Best Online Sex Therapy

These Online Certified Sex Therapy Providers Treat Both Couples and Individuals

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Online sex therapy offers busy couples the support needed to navigate the vulnerable territory of intimacy. Sex therapists have training, certification, and/or experience in addressing sexual health and factors like unresolved emotional issues, fears and phobias, traumatic experiences, mismatched libidos, and different sexual preferences. Through sex therapy, couples can tackle touchy topics in a safe, supportive environment.

Given the vulnerable nature of sex, it can be difficult to find a sex therapist, even if you think this type of therapy might be beneficial to you. This is especially true when looking for an online sex therapist. So to help you find the best online platforms, we surveyed 105 users at 55 of the most popular online therapy platforms and 180 users at 25 directories. We also tested many of these platforms ourselves, consulted three industry experts, and sent questionnaires to the companies themselves. Below are our picks for the best online therapy platforms offering sex therapy.

Best Online Sex Therapy of 2023

Why Trust Us
55
Companies reviewed
5,775
Total users surveyed
350
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 105 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we tested the services ourselves, conducted comprehensive data collection research, and evaluated our results with the help of three licensed therapists.

Best for Married Couples : Growing Self


  • Price: $125 to $150 per session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It 

Clinicians at Growing Self specialize in guiding married couples through the ups and downs of long-term intimacy. Its staff of experts draws from diverse evidence-based practices that build trust, warmth, communication, and desire between couples.

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Specializes in sex and relationship therapy

  • Variety of treatment approaches

  • Sliding scale rates

Cons
  • Confusing website

  • Most affordable therapists have little experience

  • No subscription plans offered

Overview

Growing Self provides online individual therapy, couples therapy, and coaching, with a strong focus on relationships. Its founder created it to fill a gap in the industry—a lack of therapists who specialize in relationships, understand how big of an impact they have on our mental health, and take couples' issues seriously. That’s why Growing Self offers counseling for those seeking support with issues that affect relationships the most, including sex therapy.

Growing Self is a solid choice for married couples ready to invest in building sexual intimacy. Its staff of caring, empathetic sex therapists helps couples learn to talk vulnerably and openly about their hopes, fears, and desires; overcome differences in libido or preferences; heal resentment; and address other emotional issues getting in the way of intimacy. 

Since Growing Self specializes in relationships, couples have more options to choose from and, ultimately, a better chance of finding the right fit. Its sex therapists have undergone extensive training and certification in sexuality. They have diverse backgrounds and use varied approaches, including psychobiological approach to couples therapy (PACT), emotionally focused therapy (EFT), trauma-informed couples therapy, and The Gottman Method. Each session is 45 minutes long and held over video chat, phone, or in person, depending on location and availability.

Plans & Pricing

Pricing at Growing Self depends on the provider’s experience and education:

  • Early Career: $65 to $105 per session
  • Master’s Level Clinician: $75 to $115
  • Advanced Clinician: $95 to $135
  • Doctoral Clinician: $160 (may offer sliding scale)
User Satisfaction

According to our survey, 90% of users rated Growing Self’s positively overall. Sixty-two percent said they would start their search at Growing Self again if needed, while 89% were pleased with the therapist’s qualifications. 72% were satisfied or very satisfied with the therapist options on the platform, compared to a 70% average. Users also found the site easy to use, with 80% (compared to a 78% average) rating it positively overall in terms of overall helpfulness connecting them to a therapist.

Best With Retreats : Couples Therapy Inc


  • Price: Weekend retreats starting at $3,500; 80-minute sessions at $150-275
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy
Why We Chose It 

Couples Therapy Inc.’s sexuality retreats are led by highly experienced sexologists who understand how to achieve outstanding results in a weekend. An extensive intake assessment ensures clinicians can thoroughly prepare and help couples make the most of their time.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Led by experienced clinical sexologists

  • High user satisfaction

  • Addresses issues quickly due to weekend format

Cons
  • Too expensive for many

  • Intensive format isn’t for everyone

  • Website is confusing

Overview

Couples Therapy Inc. consists of a team of highly experienced relationship therapists. All clinicians are trained in The Gottman Method, one of the most scientifically well-supported approaches to couples therapy. Couples Therapy Inc.’s approach is also unique in that it focuses on intensive therapy within a short period: either a weekend retreat or a three-month period, though it also offers stand-alone follow-up sessions. 

Sexuality retreats are in-person or virtual and occur over a long weekend. To make the most of their time together, couples fill out an extensive assessment, called "The BIG, BIG Book," before attending. Couples are also given follow-up work to do after the weekend. 

Couples Therapy Inc.’s experienced team of sexologists—all of whom are certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) or in the process of becoming AASECT-certified—help couples pinpoint and heal blocks to sexual intimacy, such as resentment, phobias, and trauma, while educating them about initiating and refusing sex gently, increasing sexual energy, and maintaining romance over time. Couples Therapy Inc. also states that they maintain high standards and ethics to ensure participants feel safe and comfortable in the retreat environment.

