How to Become a Sex Therapist or Certified Coach: What You Should Know

Sex therapy and coaching are two practices not often openly talked about. Unfortunately, This is mainly due to the current climate in the U.S. which is not exactly sex-positive. Opening up the conversation can be the hardest part of adult sex coaching. Businesses and service providers in this industry are fighting an uphill battle.  Societal acceptance and the ability to openly market goods and services are constant obstacles for high-risk merchants in this space. Sex coaching services are a perfect example, with many feeling shameful for wanting to seek out help with intimacy-related issues. Beyond fighting the stigma, there are many aspects to consider when viewing the profession of a sex therapist or coach.

Breaking the Therapy Stigma of Sex Coaching

When people see or hear the word ‘therapy’ there is usually a negative connotation relating the individual to instability. Thankfully, the perception of sex therapy is beginning to change with more public acceptance and normalizing therapy. Although there can still be some residual negativity associated with reaching for outside help.

woman in therapy room

Specifically, seeking counsel when it comes to emotions related to sex or intimacy is still very taboo. Commonly, men are particularly scrutinized in this area. This is the result of the archaic view that men should ‘man up’ or somehow miraculously know how to please any partner. Newsflash, there isn’t any wrong or right way to satisfy someone in the bedroom! Everyone comes with differing preferences and experiences that sets us apart. Even discussing emotional intimacy problems are viewed as being demasculinizing by the general public and media.

Fostering a trusting, calm environment helps all clients feel at ease and ready to seek help. Therapy–especially the first time–isn’t the easiest thing to open oneself up to. It takes time to establish trust and a certain level of comfort, even more so when it comes to intimacy. Also, finding a trusted therapist when it comes to a committed relationship is crucial. Therapy can help ease tension in the relationship and put two people on the same page emotionally and physically. Whether it be a single session or a couple’s, putting people at ease is a premiere in establishing a healthy therapist-client relationship.

Defining the Different Types of Adult Coaching

While sex coaching and education courses are very similar in nature, for those seeking some alternative help, it can become suddenly very confusing which course of action to take for the issue they are facing. Each type of coaching or therapy puts a different spin on the general notion that the individual needs help in the area of intimacy. 

Mainly, there are two types of coaching:

  • Sex & Relationship Coaching
  • Sex Therapy

Understanding Sex & Relationship Coaches

While there’s no complete definition for any of these services, sex coaching refers to trained professionals who work with individuals having any kind of issue with sex. Although each professional is different in his/her approach to coaching, there are generally two methods of practice, talking and experiencing.

adult couple in bed

The first method, talking is pretty self-explanatory. Individuals are encouraged to talk about their feelings, emotions, and issues. For couples, this can look like a mediated conversation by the professional. Books, videos, and more verbal communication are usually the perscribed take-home work for this method.

While there is clearly still some amount of verbal communication in the experiencing method, physicality is a major addition to this type of coaching. Depending on the range of comfort, this method can employ touching, and the physicality of the body to enhance the session. This can be in the form of breathing exercises led by the practitioner, all the way to homework involving a partner. It is important to note that it is not normal for licensed professionals to be physical with any client.

Both methods of sex coaching should allow the individual (or individuals!) to feel at ease discussing sensitive topics that could potentially relate to sex, sexual identity, or sexual abuse.

How sex therapists factor into the mix

Where sex and relationship coaches require licensed professionals, sex therapists require more advanced training. Typically, licensed psychologists and mental health professionals comprise the field. While some licensed professionals have general focuses, other practitioners have specialties that they are trained in and can better serve those who fall within. They act professionally and are instructed to never use physical contact as a method of therapy.

Sex coaching and therapy differ mainly on the topics they tackle. Yes, sex and intimacy are covered by both, but therapy usually focuses on issues that relate to the mind and thus affect the body. Many clients who come into sex therapy are concerned about sexual desire or arousal. The therapist is the catalyst that helps with self-realization and breakthroughs.

Just like sex coaches, sex therapists have a duty to ensure their clients feel comfortable. Getting past the mental roadblocks behind intimacy can be unnerving. This is where a trusted practitioner can make a world of difference.

Facilitate Your Sex Therapy Business

One of the most important, often overlooked aspects of coaching is personal fulfillment. This comes with helping an individual feel comfortable in their own skin. The topics discussed in these sessions can be heavy, long-running issues that haven’t been expressed out loud before. Being able to bring confidence to a client is a definite perk of becoming a licensed sex practitioner. Finding a company that can secure a sex coaching merchant account for your practice should not get in the way of facilitating clients.

Payment processing for adult businesses

In order to be accepting payments in your sex therapy business, you will need to get a high-risk merchant account. This way you can take debit, credit, ACH, mobile, and POS transactions. In order to do this, you will need to research credit card processing companies that are capable of taking high-risk industry types. Anything to do with the adult industry, sex specifically, falls into this category because of the topic that it deals with. This stigmatization does not mean that you will not be a successful business, just that it will be harder to get going. Set up your virtual terminal with secure and PCI-compliant processing capabilities.

Don’t worry that your business will be shut down because of your industry type. Find a high-risk adult merchant service provider to support you.

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