How you prepare

You can ask your primary care provider for a referral to a sex therapist, or you might check with a local hospital or medical center to see whether they have a sex medicine clinic. Your health insurer or employee assistance program may offer recommendations as well.

As another option, you can check with a professional organization, such as AASECT. Or look on the professional organization websites of psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and psychiatrists to locate a licensed and qualified provider of sex therapy.

Before scheduling sessions with a therapist, consider whether the therapist would be a good fit for you. You might ask questions like those below.

  • Education and experience. What is your educational and training background? Are you licensed by the state? Are you credentialed by AASECT? What's your experience with my type of sexual issue?
  • Logistics. Where is your office? What are your office hours?
  • Treatment plan. How long is each session? How often are sessions scheduled? How long might I expect treatment to continue? What is your policy on canceled sessions?
  • Fees and insurance. How much do you charge for each session? Are your services covered by my health insurance plan? Will I need to pay the full fee upfront?

Before your appointment

Prepare for your appointment by making a list of:

  • Details of your problem, including when it started, whether it's always present or comes and goes, professionals you've seen, and treatments you've tried and their outcomes
  • Key personal information, including your medical conditions and any major stresses or recent life changes
  • All medications that you're taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, other supplements or herbal preparations, and their doses
  • Questions to ask your therapist about your sexual concerns
Jan. 15, 2016
  1. Holloway V, et al. Sex drive and sexual desire. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 2015;28:424.
  2. Membership FAQs. American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. Accessed Dec. 14, 2015.
  3. What does a sex therapist do? NHS Choices. Accessed Dec. 14, 2015.
  4. Sexual health fundamentals: Sex therapy for non-sex therapists. Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Accessed Dec. 14, 2015.
  5. Sex therapy and counseling. The North American Menopause Society. Accessed Dec. 14, 2015.
  6. Althof SE. Sex therapy and combined (sex and medical) therapy. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2011;8:1827.
  7. Fruhauf S, et al. Efficacy of psychological interventions for sexual dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2013;42:915.
  8. Rullo J (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 17, 2015.
  9. Faubion SS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 17, 2015.