Assessing and Treating Sex Issues in Psychotherapy

Are You Comfortable, Competent, and Confident
Working with Sex Issues in Therapy?

If not, I can help.

Enroll in my 16-week online training and enter into a transformative journey. By the end of the training, you will:

    • Feel comfortable opening the conversation about sex with every client
    • Have a roadmap for how to continue the conversation with confidence
    • Ground your knowledge of sex and sexuality in accurate, hard-to-find information and effectively share that knowledge with your clients
    • Expertly use a variety of unique tools and interventions specifically designed to improve your effectiveness working with sex issues
    • Have a solid understanding of healthy sexuality and sexual function
    • Understand how to assess and treat, or refer, many common sex issues
    • Know where to go for more information when you need it
    • Have several strategies for untangling the many factors underlying complex sex issues like desire discrepancy
    • Know how to skillfully support differentiation in relationships, and understand why this is crucial to working with sex issues
    • Be able to approach sex issues through a non‐judgmental, non‐pathologizing, multifactorial  framework
    • Understand anatomy and physiology of arousal and pleasure; provide accurate information to your clients and integrate this information for more effective treatment
You will be well supported along the way. The learning experience includes: 

    • Lots of individual attention, feedback, and consultation to support your learning process—more than you will receive in almost any other course on the market
    • 8 videoconference class meetings, live with Martha, to ask questions, synthesize concepts, and apply course materials through case discussion
    • Private online discussion group where you and your colleagues can ask Martha questions, discuss cases and support one another on the journey
    • Access to a robust annotated resource list for further study, organized by topic for easy access when you need it

I hope you will join me for the 2019 group. Your clients need you to be able to discuss sex issues with competence, confidence, and comfort. And I want you to feel comfortable doing so.

Who Am I and Why Am I Offering this Training?

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I am Martha Kauppi—an AASECT-certified sex therapist and supervisor, a former midwife, and a lifelong educator. I have a private practice specializing in sex issues and relational issues. I am trained in and teach the Bader/Pearson Developmental Model of Couple Therapy.

I created this training because only about 20% of the clients I see in my private practice truly need a specialist. Most of them—the vast majority—just need a competent therapist with accurate information about sex and the ability to discuss sex frankly, accurately, and directly. Yet clients tell me they have not been able to find a therapist who can do that for them—so they come to me.

Imagine a world where every client can expect they will be able to find a therapist who feels comfortable discussing any issue they bring, even sex. A world in which every therapist truly is someone clients can talk to about anything. That’s the world I’m working toward by teaching this course and inviting you to be part of it.

Being a therapist who talks about sex will definitely set you apart. You will have a significant competitive edge, and more importantly, you will quickly notice how therapeutically effective it is to identify a sex issue and address it directly. Your clients will love you for it.

Hundreds of therapists have taken courses and been in consulting groups with me; I’ve worked with generalists who had NEVER discussed sex in the therapy room before and also with experienced sex therapists who wanted new ways to conceptualize and work with sex issues. My students at every level have told me my course has made a difference in their therapy practices.

This training is significantly different from an information-based course about sexual dysfunction. It is also very different from a theory-based class covering broad concepts. This course has a clinical focus and will provide what you need to develop real skill and comfort talking about sex and working effectively with a broad variety of sex issues in therapy. From the first day of class to the last, you will steadily gain approaches and interventions you can use immediately: tools that will make a difference to your clients and your practice from the start.

And I will be right there with you along the way, to answer your questions, consult as you apply new material in your practice, and support you in your journey.

The 2019 course starts as soon as you enroll

What you get from me:

    • Immediate access to the first learning module, the discussion board, and select new materials when you sign up, followed by the second module March 9th, and thereafter a new module every other week
    • A total of 9 learning modules including study guides, print materials, video materials with transcripts and audio-only tracks, and both print and video materials for you to use with your clients
    • 8 in-person videoconference calls; ask me your questions in person, get to know your colleagues, process material, and get support when you need it. The videoconference calls will be recorded for listening later (audio only) if you are unable to attend in person
    • A private online discussion group to share the journey, discuss material and cases, share links to resources, give and get feedback, and form community with your cohort, me, and my team
    • 20 CEUs approved by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, following a post-test*
    • A detailed syllabus, learning objectives, and post-test which you can submit to your own professional organization to request CEUs (granting of CEUs is entirely at the discretion of each professional organization)
    • A certificate of completion, suitable for framing
    • A badge of completion to display on your website, indicating that you are a therapist your clients can talk to about sex

*This program meets the requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 20 CE credits. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification.

