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Sex Therapist Certification Under Special Circumstances
AASECT recognizes that professionals can achieve competency in sex therapy through avenues other than the one described in the basic AASECT Certification process. The typical AASECT Certification requirements of sexuality education, specialty education and training in sex therapy, including intensive hours of supervision, help to ensure that AASECT Certified professionals have appropriate knowledge, skill, experience, and ethical standards to provide quality service to the public. ‘Special circumstances’ do exist, however, in which it is possible to definitively verify that a candidate’s knowledge, skill, experience, and ethical standards meet the AASECT standards for competency without having the candidate undergo the basic AASECT Certification process.
Sex Therapist Certification ‘Under Special Circumstances’ is available to professionals who are recognized by their peers locally, regionally, or nationally as a highly competent sex therapist and who can meet the following criteria:
I. Membership in AASECT
The applicant may hold Professional, Retired, or Life Membership in AASECT.
II. AASECT Code of Ethics
The candidate has read the AASECT Code of Ethics, and documents in writing agreement to be bound by the AASECT Code of Ethics.
III. Academic and Sex Therapy Experience
The candidate will have earned an academic degree in a human service program that included psychotherapy training from an accredited college or university, and clinical experience as follows. Only coursework from accredited institutions and/or AASECT approved or sponsored courses will be accepted to fulfill content requirements for certification.
- A Master's degree and ten (10) years of clinical experience (post Master’s degree) as a sex therapist (20 hours/week x 50 weeks/year = 1,000 hours/year)
- OR -
- A Doctorate degree and ten (10) years of clinical experience (post Master’s degree) as a sex therapist (20 hours/week x 50 weeks/year = 1,000 hours/year).
IV. Clinical Certification
- The candidate holds a valid state regulatory license or certificate in one of the following disciplines: psychology, medicine, social work, counseling, nursing, or marriage and family therapy.
- OR -
- If such a regulatory system is not in effect in the state where the applicant practices, one of the following criteria will be met:
- Listing in the National Register of Health Science Providers in Psychology.
- Certification by the Academy of Certified Social Workers (or other recognized accrediting bodies in social work).
- Clinical membership in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.
- Certification by the American Nurses Association as a Clinical Specialist or Nurse Practitioner in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing or as a Clinical Specialist or Nurse Practitioner in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing.
- Certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
- Applicants from outside the United States will document equivalent certification.
V. Human Sexuality Education
By means of transcripts, professional endorsements, or documented professional activity, the candidate demonstrates a thorough and broad-based knowledge of human sexuality.
VI. Sex Therapy Training and Experience
By means of transcripts, professional endorsements, or documented professional activity, the candidate demonstrates competence in providing sex therapy for sexual dysfunctions and disorders defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.
VII. Attitude/Values Training Experience
By means of professional endorsement or documentation of attendance at a SAR, the candidate gives evidence that he or she has explored his/her own feelings, attitudes, values and beliefs regarding human sexuality and sexual behavior so that they do not interfere in the provision of care. Attendance at an AASECT-approved SAR is highly recommended.
VII. Application and Approval Process
In addition to the appropriate application fee ($300), which is non-refundable, the candidate will submit one copy in English of the following:
All documentation and will become the property of AASECT.
Upon receipt of a complete application package, AASECT will forward the application to the Sex Therapist Certification Committee for action and approval.
- Cover Sheet including:
- Candidates name and address.
- AASECT certification being sought.
- Academic degrees.
- Certifications (other than AASECT) and/or licensure.
- An official transcript from program(s) where degree(s) were earned.
- Copy of license, certification, or proof of membership in one of the approved disciplines or professional organizations.
- Curriculum Vitae.
- A letter outlining the candidate’s work and training in the field of sex therapy. (Further documentation should be supplied upon request.)
- A letter stating that the candidate has read the AASECT Code of Ethics and agrees to be bound by the AASECT Code of Ethics.
- Two letters of recommendation from professional colleagues (at least one letter must be from a current AASECT Certified Sex Therapist). Letters should attest that:
- The candidate is recognized locally, regionally, or nationally as a competent sex therapist.
- The therapist’s professional conduct is ethical.
- All certified members are required to comply with the ethical standards established by AASECT as expressed in the AASECT Code of Ethics.
- Upon approval of the Sex Therapist Certification Committee, the successful applicant will receive a certificate in recognition of having met AASECT requirements for certification in the area of sex therapy. This certificate will be subject to renewal every three (3) years.
- Each AASECT Certified Sex Therapist will be listed in the National Register of AASECT. AASECT Membership Directory and will be eligible to receive referrals from the National Office and AASECT website.
- Membership in AASECT will be maintained on an annual basis to retain the AASECT certification status. If membership in AASECT lapses, certification will also lapse.