How to Become a Sex Therapist in Canada in 4 Steps

Learn about the steps needed to become a sex therapist in Canada.

If you wish to become a sex therapist in Canada, you have stumbled on the right topic! This page will guide you through all the necessary steps you need on how to become a sex therapist in Canada, grow in the career and make good salaries helping legally established couples with their sex life. How does a $68,000+ annual salary sound? Read on.

Sex therapy is a great field to study if you are interested in helping individuals and couples explore intimacy in their lives. Through a sex therapy certification program and supervision, you will be able to help individuals on a deeper level.

However, it is important to understand the level of commitment, education, and practice hours needed to begin this career. Any licensed therapist can become a sex therapist. Licensed therapists include psychotherapists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, professional counselors, school counselors, or psychiatrists.

Therefore, this article explores all you need to know about a sex therapist and the important steps needed to become a sex therapist in Canada. Keep reading!

Who is a sex therapist?

A sex therapist is a person who assists other people in diagnosing and treating sexual disorders and problems. A therapist of this type will use a number of skills and resources to help his or her patients.

To become a sex therapist, an interested party must receive specialized training, obtain licensing, and perform a certain amount of hours in the field to obtain the proper credentials.

There are many different paths people can take to becoming a sex therapist. A sex therapist might be a psychologist or psychiatrist, a clinical social worker, a family therapist, or maybe a doctor or nurse who has psychotherapy training and who has gone on to get specialized training in sexuality and sexual functioning, intimacy, and relationships.

What does a sex therapist do in Canada?

  • A sex therapist is a mental health professional who treats sexual dysfunction through counseling. Sex therapists can be licensed psychiatrists, clinical social workers or psychologists trained in sex therapy methods. They have advanced training in sexual and relationship health, and they’re able to address sexual issues from a scientific perspective.
  • Sex therapists provide comprehensive counseling services to both couples and individuals, and they assist in diagnosing sexual disorders and problems, as well as helping people explore their sexual identities and overcome past traumas and sexual shame. In addition to encouraging sexual experimentation and thoughtful discussion about sexual issues, sex therapists work with couples on their communication strategies and conflict resolution skills.
  • A trained sex therapist is a compassionate, empathetic professional with a nuanced awareness of sexuality and a much greater-than-average knowledge about the physiological processes that are  part of human sexuality.
  • Sex therapists also tend to have much greater than average knowledge about the physiological processes that are a part of human sexuality. We tend to work collaboratively with physicians to address the entirety of the causes of sexual concerns.
  •  Above all, sex therapists are committed to helping people better understand their own sexual needs and their partner’s sexual needs.

Education Requirements of a sex therapist in Canada

Accredited sex therapists build on their existing backgrounds in psychology, social work, medicine or graduate-level work in sexuality. To become a sex therapist, one must first obtain a master’s or doctorate degree in psychology, sociology, social work, clinical counseling or a related field.

By becoming a mental health professional with an advanced degree, a sex therapist can gain the tools and knowledge needed to understand how the human brain works and how they can best help people discover the root causes for their sexual behaviors and desires.

Other sex therapist requirements include undergoing specific sex therapy-related training and getting certified. Before you embark on your degree program and subsequent training, it’s highly recommended that you speak to several practicing sex therapists, so that you have an in-depth understanding of what’s required of you.

Job Description of a Sex Therapist

Once an aspiring sex therapist has obtained a master’s degree in a related field, undergone sex therapy training and received certification, the real work can begin. So, what does a typical sex therapy session look like, from a therapist’s perspective?

Contrary to popular belief, movies and TV, sex therapists do not have sexual contact with their clients in the office or anywhere else. Whether you’re a certified sexual counselor, educator or therapist, what goes on in the office with your patient’s looks much like any other form of counseling or therapy.

Of course, therapists will often assign homework for couples or individuals, such as communication exercises, educational videos about sexual health, and mindfulness techniques.

Sex therapists work with both individuals and couples struggling with a range of sexual issues. Some of the more common issues include: impulsive or compulsive sexual behavior, difficulty with sexual arousal, premature ejaculation and concerns about desire, identity and intimacy and the ability to reach orgasm.

