Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have questions while I'm taking the online program?

First, check out the FAQ below.  If it's a common question, you'll see the answer here.  If you need more specific assistance, we are always available to answer questions.  Just email us at [email protected]! Just remember that we may be in a different time zone and that we work regular business hours.

What is The Buehler Institute and who is Dr. Stephanie Buehler?

The Buehler Institute Psychological Services, Inc. is incorporated in the State of California to provide psychological services, including continuing education. The Buehler Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and California Board of Registered Nurses to provided continuing education (CE). Stephanie Buehler, MPW, PsyD, CST-S is a licensed psychologist (California PSY 17609) and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and Supervisor. Dr. Buehler is on medical staff at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA. She is the author of several books on sexuality and relationships. Dr. Buehler holds degrees from UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, and Alliant University. 

Will my licensing board accept continuing education hours from The Buehler Institute?

It is the responsibility of the learner to check with their licensing board to find out if they will accept CE hours for licensing or license renewal. The Buehler Institute is approved by:

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)
  • California Board of Registered Nurses (CA BRN)
  • American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) *

* Please note that AASECT hours are approved by AASECT for certification and certification renewal. Except for hours earned at the annual conference that are approved by APA and other organizations, AASECT hours may or may not be accepted by your licensing board. That is why The Buehler Institute has gone to the effort to obtain other approvals.

What is AASECT? And, what is needed for AASECT certification?

AASECT is the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. AASECT certification requirements include that you are licensed, take a workshop called a SAR (Sexual Attitude Reassessment), have 300 hours of clinical work over a minimum of 18 months, and 50 hours of supervision for sex therapists. Sexuality counselors have similar requirements but less hours of clinical work and supervision.  To assist you in better understanding AASECT certification, we have recorded a FREE webinar about AASECT certification, which can be viewed by clicking here.  Please go to the AASECT site for details or contact us for more information.

Where can I find the requirements for AASECT certification?

The AASECT requirements can be found on their website under the "Certification" tab.  You can also access it by clicking here.

If you need more help understanding AASECT certification, check out our FREE recorded webinar, All About AASECT Certification. 

I live overseas and I am licensed. Why can't I get AASECT certification?

AASECT is largely run by volunteers and there is simply no way to review transcripts and licenses in a language other than English. In general, AASECT accepts applications from the US, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Israel.  In addition, there is no efficient way to determine if a degree from another country is equivalent to the degrees that are approved by AASECT (even if your degree is more rigorous). Finally, licensing differs from country to country. In some countries, psychotherapists do not need a license to practice, but sex therapists applying to AASECT must have a valid US license. 
That being said, we are still dedicated to disseminating high-quality information about sexuality.  As such, we do not limit who may take our courses.  You are also more than welcome to take the weekend workshops that are included in the Comprehensive Sexology Program and the Advanced Topics in Sexuality Program, especially now that we will be offering them via Zoom indefinitely.  As an international learner, you will still receive a certificate of completion from The Buehler Institute suitable for printing out and framing, plus a transcript of your courses. The Buehler Institute is approved to offer continuing education from the American Psychological Association; please check with your local licensing board to see if APA-approved hours may be used for license renewal and similar purposes.

What if I don't want to get AASECT certified?

That is completely up to you. Only in the State of Florida are sex therapists required to take a certain number of hours to call themselves a sex therapist. A couple of things. One, most code of ethics require education and supervision to state that you can provide specialty services. Two, AASECT certified people tend to refer only to other AASECT certified people. Three, AASECT the oldest certifying body for sex therapy in the US and is considered the “gold standard.”

How long do I have to finish the program?

The Foundations of Sexology program can be finished in 12 to 18 months. The Comprehensive Learning Program is meant to be completed in 18-24 months. The programs are self-paced so how long it takes you to finish will depend on your dedication and schedule. 

When will I get my certificate of completion if I take a full program?

