Full Course Description

Module 1 - Sex Made Simple: Clinical Strategies for Sexual Issues in Therapy

  • Strategies to resolve sexual secrets: Affairs, pornography, fetishes and more
  • Deal with the impact of sexual trauma in healthy relationships
  • Help couples who are sexless, are sexually dissatisfied or struggling with good sex in their relationships
  • Overcome your discomfort assessing and treating sexual issues
  • Help for the client who says, “I love my spouse but I am not in love with them”

Are you comfortable bringing up sexual issues with your clients? Do you welcome discussion of low sexual desire, extra-marital affairs, misuse of porn, anxiety about not having the right kind of orgasm, or how to heal from sexual trauma?

Clients consistently report they wish they could have raised sexual concerns and problems in therapy. Join the leading national and international expert, author and speaker on sex therapy, Barry W. McCarthy, PhD, ABPP, and learn to feel confident with open sexual discussions, providing psychological, biological, and relational sexual information, and utilizing psychosexual strategies and techniques to resolve sexual problems.

Rather than avoiding or downplaying sexual issues, you will gain confidence in addressing the range of sexual problems which affect over 50% of your individual and couple clients. Whether 26 or 76, single or married, straight or gay, sexuality should play a positive role in their life and relationship. This workshop introduces a pro-sexuality model and explores the new sexual mantra of desire, pleasure, eroticism and satisfaction.


Confidently Broach All Things Sex with Your Clients

  • Confront sex myths
  • Desire, pleasure, eroticism and satisfaction
  • Address issues of healthy and variant sexual desire
  • Embrace the positive functions of sexuality in individual and couple therapy

Assess Sexual Issues with Individuals and Couples

  • Conduct a sexual history with your client (with confidence and effectiveness!)
  • Implement a comprehensive four session assessment model
  • Develop a treatment plan and identify goals through a sexual strengths, vulnerabilities and problem assessment

Sexual Challenges for Individual and Couple Therapy

  • Assist clients to take personal responsibility for sex: Initiation, rejection and shame
  • Issues of desire, sexual frequency and sexual power struggles
  • Confront sexual avoidance
  • Shame and vulnerability

Deal with Sexual Secrets

  • Sexual and emotional recovery from affairs
  • Pornography, prostitution, cross dressing, cybersex and other shame variant and deviant arousal issues
  • The problem and place for fetish-based desire
  • Issues of sexual orientation

Address Complex Emotional and Sexual Issues

  • Sexual issues with gay couples
  • Sexual dissatisfaction in relationships
  • Second marriages
  • Anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health issues that impact sexuality
  • Move toward healthy sex with clients who have a history of sexual trauma

Help Clients Maintain Satisfying, Secure, Sexual Lives

  • Psychosexual skill exercises to enhance comfort, attraction and trust
  • Sex past 60: Address issues of sexuality as we age
  • Sexual strategies with medical and medication issues
  • Cope with Infertility
  • Make the right referral: Urologist, gynecologist or therapist


  • Compare and contrast healthy and variant sexual desire.
  • Conduct a sexual history with your client.
  • Using a sexual strengths, vulnerabilities and problems assessment tool, develop a treatment plan.
  • Discuss anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health factors impacting sexuality.
  • Identify strategies to aid with sexual and emotional recovery from affairs.
  • Prescribe psychosexual skill exercises to promote desire, pleasure, eroticism and satisfaction.


Copyright : 13/07/2017

Module 2 - Sexual Comfort Zone: Expanding Your Client's Values & Beliefs with Tammy Nelson, Ph.D.

Working with sexual issues in therapy and the often edgy erotic behavior people engage in today can challenges a therapist’s own values and deeply held beliefs. As an introduction to sex therapy, this workshop will include videos, demonstrations, and small-group discussion around sexual practice, providing essential training to help therapists face their own preconceived notions and countertransference issues around eroticism and intimacy.


