Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Couple &
Family Therapy

Program Options

Sex Therapy Track

Through the Sex Therapy specialty track, students will learn and practice the various therapeutic skills necessary for the field of sex therapy. 

Two Didactic & Experiential Courses

Advanced Sex Therapy Training I (ASTT-I)

This course builds on Introduction to Sex Therapy, and offers advanced understanding of assessment, diagnosis and treatment models for sex therapy practitioners. Students learn and engage in the practice of these therapeutic modalities throughout the course. The curriculum for this course:

  • Pays specific attention to learning the techniques of sex-related assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the psychosexual disorders as described in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
  • Explores theory and methods of both psychological and medical interventions

This course will include a mandatory one day Advanced Sexual Attitude/Values training experience.

Advanced Sex Therapy Training II (ASTT-II)

This course is an extension of ASTT-I (which is a prerequisite for ASTT-II), to give students greater insight into the field of sex therapy and opportunities to practice the skills learned in their previous courses. Students will develop skills through: 

  • Written responses. Students will submit written responses to articles surrounding current issues in human sexuality and engage in group process and discussion of treatment considerations.
  • Case presentation. Students will present a one-hour, videotaped sex therapy case presentation that includes a comprehensive examination of the assessment, diagnostic and treatment modalities utilized.
  • Peer group supervision. Throughout the course, students will have an opportunity to present and discuss challenging cases from their caseload.

Practicum Experience

Of the 200 clinical hours required for graduation, a minimum of 100 hours of supervised clinical practice will be done specifically in sex therapy.

During this year-long practicum, students will be expected to use their knowledge and skills to work with clients on most aspects of sexuality and sexual dysfunction.


Students will receive a minimum of 100 hours of supervision. A minimum of 50 hours of sex therapy supervision is provided for each student. At least 25 hours are individual supervision.

Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) Experience

The SAR is a process-oriented, structured group experience that includes lectures, explicit media, experiential activities and small group discussions. As part of the Sex Therapy track, students will engage in two eight-hour SAR experiences (beginner and advanced).  The beginner SAR experience is held in conjunction with Introduction to Sex Therapy.

The primary objective is to give participants the opportunity to explore their attitudes, feelings and beliefs about sexuality and how this influences them professionally and personally. Sessions are not intended to be a traditional academic experience to disseminate cognitive information, nor psychotherapy directed toward the resolution of personal problems. The workshop presents a highly personal, internal exploration, different for each participant.

Family Therapy Track

The Family Therapy track offers specialized study in interpersonal issues facing couples and families. These include family violence, substance abuse, chronic medical conditions and the blending of families.

Two Didactic & Experiential Courses

Issues of Violence and Abuse in the Family from a Systems Perspective

This course examines the characteristics and impact of intra-familial violence and abuse of adults and children. The curriculum of this course:

  • Focuses on the nature and scope of this epidemic problem and reviews key contributing factors
  • Examines issues of gender, power and socioeconomic status 
  • Discusses sexual, physical and emotional abuse of adults and children
  • Reviews systems-oriented treatment approaches for all family members, with an emphasis on accurate assessment and developing appropriate interventions

Medical Family Therapy

This course examines the complex interactions between physical illness, family functioning and the clinical interventions that can be utilized in these situations. The curriculum of this course:

  • Reviews the empirical findings and theoretical concepts that form the basis of this emerging field
  • Develops a bio-psychosocial framework for understanding and treating a variety of common clinical problems, such as psychosomatic symptoms, coping with chronic illness and chronic pain, grief and end of life issues
  • Discusses collaboration with other healthcare providers

Practicum Experience

Students are required to complete 500 hours of direct clinical experience to graduate. At least 100 hours must be with couples and families; the remaining hours may be with individuals.

Practicum placements are available at a variety of clinical settings, including Council for Relationships locations in the Philadelphia region, affiliated community organizations and sites within the Jefferson Health System. Students choose from a wide spectrum of placement options, such as outpatient mental health clinics, schools and homeless shelters for their clinical training.


Students will receive a minimum of 100 hours of supervision, at least 50 hours of which will be based on direct observation, videotape or audiotape.

Students will complete 12-16 hours of face-to-face clinical work per week while in the Program. Students will receive supervision based on a 5 to 1 ratio of clinical hours to supervision hours. Students will receive a combination of individual, dyadic and group supervision.