How  to become a sex therapist in Canada

The following are the 4 steps needed to become sex therapy in Canada;

Step 1. Education

The first step in becoming a sex therapist is gaining education and obtaining a degree in a counselling or therapy-related field. Obtaining a Master’s degree in fields of psychology, therapy, healthcare, social work, or counselling are ways to get started.

Studying in these fields will give the person the knowledge of how the human brain works and the skills necessary to assist people with uncovering root causes for maladaptive behaviors. This type of training will also give the prospective sex therapist the ability to help people develop the coping skills necessary to control certain behaviors. With these skills, the prospective sex therapist can then broaden his or her scope of education to include sex therapy education and training.

Step 2. Sex Therapy Training

An individual wishing to become a sex therapist will need at least 150 hours of specific sex therapy related training. He or she must study the history of sexology, medical problems that affect sexuality, consultation techniques, interpersonal relationship elements, how to conduct sexual research, and more.

These courses will supply the individual with the information needed to assess, counsel, treat and advise a person who comes to him or her with a sexual problem. The education that the person receives should come from an accredited university.

Step 3. Practicing Sex Therapy

After obtaining a Master’s degree in a related field and gaining additional sex therapy training, an interested party can apply for internships or other programs that will allow him or her to obtain 200 hours of supervised treatment of clients with sexual problems.

He or she will also need to obtain at least 50 hours of supervision. These two items are required for certification, which is the final step before becoming a sex therapist.

Step 4. Applying for Certification

The last step in becoming a sex therapist is applying for certification. To obtain sex therapy certification, the individual must have a Master’s degree in a related field, certification in that field, approximately 150 hours of human sexuality education, 200 hours of clinical experience, and 50 hours of supervised experience. Once the person meets the criteria for certification, he or she must complete a formal application and wait to gain approval.

The application fee to obtain a sex therapy certificate in Canada is approximately $300, and the individual must accompany it with transcripts, endorsements from supervisors, license copies and signatures. Once the individual receives his or her certification to become a sex therapist, that person can enjoy a fruitful life that involves helping people and making a substantial salary by doing such.

Related occupation: Learn how to work in Canada as a Massage Therapist.

Sex therapy certification in Canada

To be the best clinician possible and to ensure you follow ethical guidelines, obtain certification in sex therapy. Many clinicians list online that they practice sex therapy, but have no training or certification.

Sex therapy certification will ensure you receive proper training, supervision, and that you are working within your scope of practice. There are many programs in-person and online that offer certification. Obtaining certification can ensure that you are providing the best care and may protect you if a legal problem arises with your client.

How much does a sex therapist make in Canada?

The average salary for a sex therapist varies depending on the location, availability, experience, and education level of the therapist, and can range on average from $68,000 to $83,000 annually. However, salaries may be much higher or lower depending on the circumstance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be a sex therapist if I’m not a therapist?

No, but if you are an educator, nurse, coach, or licensed or certified in another discipline, you may become certified as a clinical sexologist or sexology educator.

What is a Board Certified Sex Therapist?

Many professions have licensing or certification boards, made up of experts in that field. Their purpose is to assure that professionals meet established criteria for excellence in their field. The Therapist Certification Association is one board that certifies Sex Therapists, Sexology Educators, Clinical Sexologists, and other fields that fall under the category of sexology. These include Sex Offender Therapists, Kink Conscious Therapists, and Addiction Therapists.

How long does it take to become a sex therapist?

The typical sex therapy training program is 12-18 months. Be sure to look at reviews of the program and speak to other clinicians who have completed the training. You will receive feedback from past students that will help you make the right decision on which program to choose.

What does a sex therapist do?

A sex therapist assists other people in diagnosing and treating sexual disorders and problems. A therapist of this type will use a number of skills and resources to help his or her patients.


Finally, if you are seeking to become a sex therapist, you need to be educated, trained and certified. We hope this guide will guide through all the necessary steps to take on how to become a sex therapist in Canada.