  1. Recognize your own sex-related stereotypes, resistance, guilt, and shame as foundation for creating a safe, comfortable non-judgmental environment for clients
  2. Research about alternative sexual practices, open monogamy, fetishes, BDSM, paraphilias, cross-dressing, and a range of other behaviors
  3. Characterize responses, triggers, and any vicarious trauma that may be triggered by issues around pornography, sexual exploitation, and other erotic practices
  4. Maximize your ability to communicate about sexual issues in the consulting room
  5. Explain how to help therapists face their own preconceived notions and countertransference issues around eroticism and intimacy.


  • Sexual Issues in Therapy
    • Sexual Practice
      • Preconceived notions
  • Countertransference issues
    • Eroticism
    • Intimacy


Copyright : 13/07/2017

Working with Couples When Pornography is an Issue


  • Explore how body image issues can drive a couple’s conflict about porn
  • Assess common assumptions of therapists about porn and its use
  • Specify how to support both partners when a couple is in conflict about porn use
  • Instruct how to help couples discuss the deficits in their relationship that they’re avoiding via conflict about porn


  • Porn Use & the Conflict between Partners
    • Addiction
    • Secrecy
  • Pornography Stereotyping
    • Personal Values
    • Gender
  • Pornography Literacy
  • Porn Use Shaping Sexual Decision-Making
  • Deficits in Sexual Relationship
Copyright : 20/09/2012

Sexual Intelligence: 10 Things Every Therapist Needs to Know About Sex


Interpreting Sexual Behaviors

  • How to have conversations about sex with people you don’t have any personal experience with
  • Unhealthy arrangements and/or experiences
  • When sexuality can be an underlying issue to another non-sexual problem


Influencing and Treating Clients’ Sexual Decision-Making

  • Understanding self-defeating narratives about sexuality without undermining treatment

How to treat clients without stripping sex of its’s richness, darkness, and adulthood



  • Analyze one’s own assumptions about sexuality that unintentionally influence treatment
  • Articulate how to evaluate patients’ narratives about sexuality, and their influence on sexual experience and behavior
  • Develop a minimum level of knowledge about “alternative” sexual expression
  • Consider the impact of “normality anxiety” on patients, and to learn how to discuss this with patients
Copyright : 20/09/2012

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Clients


Talk About Sex!

  • Don’t miss out on key info by ignoring the sex talk
  • Top or bottom? And other important questions to ask: flexible, changing sexual preferences and attractions
  • Varieties of sexuality
  • Protect the client from your own biases and assumptions

Working with LGB Couples

  • Dynamics of a same gendered couple including vulnerabilities and strengths
  • Coming out discrepancy causing turbulence for couples
  • Recognize and identify how internalized homophobia creates conflicts
  • Open relationships in gay male couples
  • Sexual issues and strategies on compatibility, incompatibility, frequency and satisfaction

Working with Mixed Orientation Couples and Relationships

  • Specific stages of coming out as a mixed orientation couple
  • Specialized treatment programs for the straight spouses
  • Helping LGBTQ spouse integrate their identity into their mixed orientation relationships
  • Learn how to identify which couples will succeed and which won’t 


  • Establish different ways to talk about sex with your LGBTQ clients.
  • Explore the different aspects when working with each type of couple in the LGB community
  • Plan a way for an LGBTQ spouse to integrate their identity into their mixed orientation relationship.
Copyright : 04/12/2015

Sex Made Simple

Sex Made Simple is a comprehensive guide to healing sexual issues and dysfunction, with dozens of strategies, techniques and methods to promote healthy sexuality for couples and individuals.

  • Tools for couples to maintain strong, resilient sexual desire
  • Strategies to move past affairs, sexual trauma, variant arousal
  • Framework for counseling gay individuals and couples
  • Treating sexual dysfunction
  • Psychosexual skill exercises
  • Case Studies
  • Psychobiosocial model for assessment, treatment, and relapse prevention

Preview an excerpt:

Visit the PESI blog to learn two prime guidelines for integrated eroticism, and download the free worksheet Creating Erotic Scenarios.