Certificates of completion are issued manually. Either Dr. Buehler or Anneka (the Program Administrator) at The Buehler Institute will check to see that you completed all the work as well as all payments. A certificate of completion will be emailed to you with your name, date, and number of CEs earned. You will also get a transcript that describes the program and the courses that you completed. Most importantly, we will also sent you a partially completed AASECT application with your CEs already filled out, which is a major time-saver! While you may have the option to print a certificate for completing certain courses, it's not required as you will get one final certificate for the entire program.

I've taken a self-paced program (i.e., the Foundations of Sexology or the Core Knowledge Program) and I want to finish up my AASECT education requirements. What should I do next?

Get in touch! We are just an email away at [email protected]. We'll complete a quick review of your account, and help direct you to the right program.

Can I take just the live training weekends?

Yes—but people who are enrolled in the Comprehensive Sexology Program or the Foundations of Sexology Program have priority and the weekends often fill up.

When does my access to the program or site end?

Never! Once you have an account, you can always access what you have learned.

Does the program include Supervision?

Supervision is a separate activity from the program. Dr. Buehler is available for group supervision, and forms groups several times per year. You can send requests for the most up-to-date information about supervision opportunities to [email protected]

You can find a list of supervisors on the AASECT website at:

When can I start Supervision?

You can start any time, but you should have a caseload, or expect to have a caseload, of clients to discuss with your supervisor. You should also have enough education to provide services in a way that is ethical.

Does Dr. Buehler provide supervision?

Dr. Buehler primarily offers group supervision at this point in time, with groups forming several times per year.  We recommend working with a different supervisor as your primary supervisor so that you may get additional perspectives in the field.  AASECT maintains a list of approved supervisors on their website.  If you are currently enrolled and you are having trouble connecting with a supervisor, please email us at [email protected].

What is the SAR?

SAR stands for “Sexual Attitude Reassessment.” The motivation to take a SAR is to understand your own biases and assumptions about human sexuality. Most SARs include viewing of sexually explicit material (SEM) followed by discussion lead by trained SAR leaders. Sometimes people may be triggered by what they view, but SAR leaders and your supervisor are always available for private processing. In our SAR, no one is required to watch anything that they don’t want to view, but you are still required to participate in discussion.

What can I call myself while I am training?

You cannot state that you are “in process of AASECT certification” or “getting AASECT training.” You can state simply that you “work with people presenting with sexual issues” or “I help couples with sexual issues, too.” It’s probably a good idea to run any advertising past an AASECT member or AASECT supervisor.

Can I deduct my continuing education expenses?

This is a question for your accountant or tax preparer. You may request a receipt for this purpose or to get reimbursement from your employer if they pay for continuing education.

What happens if I run into a personal issue and cannot complete the program?

Since there is no deadline, it is fine to put the program on pause. If you need to put your payment plan on pause as well, we can assist you with that, but we will also temporarily suspend your account.  All of your progress be saved. Just let us know when you want to resume and we’ll have you going again as quickly as possible.

What if I have to change my payment method?

Please contact the payment platform directly. Most of our learners have accounts serviced by Stripe, though those who enrolled prior to 2020 may still be serviced via PayPal.  Both Stripe and PayPal act as an intermediary company to process credit card payments and has a feature that allows us to offer a payment plan. While we have access to information about your payments, we cannot access your payment method. Thanks for understanding!

What is the refund policy for programs?

You have one week to decide if the program is right for you. If you withdraw, you will receive a refund less $50.00 processing fee. For standalone programs, if you determine the course is not as described or does not fit your needs in any way, please contact us for either course credit or refund. All requests for refund must be made in writing and can be emailed to [email protected].

What is an AASECT Certified Counselor?

An AASECT Certified Counselor is someone with an advanced degree in a healthcare area but who does not practice psychotherapy. AASECT Certified Counselors include pastors, rabbis, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and more.

Dr. Stephanie Buehler is Allied Staff with Hoag Hospital, the #1 ranked hospital for Orange County, CA.She has worked alongside all kinds of providers in integrated settings and understands the needs for sexuality counseling.Our program is designed primarily for sex therapists because that is who primarily seeks our programs-- but we welcome anyone seeking AASECT certification as a counselor.
To learn more about the counseling certification process, please visit