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FAQ on AASECT Certification

What is AASECT?

AASECT is the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. It is the largest organization to certify sexuality professionals.

Who should get AASECT certification?

If you are passionate about helping people regarding sexual issues, or you know that you want to make sexuality your niche, then you should consider AASECT certification.

Why should I get AASECT certified?

AASECT certification requires you to attain a thorough foundation of study and clinical or fieldwork so that you can provide competent and ethical services concerning sexuality. Other professionals respect AASECT certified professionals as being experts in the field.

I notice there are different types of certifications. Which one is right for me?

Basically, there are four certifications: therapist, counselor, educator, and supervisor. A sex therapist is someone who has at minimum a Master’s degree in psychology or related area and a license to practice psychotherapy. A sexuality counselor is generally a healthcare provider with at minimum a Master’s degree in an appropriate area and is licensed to practice. A sexuality educator also has a Master’s degree in education and experience in teaching or training. A supervisor already has to have one of these certifications and needs to be certified for three years before they can work on this certification.

What is involved in certification?

First, you will need to be a member of AASECT. You can read about membership benefits on the AASECT site. Second, you will need to attain education in core knowledge areas and practice areas. All certifications require 90 hours of core knowledge and additional educational hours in the area of specialization. You will need to take a 14-hour experiential workshop called a SAR, or Sexual Attitude Reassessment. And you will need to complete a designated number of hours of supervision and fieldwork as follows: 50 hours of supervision and 300 clinical hours for sex therapists; 30 hours of supervision and 100 hours of supervision for sexuality counselors. We recommend that you watch Dr. Buehler’s free recorded presentation or attend a free live workshop regarding the certification process where you can ask questions about this process; find this on the course catalog page.

How do I find an AASECT supervisor?

AASECT maintains a list of supervisors on the AASECT website. There are supervisors for each area of certification, though there can be some overlap, i.e., a sex therapy supervisor can supervise a sexuality counselor. You may want to hang out on the listserv or visit the websites of various supervisors to get a feeling for how they work.

What is The Buehler Institute and how is it involved with AASECT?

The Buehler Institute was founded by psychologist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist/Supervisor Dr. Stephanie Buehler. Dr. Buehler called her practice an “Institute” because she knew teaching others would be a major part of her career as a psychologist. The Buehler Institute offers continuing education opportunities primarily for postgraduate professionals, although graduate students are welcome to attend courses.

Can I use my hours of education toward license renewal?

The Buehler Institute is approved to offer continuing education by the APA, NBCC, California BRN, and of course, AASECT. Every license and state have different requirements, so we recommend contacting your licensing board just to be sure.

Do I have to get AASECT certified in order to practice sex therapy?

The truth is that there is no law requiring anyone to have AASECT certification to practice. And, at The Buehler Institute, we believe that every mental health professional and wellness provider needs to be able to address sexual issues with their clients. However, if you want to make human sexuality the center post of your career, then we highly recommend that you undergo the process of becoming AASECT certified.