Frequently Asked Questions
How to Choose a Therapist:
At CSH we understand that making a commitment to sex therapy is a big investment in time, money and effort. It’s important that you choose a therapist who can best help you realize your therapy goals. Important factors to help you choose the best fit for your needs include: Licensing, Credentialing and Specializations – All therapists at CSH have completed graduate degrees in mental health/family therapy and are licensed by their respective licensing boards in the state of North Carolina. Additionally, all CSH therapists have met additional training requirements in sex therapy and are Certified Sex Therapists (CST) by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) or are working towards certification. (Click here to view the requirements for CST certification
Listening to your gut is an important factor in choosing a therapist. Once at the therapist’s office, it is important to keep in mind that your comfort level with the therapist will be an important factor in the success of therapy. Some questions to ask yourself include: Did you feel at ease with the therapist? Did they listen? Is this someone you feel you will be able to trust? Do you have a good “gut feeling” about this person? Was the “chemistry” right? You will be potentially spending more than a few sessions with your therapist so you need to keep your comfort in mind.
What to expect in your first Session with a Sex Therapist:
Making the decision to see a Certified Sex Therapist (CST) can be difficult and you may experience some anxiety. It is important for you to be aware that this experience will be similar to any kind of therapy or counseling in which you have participated in the past. There is typically initial paperwork for you to complete prior to the session that gives your therapist some information about you and informs you about the process of therapy. In your first session, the therapist typically will ask certain questions about you and your life. This information helps the therapist make an initial assessment of your situation. Questions they may ask:
Why are you seeking therapy at this time?
Questions about your personal history and current situation
What are your current symptoms?
What you have already tried to treat your concerns?
What are your therapeutic goals?
The therapist will use this information to better understand your problem and make an accurate diagnosis, as applicable.
While it is the therapist’s job to get an accurate understanding of what the issues are and to develop an initial treatment plan, it is your job to determine whether you feel heard and can see yourself working with this person for a period of time. It is also your job to ensure that you fully understand the process of therapy, the fee structure, the cancellation policy and the limits of confidentiality. The therapists at the Center for Sexual Health are here to answer any questions you might have about your treatment so please ask if you need or want more information. It is also inportant to have realistic expectations about how therapy works. Individuals can expect change, even significant change. But that change does not happen overnight. Most often it is through hard work that you do with your therapist by your side.
What Training Do Sex Therapists Have?
Professionals who become Certified Sex Therapists have at least one degree in the field of psychology, marital and family therapy, pastoral counseling, nursing or social work, plus three to five years of further specialized training, education, training and supervision in sex therapy. They work under a code of ethics prescribed by their professional association as well as AASECT, which oversees the certification process.
Some Common Sexual Issues We Address:
- Problems with desire, arousal, orgasm or pain
- Desire discrepancies between partners
- Impacts of trauma (rape, molestation, abuse or coercion)
- Sexual difference and sexual identity issues
- Effects of medication on sexual functioning
- Enhancement of sexual expression
- Compulsive or risky sexual behavior
- Sexual problems associated with medical treatments, physical illness or limitations
- Open relationships
- Affair Recovery
- Sexuality and Aging