Sex therapy is a specialized form of talk therapy that focuses on people’s concerns about their sexual functioning, expression, or communication about sex. Sex therapy sessions are not physical exams, but strictly traditional talk therapy. Sessions take place in a professional office and never involve any form of physical contact, nudity, or sexual behavior between therapist and client. While discussions with a sex therapist can be very forthright, they will also be professional, respectful, and educational. Sex therapy typically addresses the emotional issues underlying sexual difficulties and utilizes behavioral techniques to resolve the physical symptoms.
Sex Therapy is a credentialed profession, legitimately practiced only by a licensed mental health or medical professional (such as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychologist, Social Worker, Physicians Assistant, Nurse Practitioner or MD) that has additional training beyond their mandatory professional license.
Not everyone who claims to practice sex therapy has adequate training. The credentialing process for a sex therapist involves several years of course work, training, supervision, and approval by more experienced members of The American Association of Educators, Counselors and Therapists. The AASECT website explains more about certification and the ethical responsibilities of sexuality professionals, as well as how to find one.