7 Essential Books for Counselors doing Sex Therapy

Posted on Jun 6, 2016

As sexuality related issues are increasingly highlighted in mainstream media, more people are seeking sexuality counseling. Issues around family rejection, internal dissonance, what is “normal”, coming out and managing societal trauma are increasing showing up in therapy offices across the country. Unfortunately, many therapists have limited opportunities to learn how to do sex therapy in graduate school. To become a truly effective, continuing education is needed.

One great way to continue sex therapy education is by referring to books. Sometimes it can be hard to know which book might be the best to help you apply sensitivity, safety and support to your work with clients.


Here’s a list of 7 books that can help you with the sex therapy work in your practice.


The History of Sexuality Sourcebook


This book explores Ancient, medieval, and modern voices from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas offer their opinions on topics from love and marriage to patriarchy and censorship while excerpts from religious, legal, political, and poetic texts comment on sex and human existence. Knowledge of these perspectives is so important in our work with clients because just as our clients have diverse sexual experiences, they also have diverse backgrounds that inform these experiences. It is important for clinicians to be able to have as full a picture in sexuality work as possible.



Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy

This is a standard textbook that provides a comprehensive guide to assessment and treatment of all of the major female and male sexual dysfunctions. This book is great for looking at work from a physiological perspective and grounding.







 A Clinician’s Guide to Systemic Sex Therapy

This book helps clinicians understand the field of sex therapy from a systems perspective. This text walks clinicians through diagnosis and treatment with resources such as tables, graphs, flow charts, and implementation strategies. After reading through the book once, this is a great reference book to have on the bookshelf in your office.






Sexuality Counseling: An Integrative Approach

This book “blends a wide range of theoretical perspectives into a systematic, five-stage integrative couples model that promotes a non-blaming, strength-based approach. Focusing on solutions, resilience and resources, this model outlines assessment methods, goal-setting techniques, intervention guidelines, and maintenance strategies that can be used to address diverse sexual topics and a variety of populations.”





New Sexuality Studies

Provides an introduction and overview of the social study of sexualities. In this book you will explore the social construction of sexuality, the role of social differences such as race or nationality in creating sexual variation, and the ways sex is entangled in relations of power and inequality. Human Sexuality is an interdisciplinary field given the complex facets of sexuality. This book provides a very important social understanding of sexuality that undoubtedly plays a part in our clients presenting issues.




Exotics and Erotics: Human Cultural and Sexual Diversity

Continuing on the need to explore the various components of Human Sexuality, this text offers an anthropological perspective. As therapists it is important for us to move beyond our narrow lens of what sex is or even what sex “should” be. This book explores universal human sexuality in conjunction with its local manifestations in specific cultural contexts.





The Guide to Getting it On

This book is last but certainly not least. It is so important that therapists have at least some understanding of the sorts of sexual experiences and practices our clients are engaging in. This book provides a down-to-earth overview with great illustrations.