Hiring help for your Sex Life? Beware: Are They Qualified?!

Posted On: August 13, 2018

There are several ways to find a good sex expert to help you.

 How to find Help for Your Sexual Problem

  1. Most people turn to Google. However, this does not mean the person is trained, equipped, experienced, and the best person to help you!
  2. There is word-of-mouth referral from say a medical doctor, trusted friends, or concerned relatives. This should not replace your due diligence.
  3. You can also get a referral from an established sex-therapy organization, such as the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) or the American Academy of Sexologists. For example, the AASECT’s requirements for certification as a sexuality educator include a master’s degree plus three years (1,000 hours a year) of professional experience as a sexuality educator or a doctorate plus two years of clinical experience as a sexuality educator. AASECT Certified Sexuality educators must also complete at least 90 hours of training in gender-related issues, marital dynamics, psychosexual disorders, and medical factors influencing sexuality. (The remaining requirements are posted on the AASECT web site listed here).

Buyers Beware!

Just because somebody is well-meaning and has a passion for something doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. There are those who will say what you want to hear to make money, and purport to call themselves an expert – even when undergoing training. Sure, they may take SOME training so that they can seem like they know what they’re talking about, but they might well be “faking it until they make it”.

This may sound like an outrageous situation. How could this ever happen to someone? Well, it happens more than you think, thanks to the internet and self-dubbed “experts” of all kinds.

Given my long history and experience (almost 10 years!) as a sexuality counselor, I must say it appalls me how many fake professionals out there in this space calling themselves a “sex therapist”.

The vast majority of sexual issues take place in the mind. Psychology plays an enormous part of most issues. So, it would make sense that someone calling themselves a sex therapist or sex counselor would have a degree in Psychology or Counseling respectively at minimum, right? How can they best help someone with their sexual issues if they can’t even prove they know the ins and outs of how the mind works?

It doesn’t stop there. There are many more relevant qualifications that they really should have, but don’t. What they ultimately are are marketers disguised as sex therapists or sex counselors.

Their effort is spent marketing to you in a way to work you up more about your issue, how much it makes you feel, and what it would be worth to you to overcome it, and without giving much proof that they are someone qualified to help you.

Then they just give you whatever advice they were able to Google or watch in a video somewhere and call it a day. Whether their advice even works or not doesn’t really matter. They misrepresented themselves and if you knew they weren’t qualified, you’d have never given them your money.

The worst part is, you may not even know what happened. You may think their advice WAS professional, and it not working had something to do with you, like there’s something wrong with you.

Why Am I Saying This?

I take this problem very seriously because I care about you and the others I help. This is my lifelong career, one that I’ve spent many years of extensive training in and continue to train in to ensure I provide the best support to my clients.

I’ve lost count of how many clients come to me after advice given to them by some other “professional” sex therapist didn’t work. It’s even a challenge to get those clients because they become enormously skeptical after their first experience, and I don’t blame them.

I’m not alone. There are other highly qualified and committed professional sexual counselors out there. Whether you use my services or theirs, I would be happy to see you on the road to getting past your sexual issues.

What to do during the First Session

Once you find a sex expert you wish to work with, make only one appointment for a consultation. Don’t sign up for a series of treatments before meeting at least once.

During the consultation, don’t be shy about asking questions. These are some questions (answers which often can be found on their website):

  • What is your educational background?
  • Are you involved in professional education, training or supervision?
  • What is your approach to therapy? What will happen during the session? What kind of time commitment is necessary? My answers here for your reference.
  • What are your fees/ hours?
  • Have you had experience treating the problem I have?
  • What do you require of me? (For example, some therapists will only see a person who is in a committed relationship, or comes in with their partner.)

Since this person will help you with your most intimate secrets, you need to have a sense of kindness and empathy from them, and begin to develop a trust and rapport with them.

How Can You Avoid Working With Someone Unqualified?

Make sure to ask about their training, credentials, and experience if you hire anyone else (or even ask for mine if you hire me!) so that you know for sure that they are credible, and are the most qualified person to support you with your issues. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Make sure they don’t just say they have these qualifications, but show some proof that they do.

It’s always better to be safe and know than to find out the hard way after implementing bad advice! The bad advice could potentially waste your time, money, energy, and even cost you your relationship or marriage!

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than nine years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network.  She has published three books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic Yoga and From Princess to Queen.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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