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Sexuality Counselor Certification Under Special Circumstances


AASECT recognizes that professionals can achieve competency in sexuality counseling 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 sexuality counseling, 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.

Sexuality Counselor Certification ‘Under Special Circumstances’  is available to professionals who are recognized by their peers locally, regionally, or nationally as a highly competent sexuality counselor  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 Counseling Experience

The candidate has earned a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and has ten (10) years of sexuality counseling experience. Only coursework from accredited institutions and/or AASECT approved or sponsored courses will be accepted to fulfill content requirements for certification. 

IV. General Eligibility  

​​A. No clinical certification or licensure is required.

B. Applicants with a Master's or Doctoral degree who hold valid state regulatory licenses or certificates in a discipline that provides psychotherapy will not be eligible for certification as a sexuality counselor, but are encouraged to apply for sex therapist 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. Sexuality Counseling Training and Experience

By means of transcripts, professional endorsements, or documented professional activity, the candidate demonstrates competence in providing counseling, with experience of not less than 500 hours of providing sexuality counseling.

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 required.

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:


Upon receipt of a complete application package, AASECT will forward the application to the Sexuality Counselor Certification Committee for action and approval.

  1. Cover Sheet including:
  • Candidates name and address.
  • AASECT certification being sought.
  • Academic degrees.
  1. Copy of official transcript. Transcript may be scanned into the application and does not need to be in a sealed envelope.
  2. Curriculum Vitae.
  3. A letter outlining the candidate's work and training in the field of sexuality counseling. (Further documentation should be supplied upon request.)
  4. A letter stating that the candidate has read the AASECT Code of Ethics and agrees to be bound by the AASECT Code of Ethics.
  5. Two letters of recommendation from professional colleagues (at least one letter must be from a current AASECT Certified Sex Therapist or Counselor). Letters should attest that:

    All documentation will become the property of AASECT.

  • The candidate is recognized locally, regionally, or nationally as a competent sexuality counselor.
  • The counselor's professional conduct is ethical.

IX. Miscellaneous

  1. All certified members are required to comply with the ethical standards established by AASECT as expressed in the AASECT Code of Ethics.
  2. Upon approval of the Committee on Sexuality Counselors Certification, the successful applicant will receive a certificate in recognition of having met AASECT requirements for certification in the area of sexuality counseling. This certificate shall be subject to renewal for the first time in three (3) years, and every three (3) years thereafter.
  3. Each AASECT Certified Sexuality Counselor will be listed in the AASECT Membership Directory.
  4. Membership in AASECT shall be maintained on an annual basis to retain the AASECT certification status. If membership in AASECT lapses, certification will also lapse.