our certificate program, you must have a graduate degree in a licensable mental health field. Application materials include a CV, an application questionnaire, a personal statement of interest and two letters of recommendation. Upon submission of all application materials potential candidates will be interviewed by one of our faculty. Admission decisions are made each Spring for the following Fall. 

SCHOLARSHIPS

STP offers a yearly Joycelyn Elders Honorary Scholarship to encourage and nurture diversity within our Sex Therapy Program as well as the field of sex therapy. It provides full tuition coverage to complete the certificate program.

 

For more information about the certificate program in sex therapy, please contact Tobin Berliner, program manager, at pcgs@icpnyc.org