Sexologist Skills & Knowledge
Training in sexological or psychosexual topics is the point which distinguishes a sexologist from other counsellors, therapists, educators, and healthcare professionals. Sexology is a specialisation, so the first step in the journey is to establish what kind of sexology professional you would like to be and what areas, issues, or populations most interest you. This information will help you decide what undergraduate and/or postgraduate options might be the most suitable for your longer term career goals.
Topics to be covered in speciality training to become a sexologist include:
It is possible to receive training in these areas through workshops and professional development activities that help to bring together your existing skills and knowledge with more specific sexuality learning areas. The University of Sydney and Curtin University postgraduate courses also cover these topics.
Training is an essential part of the process to become a sexologist. There are two other components that differentiate a sexologist from other practitioners.
Attitudes and Values Training
A sexologist’s attitudes and values play an important role in their practice. People who have been trained specifically in counselling/psychotherapy or education (whether undergraduate or postgraduate) often receive training in self-awareness and the self in therapeutic and educational contexts. Training in attitudes and values to sexuality is an extension of this, specifically focused on the challenging unconscious bias and socialised values around diversity and sexuality.
Attitudes and values training, known as a Sexual Attitudes Reassessment (SAR), develops a practitioner’s understanding of their own feelings and beliefs towards human sexuality and an understanding of the topics they themselves may be uncomfortable exploring. Although we may not agree with a sexual practice a sexologist should approach all individuals in a positive and accepting way to uphold sexual rights.
Attitudes and values training is offered regularly to members as a continuing professional development activity.
Client contact experience
Most people will gain experience in a generalist field before specialising in a sexuality context. For many members, their undergraduate degree heavily influenced the area of sexology they work in and their theoretical approach to sexuality. For psychosexual therapists, these primary registrations are most often in psychology, social work, counselling, nursing, or occupational therapy. Sexuality Educators come from a wider range of backgrounds including education, disability, gender studies, and the arts.
General members are sexologists working in the sexuality field who may or may not be considering an accreditation pathway as a psychosexual therapist or sexuality educator.
Find out more information on becoming a member of the Society of Australian Sexologists Ltd.
Find out more information on accreditation pathways for Psychosexual Therapists and Sexuality Educators.