"The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit." Nelson Henderson
It is difficult for me to believe that I am to the point in my career where I am supervising the next generation of sex therapists. I have been a therapist for 30 years and a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists since 1999. I will never forget the first conference I attended in Atlanta. I knew that I had found my tribe on the island of misfit toys.
If you are planning to be in this field in whatever capacity, you need a community. Working with a supervisor is just part of the equation. AASECT offers the standard of training for sex educators, counselors, and therapists. By joining AASECT (whether or not you get certified), you can access the listserv, a private forum for sexuality professionals all over the world. You will also have access to a list of ongoing sexuality workshops and trainings. Sex positive people are a minority in this country. Their voices are essential in balancing the relenting tide of sexual shame and judgement that pervades American history and culture. It is an endless war that needs constant replenishment on the front lines. And because of the cultural legacy around sexuality, there is so much trauma. I don't think you can be a sexuality professional without being trauma informed.
Keep in mind that AASECT certification allows you to complete up to 5 hours of supervision with an AASECT professional outside your chosen field. So, for example, if you plan to be a sex educator, you can still complete 5 hours of supervision with a sex therapist. Sex education is a big part of what I have done with clients and it is still a part of teaching sexuality to undergraduates whose only sex ed was health class in 5th or 6th grade.
As a supervisor, I like to think I bring the same realness to supervision that I brought to therapy. Providing sex therapy is more challenging than other types of therapy. It requires a therapist who is very clear with boundaries and with their own biases - and everyone has biases when it comes to sex. Part of the certification process is looking at your biases and deciding where your 'edges' are. What are you comfortable working with and what aspects of sexuality can you not be objective about? This process begins with the Sexual Attitudes Reassessment (SAR) experience and continues throughout your training for certification.
If you are interested in AASECT supervision for sex therapy, please review the criteria through this link: https://www.aasect.org/aasect-certified-sex-therapist-0
If you plan to pursue certification and are looking for a supervisor, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (210) 831-1905. We can set up a phone call to determine the fit for the supervision process.
I am honored to have had a role in supervising the following AASECT Certified Sex Therapists. Potential supervisees are welcome to contact any of these individuals for feedback on my supervision style.
Andrew Hancock-Shaw, New Orleans, LA
Angela Jensen Ramirez, Austin, TX
Katherine Mattioli, Houston, TX
Austin Siegel, San Antonio, TX
Dr. Celeste Riley, Bryan, TX
Dagmara Svetcov, Allen, TX
Lisa Elieson, Keller, TX
Jane Bintz, Houston, TX
Maegan Megginson, Seattle, WA
Matthew Bridgestock, American Fork, UT
Venessa Zepeda, Brownsville, TX
Jessica Bolden-Riley, Weatherford, TX