Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson College of Health Professions

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Sex Therapy Track

A highlight of the Couple and Family Therapy program is the elective sex therapy specialty track. Through this specialized track students will learn and practice the various therapeutic skills necessary for the field of sex therapy.  Students who choose this track will participate in:

1) Three didactic and experiential courses in Sex Therapy training-
Introduction to Sex Therapy: Concepts in Human Sexuality

This course will explore essential concepts of sexuality by examining the basic theory, principles, research and practice regarding sexual issues for which clients seek understanding and treatment. Topics include the history of sexology, sexual and reproductive anatomy and physiology, sexually transmitted infections and safer sex practices, sexual trauma, sexual compulsive behaviors, sexual orientation, atypical sexual behaviors, gender, religion, chronic illness, social-cultural issues and sexual feelings in clinical practice. Students will explore personal attitudes, values and emotions as they relate to course material. This course will also include a mandatory one day Sexual Attitude/Values training experience.

Advanced Sex Therapy Training I

This course builds on the introductory course and offers advanced understanding of assessment, diagnosis and treatment models for sex therapy practitioners. Students will learn and engage in the practice of these therapeutic modalities throughout the course. Specific attention will be paid 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). Theory and methods of both psychological and medical interventions will be explored. This course will include a mandatory one day Advanced Sexual Attitude/Values training experience.

Advanced Sex Therapy Training II (prerequisite ASTT I)

This course is an extension of ASTT-I for the purpose of gaining greater insight into the field of sex therapy as well as practice the skills learned in the previous courses. Students will develop skills through 1) Current Issues: students will be required to react in writing to articles surrounding current issues in human sexuality and come to class prepared to engage in group process and discussion of treatment considerations; 2) Case presentation: Students will be expected to present a one hour videotaped sex therapy case presentation that includes a comprehensive examination of the assessment, diagnostic and treatment modalities utilized; and 3) Peer group supervision: throughout the course, students will have an opportunity to present and discuss challenging cases from their caseload.

2) Practicum Experience
Of the 500 clinical hours required for graduation, a minimum of 250 hours of supervised clinical practice will be done specifically in sex therapy. During this year long practicum students will be expected to utilize their knowledge and skills to work with clients on most aspects of sexuality and sexual dysfunction. Practicum placement may be in the Institute for Sex Therapy or other locations as available.

3) Supervision
A minimum of 50 hours of sex therapy supervision (a minimum of 25 hours will be individual supervision) will be provided for each student.

4) Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) Experience
As part of the first two courses, students will engage in an eight hour beginner SAR and an eight hour advanced SAR experience. The SAR is a process-oriented, structured group experience to promote participants' awareness of their attitudes and values related to sexuality. The SAR includes lecture, explicit media, experiential activities and small group discussions. The primary objective of the SAR is to give participants the opportunity to explore their attitudes, feelings and beliefs about sexuality and how this influences them professionally and personally. The sessions are not intended as a traditional academic experience to disseminate cognitive information, nor as psychotherapy directed toward the resolution of personal problems. The workshop presents a highly personal, internal exploration, different for each participant.