Money-Back Guarantee

Nobody should pay for something they feel isn’t benefiting them. If at any time during the first  30 days of the course you feel you are not becoming more effective, knowledgeable, and comfortable talking about sex effectively with your clients, I will happily give you a full refund.


Course Outline

Assessing and Treating Sex Issues in Psychotherapy—Level 1

Module 1: Getting Under Way

    • Meet your colleagues and start building community
    • Get motivated for the journey by exploring the discussion group. You can read about past cases and ask questions about your current clinical challenges
    • Process versus content: a powerful tool for holding steady when the going gets rough
    • Overview of brief assessment: initiating a frank conversation with confident, carefully crafted questions
    • Bonus: Interview with Lin Jovanovic, Helping Your Clients Have the “Sex Talk” with Their Children

Module 2: Healthy Sexuality and Sexual Health: Building a Solid Foundation for Treatment

    • Learn four components of healthy sexuality and their relevance to therapy
    • Explore identifying healthy sexuality with diverse sexual practices
    • Explore different meanings clients may have for sex and how/when to normalize sexual expression
    • Learn to identify and work with consent violations, even subtle, complex ones that are easy to miss or misunderstand
    • Conceptualizing the case: emotional, spiritual, and relational aspects of sex issues

Module 3: Three-Tier Assessment: identifying and Working with the Issues: Deep Dive Part 1

    • Know how to immediately identify and skillfully follow up on the most pressing issues revealed in your initial assessment
    • Understand and work effectively with desire issues in multiple contexts and learn to conceptualize desire issues through the lens of differentiation
    • Discover the underlying causes of low or inhibited desire
    • Understand how sex pain influences the system and how to help immediately and effectively

Module 4: Three-Tier Assessment: Identifying and Working with the Issues: Deep Dive Part 2

    • Learn several approaches to third-tier, in-depth assessment and when to use them
    • Catch potentially dangerous issues before they cause harm
    • Approach tough arousal and orgasm issues from multiple angles
    • Integrate the 3-tier assessment strategy through clinical practice

Module 5: Pelvic Anatomy: Not Just for Reproduction

    • Update your knowledge of sexual anatomy for pleasure. Unless you’re either a sex geek or an anatomy geek, there may be some surprises here!
    • Understand sexual function so you can more deeply understand and more effectively work with sexual dysfunction
    • Discover how sexual function changes with age, stage, and circumstance, so you can help your clients build healthy sexual relationships that stay strong over the course of a lifetime
    • Bonus: Free video download: Martha teaches anatomy for reproduction, sexual function, and pleasure. Share it with your clients so you don’t have to memorize

Module 6: Linear versus Circular Model of Sex: Indispensable Key to Treating Any Sex Issue

    • Understand the cultural norm for “sex,” or the Linear Model, and how it creates sexual dysfunction
    • Learn how to use the circular model to help your clients have a satisfying and fulfilling sex life for a lifetime
    • Learn to present self-pleasure as a therapeutic intervention, understand the pros and cons, and know how to get the benefits without the drawbacks
    • Bonus: “Frequently Needed Facts” handout debunks myths that keep your clients stuck

Module 7: Supporting Progress with the Linear versus Circular Model of Sex: Toolbox

    • Prepare ahead of time for the pitfalls clients will encounter when exploring this material
    • Free your clients from finger pointing and help start a collaborative conversation using the Dual Control Model
    • Learn the Initiator/Inquirer process from the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, a powerful strategy for supporting differentiation
    • Understand how to support differentiation and block regression when working with sexual challenges

Module 8: Physiology of Arousal Deep Dive: Becoming a Sexual Problem-Solver

    • Learn how multiple body systems work together to create healthy sexual function
    • Discover three “magic bullets” for improving sexual function
    • Understand and share powerful strategies for improving sexual health as both prevention and treatment for sexual dysfunction
    • Know how and where an understanding of physiology fits into your treatment plan

Module 9: Desire Discrepancy: Pulling Together your Toolbox and Putting It into Practice

    • Tackle even the toughest desire discrepancy problems with finesse and understand how to sort out the physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and purely sexual aspects of complex sex issues
    • Gain confidence working with a wide range of presentations of desire and other sexual issues
    • Disarm the power struggle and negative feedback loop, and replace it with collaboration and positive reinforcement
    • Integrate learning applied to cases; identify opportunities for effective psychoeducation and intervention
    • Get clear on how to formulate a plan and proceed with confidence with any sex-related case

Brand-New Course Materials for 2019!

