Nov 9 / Dr.Janet Brito

A Guide to Becoming a Gender-Affirming Sex Therapist

As a sex therapist, you have an opportunity to help your clients explore and affirm their gender identity. Many clients you may see need more than the average therapist once provided, whether young or old. That's why it is essential to become a gender-affirming sex therapist to better your clients' needs. 

This can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for you and the clients. With this article, we will provide you guidance on how to become a gender-affirming sex therapist. But first, let's explore what gender therapy is and how it can benefit clients today.


What is Gender Therapy?

Gender therapy focuses on the mental, emotional, psychological, and social needs of individuals who may be questioning their gender, experiencing gender dysphoria, or don't exclusively identify with their designated gender at birth. 

Gender therapy is just as beneficial for cisgender individuals as for others who identify as transgender or nonbinary. Gender therapy helps people overcome the confinement of traditional gender stereotypes to discover who they are.

How to Be a Gender-Affirming Sex Therapist?

As a sex therapist, providing clients with gender-affirming care in tandem with sex therapy can offer more support and education as your clients explore what gender means to them and how they identify. Here are a few ways to become a gender-affirming sex therapist.


#1: Focus on Educating Yourself About Gender Identity

It is essential for you to understand gender identities and to become a better resource for clients. Read more books, articles, blogs, and other journals to familiarize yourself with the latest information.

You may also want to attend events and workshops. As a gender-affirming sex therapist, you should always be able to provide quality information for your clients.


#2: Be a Supportive Ally for Each Client 

As a gender-affirming sex therapist, it is important not to label but listen. There is no "right way" to express gender, and as a gender-affirming sex therapist, you should always remain supportive and provide insight rather than answers. 

Always focus on the individual's experiences and support their personal experience of their self, body, and what they know of their gender. Be the supportive ally that they need as they navigate these challenges. 


#3: Guidance is Key as a Gender-Affirming Sex Therapist

As a sex therapist, your clients are guided to self-determine what steps they can take to feel more comfortable with themselves and their bodies.

This is true regarding the discussions of their sex history and their sexual health. Therefore, it is essential to follow the informed consent model of care to move the field of gender health forward. 

As a sex therapist, it is your mission to vouch for and support your clients with any interventions they may want, providing each individual their agency and autonomy as they make these decisions about what they need. With this, your clients can make informed decisions that help them understand and connect more deeply to their gender. 


Interested in Becoming a Gender-Affirming Sex Therapist?


Are you interested in learning more about sex therapy and enhancing your practice to become more gender-affirming?

We specialize in providing AASECT and APA human sexuality CE courses that you can complete from the comfort of your home.

Visit our courses page to learn more!

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