Information On How To Become A Sex Educator

How to become a Sexuality Educator, Sexuality Counselor or Sex Therapist

american association of sexuality educators, counselors and therapists

Research or Practice?
Contact our Certification Chairs with Questions
Preliminary Considerations and Educational Opportunities
Seek a Mentor

If you think you would enjoy a career as a professional in the field of human sexuality, there are several steps of decision-making that we advise you to consider:

Research or Practice? Are you primarily a practitioner or a researcher? That is, do you feel the focus of your interest is in offering clinical and/or educational services, or in conducting scientific studies in the field of sexuality? If your interest is in training as a researcher, you are recommended to consult our sister organization, the Society for Scientific Study of Sexuality. Their website is and they offer information about graduate training programs in many of the fields that are concerned with researching sexual functioning and behavior (some of these programs may even offer limited but helpful coursework in clinical and educational skills.

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Questions Regarding Sexuality Educator, Sexuality Counselor or Sex Therapist Education and Supervisor Certification For specific questions please email the following individuals for assistance:

Sexuality Educator Certification Chair – Cory Silverberg, MEd

Sexuality Counselor Certification Chair – Mitch Tepper, PhD

Sex Therapist Certification Chair – Dennis Detweiler, LSCSW

Diplomate of Sex Therapy Chair – Daniel N. Watter, PhD
The requirements and guidelines for this certification are currently under development

Supervisor of Sex Therapy Certification Chair – Gretchen Fincke, LCSW

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Join us! You should also consider joining our organization. Not only is AASECT the national and international association of professionals engaged in advancing and maintaining standards for clinical and educational services in the field of human sexuality, but we are a friendly community dedicated to helping new talent enter this important field. If you are a student, a reduced rate of membership is available to you. Membership will allow you to participate in the training opportunities we offer, to be a part of our fabulous annual conference, and to receive Contemporary Sexuality, which is our monthly journal. We offer many opportunities for training and advanced education in sexuality education, counseling and therapy, and we are the organization that certifies professionals in these fields. If you become a student member or a nonprofessional member, you will be warmly welcomed into our ranks and offered our enthusiastic assistance in achieving your career goals. You can apply for membership through this website follow the link to a membership application. If you have questions regarding membership please email our Membership Services Steering Committee Chair, Stephanie Buehler, PsyD or contact the AASECT office.

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Some Preliminary Considerations. Wonderful human service can be offered in the field of human sexuality by responsible individuals who do not have advanced degrees or professional qualifications, and we warmly welcome those individuals into our organization. However, if you have – or are going to have – a college degree, you will probably want to consider graduate education, and you should know that there are two routes by which most AASECT professionals enter the field of clinical and educational practice:

Either you achieve a graduate degree in a major field of education, healthcare, or therapy, and you then subsequently proceed to seek out specialty training in human sexuality, leading to certification with AASECT Examples of such degrees would be a masters or doctoral degree in psychology, counseling, social work, or training in a medical or medically-related field. For individuals in such programs, AASECT offers many great training opportunities towards a specialization in human sexuality.

Or you apply for training in one of the very few graduate programs that specialize and concentrate in sexuality education, sexuality counseling, sex therapy, or clinical and educational sexology. Currently, there are three major programs that offer such specifically focused graduate work, and they are listed below.

Specialized Graduate Programs. Although many graduate programs offer a course or two in human sexuality – usually as part of a general program in a field such as clinical psychology, counseling, social work, or primary care medicine – there are currently only three programs in the United States that offer graduate degrees focused in a concentrated and specialized manner on clinical and educational services in the field of human sexuality. Each program has its own distinctive characteristics, and each program has “pros” and “cons” depending on your individual needs and interests. Although AASECT does not officially endorse training programs, the following listing may be helpful to you in seeking further information:

Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality: Located in San Francisco, this independent “free-standing” graduate institute offers a range of training programs as well as a wealth of resource materials in human sexuality and erotology.

Maimonides University: Located in southern Florida, this graduate program trains professionals who have already achieved at least a masters degree, and who are licensed in their home state, to specialize and achieve doctoral training in sex therapy.

Widener University: Located in Philadelphia, this program offers masters and doctoral degrees in two tracks – one that is specifically focused on training sexuality educators, and one that is specifically focused on training sexuality counselors and sex therapists.

Click here for a more complete list of programs.

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Seek a “Mentor”! AASECT is here to help you, and most AASECT members are dedicated to helping individuals who seek a career in this field to get the training they need. If you would like to be connected to an accomplished professional, whose work matches your career goals, and who could function as an informal “advisor,” or personal consultant, as you pursue your training, please let us assist you. Contact our Mentor Chair, Judith White, and talk with her. She will be glad to connect you to resources and to potential “guides” in our organization: Judith C. White, LCSW

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©2004. American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors & Therapists (AASECT). All rights reserved.
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