Martha is creating a series of video interviews with experts, discussing special circumstances and thorny topics related to sex.

    • Doug Braun-Harvey discussing how to work effectively with out-of-control sexual behavior
    • Amy Gilliland discussing the history and research about pornography
    • Amy Gilliland and Martha discussing sex issues related to pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period
    • Lin Jovanovich discussing how to help clients talk with their kids about sex
    • Lori Collins discussing how to help parents with young children keep a strong connection
    • and much, much more!

  • Q&A

    Q: What is the difference between this course and other online offerings about sex?

    A: I designed my course to bridge the gap between having information and actually using it. To that end, I teach the information you need in order to think more clearly about sex issues, and I include practical, effective, immediately applicable tools you can put to use in your practice. I want you to be able to begin building confidence through experiencing success right from the start. I provide plenty of hard-to-find accurate information about sex, but always in the context of interventions I’m presenting, application to cases, and a framework of clear case conceptualization.

    Q: How much individualized attention does this course include?

    A: Lots! I want you to have the support you need as you put new ideas and techniques into practice. Whenever you get stuck or have a question or challenging case, I’ll be there. You will be able to post to the online discussion group at any time, and there will be 8 one-hour video-conference calls as well so we can meet “in person.” If you are unable to make the conference calls, you can send me your questions and then listen later. You can also email my assistant with your questions. I recognize you are taking a leap into new territory, and as you begin to apply the material in your own practice, I and my team are here to help

    Q: Who is the ideal candidate for this course?

    A: Whether you’re a generalist who wants to nail down the basics of assessing and treating sex issues and expand your practice, or a sex therapist who wants to brush up, learn fresh ways to conceptualize cases, and pick up some new tools for working with complex and overlapping issues, this course has plenty to offer.  If you believe sex should be normalized and is important enough to include in therapy, you are the ideal participant. If you work with desire discrepancy and don’t feel as effective as you would like to be, this will also be a great course for you. If you never had any training in doing therapy with sex issues, my course can repair the omission, as it is skills-based and information-dense. If you like to have lots of support, easy access to consultation, and a group of colleagues learning right beside you as you try new things, this course is definitely for you.

    Q: How much time will it take?

    A: Past participants tell me around 2-3 hours per week. Every 2 weeks there will be new material that should take about 2 hours to get through. On alternate weeks there is a 60-75 minute video-conference call; if you are unable to attend in person, you can send me your questions and then listen to the recording at your convenience. I also encourage you to set aside time for getting and receiving support through the online forum because I think interaction with your colleagues, me, and my team provides significant value and will help you feel supported as you try new things. The course materials include lots of problem-specific material you may not need to digest immediately, and I also provide many additional resources for when you need them in the future. Active participation and successful completion of a post-test is required in order to qualify for CEUs, a web badge, and a certificate of completion you can display in your office.

    Q: Can I get CEUs?

    A. My course is approved for 20 CEUs from the American Association of Sexuality Counselors, Educators, and Therapists,* with active participation and after completion of a post-test and evaluation. If you want to request CEUs from your own professional organization, you may take the post-test, and I will give you a certificate of completion with a detailed syllabus and learning objectives to support your request. Your professional organization guidelines should give you a good indication of whether they will accept my course and/or AASECT credits for CEUs, but I cannot guarantee or predict the outcome.

    *This program meets the requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 20 CE credits. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification.

    Q: Will I have to self-disclose?

    A. No. Never. I will not ask personal questions, and I do not expect you to disclose anything personal. If you have a question about anything at all regarding sex, sexuality, or working with sex issues in therapy, I’m happy to answer, and I do not need to know if you are asking on your own behalf or a client’s.

    Q: Do I need to know a lot about sex before taking your course?

