Coral Springs

 

1725 N. University Drive

Suite 350

Coral Springs, FL 33071

Telephone: (954) 227-2700

Fax: (954) 227-2704

Linda Berlin, Psy.D.

&

Psychological Associates

Boca Raton

 

7000 W. Palmetto Park Road

Suite 407

Boca Raton, FL 33433

Telephone: (561) 347-0997

Fax: (561) 347-0996

 

Disclaimer 

Any medical, sexual and mental health information presented by Dr. John Adams or Dr. Constance Avery-Clark is meant for general educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your physician or other healthcare professional.  The materials presented are not intended as medical, sexual, or psychological advice for individual problems.  If you have, or think you have, a medical, psychological, or sexual problem or symptoms, please consult a qualified physician or therapist.

 

It is the intention of Drs. Adams and Avery-Clark to publish material that addresses the subjects of sex, relationship, and other psychological issues in an informative and sometimes entertaining manner.  The opinions they express are their own based on their unique experiences and training.  Their opinions do not necessarily reflect any definitive opinions in the area of mental health, marriage and family, or sexology.  It should also be understood that there are other qualified professionals who may have different opinions about the same subject matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Finding a Sex Therapist

By: John Adams, Ph.D. & Constance Avery-Clark, Ph.D.

How do you find an appropriate sex therapist when faced with a sexual problem? Many sexual difficulties can be quite complex and require the therapist not only to have good counseling skills but also to have a specialized knowledge base regarding biological aspects of human sexual functioning, to have formal training in the field of sex therapy, and to have substantial experience working with couples. An appropriate therapist is also able to recognize factors contributing to the sexual difficulty that are beyond his/her area of expertise, and is trained to make appropriate referrals. 

 

Some therapists will identify whether or not they handle sexual problems in their telephone book advertisements.  Sometimes a physician, mental health counselor, or spiritual advisor may have recommendations.  However, it is usually not possible to determine therapists’ experience and levels of competence by using these approaches. In the United States, contacting the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapist (AASECT) may be the quickest and most reliable way of identifying an appropriate, local sex therapist.  ASSECT is a recognized certifying organization for sex therapists, educators and counselors.  Although its list of therapists is not a guarantee of competence with any particular sexual issue, mental health professionals who appear on its list have had specialized training and supervision in the field of sexuality and sex therapy.  A list of local, AASECT certified therapists can be obtained from the organization’s web site at www.aasect.org.  Other therapists may not be certified by AASECT but may have appropriate training and experience to deal with sexual concerns.  In such cases, they should be able to provide evidence of this training and experience.

 

Sometimes therapists working with sexual problems also need to demonstrate specialized training in dealing with issues such as sexual victimization or sexual compulsions and addictions.  Additionally, sexual problems can be complicated by other psychological, interpersonal and physical issues such as depression, substance addictions, medical problems, medication, spiritual issues, and personal or family life problems.  In these instances, referral to other specialists may be necessary in conjunction with or prior to treatment of the sexual difficulty. 

 

There are different types of sex therapy and every therapist has his or her own style. An approach that was developed from the research at the renowned Masters & Johnson Institute in St. Louis typically requires sexual problems to be addressed in the context of a relationship, and it often involves the use of a two therapist team (one counselor for each person in a relationship).  The Masters and Johnson’s approach is usually more short-term, here-and-now, and cognitively-behavioral in orientation than some other approaches.  There is never any hands-on touching or direct observation of sexual activity by the therapists, but there is plenty of homework between sessions for the couples to complete.  Homework typically consists of touching sessions, reading material, and communication exercises, all of which include very different perspectives than the people in treatment have usually considered previously.  There are other styles of therapy, different from the Masters and Johnson’s approach, that may be more effective in achieving the desired result from a particular individual or couple. However, the most important ingredient for achieving therapeutic goals is usually not so much the treatment approach as it is the sense of rapport that the person in treatment feels with the therapist(s).  Usually there are some very vulnerable feelings associated with sexuality.  The fact that a person is comfortable trusting a therapist with personal, psychological information may be much more important with regard to resolving the sexual concerns than the specific approach or set of techniques used. 

 

It is not always easy for an individual or couple to identify which therapist(s) and/or what approach is best for him or her or them, or for resolving a particular sexual problem.  No matter how a therapist is selected, it is usually helpful to regard that first few sessions as an opportunity to determine the level of comfortable that a person has with a particular therapist’s style, and to determine whether the treatment plan that the therapist recommends seems appropriate.  If the therapist is psychologically healthy him or herself, the therapist will be able to accept whatever choices are made by the person considering treatment, and the therapist should assist in finding a better care giver if he or she is not the most appropriate!

Dr. Adams and Dr. Avery Clark are licensed clinical psychologists with general training in individual and couples counseling, and they have specialized training and over two decades of experience in sex therapy from Masters & Johnson Institute. They often follow the Masters and Johnson sex therapy approach.  The therapy they provide usually involved two therapists (one male and one female).  Their approach presumes that any sex or intimacy problem is a couples’ problem and not just an individual issue, and that the sexual or intimacy problem will be address as a couples’ treatment opportunity with each person in the treatment process having a same sex representative.

Dr. Adams or Dr. Avery-Clark can be reached by phone at (954) 227-2700 or (561) 347-0997 or by email at drs4intimacy@msn.com.

Read Dr. Adams' biography here.

Read Dr. Avery-Clark's biography here.

You can read more about Drs. Adams and Avery-Clark's services in the Sex Therapy section of our website where you can also read articles written by them, including:

What You Can Expect From Couples Counseling With Drs. Avery-Clark and Dr. Adams.

What You Can Expect From Sex Therapy With Drs. Avery-Clark and Dr. Adams.

Different Desires, Different Interests.

What Makes Relationships Last?

Wired For . . . and Mired In . . . Sex.

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