Video 1

Hello, and welcome!

You have successfully enrolled in my free 2-part mini-workshop:

How to Get a Strong Start Talking About Sex Issues in Therapy:
Why, When, How, and Then What?

Today’s topic is Bringing up Sex in Therapy: Why, When, and How

Download E-book

Next don’t forget to check your email tomorrow, because I’ll be sending you the link to part 2, which takes a deep dive into “Then What?” with a robust system for asking the right questions, organizing information, preventing harm, making good referrals, and more!

I’m willing to bet that when you finish this mini-workshop, you’ll be surprised at how confident you feel getting started with sex issues that come up in therapy.

Here’s to your courage in trying new things!

P.S. Don’t miss the second video! Make sure your email program accepts messages from this address.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

25 thoughts on “Video 1

  1. Thank you for the video.
    I do speak about sex with clients, not all the time though. Only if it seems pertinent, or they bring the topic. Some are shy to bring sex.
    Most of my work is with sexual trauma so I have a sense of being careful. Maybe I can be too careful?

    1. Hi, Lynette, I think of course you have to use your intuition and you don’t want to re-traumatize anyone. However, I don’t think asking if someone has any concerns about sex or sexuality that they might want to discuss is much risk of inducing trauma for most people. Even trauma survivors have sex lives, as of course you know. And many of them could use some help and support with boundaries, consent, sexual shame, and sex pain among other issues. I’ll be interested to hear, if you start asking more often, how it goes!

  2. This is my first introduction to your work from Ellyn Bader so I decided to join your mini-workshop. I have always been very comfortable in discussing sex and sexuality issues with my clients since the majority of my clients are struggling with those issues. I inquire about their sexual relationship as part of my intake.

  3. I feel comfortable and competent to talk about sex in therapy but watching your video today made me realize that I have no deliberate plan to raise the topic in therapy. I always raise the topic with couples in the room but seldom do so with individuals. I am going to include this in my intake and really like the way you suggested to do so. Thank you Martha

  4. Thank you for the video and ebook! Great resources for us therapists.
    In fact, I always believed that we should ask clients about it and let them feel comfortable in therapy as that would also lead for them to trust the therapist.

  5. I recently learned about you and your work from Ellyn Bader, and I very much appreciate your interest (like hers) in educating the therapeutic community. I have been in practice for over 30 years, and first learned to talk about sex when working in a treatment program for survivors and perpetrators of sexual abuse. I have found your blogs and presentations to be clear, factual, and useful, and so I have reproduced some of them and given them to my clients when topics around sexuality become manifest. I give you full credit, of course, and if they are interested, encourage them to learn from you.
    Thank you…

    1. Hi, Gary,
      Thank you for the very kind feedback! I’m really happy to hear you are getting value from my blog. I try to make them relevant to both clients and therapists, so they can help as many people as possible. I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know you like them!

  6. I am a new therapist and recently started working with couples. An issue that has consistently come up revolves around intimacy and “desire discrepancy”. I am comfortable talking about the topic of sex, but I realize I need more training in order to be effective in this area. Thank you for sharing your expertise! Very helpful!

  7. I sometimes hit a road block if my client is the more sexually driven person in a relationship and they don’t accept the validity of masturbation and just want their partner to want penetrative sex. Also, they often want easy sex without even talking about it or going through any challenges of rebuilding a sex life. Helping people with their sex lives is really important and I’m pleased to have come across you and your trainings.

  8. Thank you. This has been helpful. I work with a college age population and a standard intake question is about contraceptive usage but not about quality of sex. So I am going to experiment with adding to that section a question that asks if there are any concerns about the sexual relationship that they would want to address.

  9. Thank you for creating such a natural approach to this sensitive (and hugely important!) topic, Martha. I deeply appreciate your leadership in equipping the therapeutic community to help our clients with sex and sexuality. You are teaching foundational basics, with a confidant/consultant tone. Great questions…. Love this process! I am a better clinician already, thank you!

  10. This is such great timing Martha! I’m really looking forward to part 2 & the inspiration that will come from that one too! I’m most interested in peri & post menopausal ages & “stages” of life transitions inside marital intimacy. Thx again!

  11. Hi! I do feel comfortable bringing it up, but then don’t often know where to go with it.
    The most common problem I hear, with couples, is from the 30 somethings. Typical issue is that she’s too tired after all her work with kids and household, and he, who works equally hard outside the household, “wants it all the time”. Many fights about this. So I give the typical advice about the importance of date night and carving time out of their lives for each other. I then follow up with the question of did they go out, and how’d it go. They will report that they went and it was fine, but they went home and did not have sex. I just assume it’s the fatigue factor, and continue to follow up along with the time factor. I feel reluctant to pursue the details of the intimacy, because I’m afraid they will find it to be intrusive! And yes, I do feel uncomfortable asking for details of their sex life, because it’s ME who feels intrusive.

    1. Hello Gale,

      If you click the link that says “download ebook” the pdf should start downloading to your computer. Have you tried that? If you have, and it’s still not working, email me at and I will send you the file.

  12. I do feel comfortable about bringing this up with clients and I have. I must say though I haven’t heard too many therapists talk about doing this in couples trainings. It is good to feel your support. I have had some success helping them to improve their sex lives and I have referred others.

    Differences in desires especially if the man is not interested and in other situations where the woman is going through menopause have been especially challenging. I do not feel I’ve had success and I’ve been discouraged.

  13. I do a lot of pre-marriage education and I always bring it up there. Partly because it’s in the questionnaire the couple have answered so it’s there to see – and that makes it easier. but also, because, as you say, no-one does talk about it in any helpful way so I know it’s critical to take that opportunity. I say to them, “this may fell a bit weird to you, but I want to put the topic of sex on the table, with you, because I find that couples are usually glad to have somewhere to talk about it – there doesn’t seem to be much opportunity anywhere else.’ mostly, it’s welcome and useful.
    In couple therapy, you’re right, if it doesn’t come up in the first session it is harder, although not impossible. I have missed opportunities, and that always makes it more difficult. You have really challenged me to take that first session seriously in terms of raising the topic, and given a very relaxed, natural approach. thank you – I look forward to the second video.

  14. I always thought that sex would be something that would be out of my scope of practice because I am not a “sex therapist” but after hearing you talk at the Couples Conference and this mini workshop,I have no doubt that this is something I can address with clients. Thank you so much.