    A. Not at all. My course will provide you with a lot of accurate information about sex so you will feel confident moving forward. You will need to have some desire to have frank conversations about sex in the service of being effective working with related issues, but my course is entirely suitable for participants with no experience working with sex issues.

    Q: What if I already have quite a bit of experience working with sex issues? Will your course still benefit me?

    A. I have worked with lots of experienced sex therapists who have gotten value from my course. However, if you have doubts or many years of experience, please send me email and we can discuss your particular circumstances and goals in more detail.

    Martha is a fantastic teacher. It was clear from the beginning how experienced she is.

    Sarah Ludington, LPC, Denver CO

    Martha made herself so available for us… her very calm and matter-of-fact approach to this topic creates an openness and acceptance in the class environment I have seldom experienced with other teachers.

    Alexa Elkington, MFT, Las Vegas, NV

    She’s the complete expert in what she does, and has a way of making complicated subjects really easy to understand.

    Nancy St John, couples counselor, Ireland

    A no-holds-barred real life, real issues, real conversations look at intimacy struggles and how to engage couples who are entrenched in unsatisfying interactions with no way out.

    Rev. Erich Moraine, Certified IFS practitioner, Milwaukee, WI

    This course is one that I believe every therapy practitioner should take. I feel more confident as a practitioner, both raising the subject of sexual issues and attending to my clients’ questions and concerns. Martha was attentive to all questions and encouraged participation, which built a very strong learning community. I’m also grateful for all of the excellent handouts, resources and suggested reading material. I highly recommend this course!

    Brenda Kerr Minno, LMFT, LMHC, Washington

    Martha’s course material is excellent, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy having access to quality information. I am asking my clients about sex more often, and am becoming more relaxed in my approach to it. I put a link to Sex Resources on my website’s homepage, and consequently, I am getting more clients who have issues pertaining to sexuality. It’s great!

    Caron Smith, MSW, Victoria, Canada

    Martha Kauppi’s brilliant course for therapists has invigorated and enhanced my practice with couples and individuals enormously. My clients benefit by my growing ability to address specific issues of concern in their sex lives. Myths and biases are replaced with facts and applicable approaches for change. I was amazed how comfortable my clients and I became with addressing these issues. Martha is so generous and welcoming with her information and abundant resources, experience, online seminar leadership, and knowledge. My only regret is that I had not taken this course earlier.

    Dian Rains Allen, Ph.D., MFT, LPCC, Vallejo California

    This course is so comprehensive. The information provided progressed so that anyone, even without any background on this topic, could still establish a baseline of knowledge to develop a level of competency. Excellent course!

    Helene Beddingfield, RN, ATR, LMFT, Fair Oaks, CA

    Martha’s course is deeply informative, but also highly relatable for someone like myself without previous sex therapy training. I feel like I reference something that I learned in 80% of my sessions (and in my personal life, as well!)

    Julie Gladnick, MA, LMFT, Denver, CO

    Martha provides a very safe learning environment for what can be a sensitive subject. She not only explains why therapists should open the door to a dialogue about sexuality, but also provides an incredibly effective screening tool and information about what to do or ask, as many different scenarios unfold in sessions. As my knowledge base grew exponentially, I learned many ways to help my clients articulate what they want with regard to sex and how partners can express this to each other. Martha gives a tremendous amount of herself and her knowledge to the course and she is committed to each person’s learning and understanding. This is very clearly her passion.

    Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP,
    Pottstown, PA

    Hi, Martha, I just wanted to let you know that I had my first ‘circular model of sex’ discussion with two men. If you had told me a year ago that I would do this, I would’ve said you were nuts. Thank you!!

    CG, LMFT, Licensed in MN and WI

    Martha has an incredible talent to teach complicated material in a digestible way. Every time I have heard Martha present, I have implemented what I have learned in my sessions right away. I am incredibly grateful for all I have learned from Martha and believe the couples I work with have benefited from all she has taught me.

    Kelly Scharver, Couples Counselor, Virginia

    My confidence and clarity in addressing sex and sexuality issues has grown greatly over this 16 weeks. Many thanks, Martha, for your clarity of education and generosity in sharing your expertise.

    Vivian, M. Couns., PACFA Reg. Clinical, Sydney, Australia