Plans & Pricing

Sexuality retreats range from $3,500 to $6,500 depending on location (in-person retreats are available nationwide) and the experience of the therapist you work with. This cost doesn’t cover travel, food, or lodging, so it’s quite an investment for most couples.

Besides retreats, couples can also opt for sessions over a three-month period or as follow-ups to retreats. These cost $150 to $275 for 80 minutes. Couples Therapy Inc. may be too expensive for many people, but for those who can afford to invest, it’s an excellent option.

User Satisfaction

Couples Therapy Inc. has high user satisfaction overall, indicating its methods work. 90% of users rated their experience positively overall, compared to an 84% average. 82% said it met all or most of their needs, compared to a 77% average. Importantly, 90% rated its value for money positively, compared to a 78% average. It seems that it's worth the investment for those who can afford it.

Best for Military Couples : E-Therapy Cafe


  • Price: $196-360 per month; $55 a session
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: No
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

E-Therapy Cafe’s sex therapists have expertise in trauma and are experienced in treating veterans and first responders, plus military couples get a discount.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Specializes in military couples

  • Clinicians are trauma-informed

  • Veterans get a discount

Cons
  • Not designed specifically for sex therapy

  • Limited number of clinicians

  • No free trial

Overview

E-Therapy Cafe offers affordable, efficient online therapy for individuals and couples who need help with a range of mental health issues, including relationship issues. Most clinicians are both therapists and life coaches. Some are certified traumatologists with extensive experience in serving veterans, first responders, or those who have experienced trauma. E-Therapy Cafe also offers bridal coaching.

E-Therapy Cafe is an excellent choice for military couples who need help addressing sexual intimacy issues. Since it’s highly focused on trauma-informed care, it’s helpful for couples whose sex lives are affected by PTSD. Plus, military members get a discount, which lowers its already affordable costs ($55 or less per 30-minute session) even more. 

E-Therapy Cafe doesn’t have as wide a selection of therapists as other platforms, which means only a few specialize in sex therapy. However, it’s one of our highest-scoring platforms, with 94% of users rating it positively, compared to an 84% average. E-Therapy Cafe is more about quality than quantity, so it's worth checking out, especially if you or your partner have a military background.

Plans & Pricing

Sessions take place by live chat, video chat, or e-journal. Chat and video sessions are 30 minutes long, while an e-journal entry is 700 words (you’ll get a detailed response from your therapist). You can buy one session at a time, making it a flexible option for those not ready to commit to regular therapy sessions.

  • E-Therapy Shot: $55 per session (instant chat, live video, or journal)
  • E-Therapy Four: $49 per session for four sessions
  • E-Therapy Flight: $45 per session for eight sessions
User Satisfaction

The quality of care at E-Therapy Cafe seems to be quite high: It has one of our highest overall user satisfaction scores, with 94% of people rating it positively, compared to an 84% average. 82% of users said their therapists met all or most of their needs, compared to a 77% average. 90% rated their therapist’s qualifications positively, which is well above the 84% average. Finally, 82% said they would recommend E-Therapy Cafe to a friend, versus a 71% average.

Best for Inclusivity : Inclusive Therapists


  • Price: Individual page: $29 ; Group plan: $119 ( Up to seven individual profiles)
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy
Why We Chose It

Inclusive Therapists offers sex therapists with varied backgrounds and identities, including diverse ethnicities, nationalities, sexual identities, languages, and lifestyle preferences. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Has culturally inclusive clinicians

  • Easy to filter for sex therapists

  • Wide range of cultural search filters

Cons
  • Not designed specifically for sex therapy

  • Availability varies according to location

  • Not all providers accept insurance

Overview 

Inclusive Therapists is a therapy directory connecting diverse therapy seekers with diverse clinicians. Rather than facilitating sessions through the platform itself, as with an online therapy service, a directory simply helps therapy seekers search for providers. Inclusive Therapists is focused on culturally inclusive therapy and strives to help those from marginalized groups feel welcome and supported in therapy.

It’s a great option for couples seeking sex therapy through a judgment-free, culturally sensitive lens. Therapy seekers can search for therapists via extensive search filters like ethnicity, languages spoken, religious views, sexual identity, and treatment approaches. 

The directory's inclusivity also extends to sexual expression and sexual lifestyle preferences. Many of its practitioners are sex-positive, kink- and BDSM-informed, consensual non-monogamy friendly, trauma-informed, and feminist-informed. With a wide range of search options, the directory is perfect for those who want sex therapy in a culturally safe space where they and their partner feel welcome.

Plans & Pricing

Inclusive Therapists is a directory, so prices, session frequency, and platform options depend on the provider. Some therapists may take insurance.

User Satisfaction

Users are largely satisfied with Inclusive Therapists, with 89% rating the directory positively overall, compared to an 87% average. Almost three-quarters (73%) of users said Inclusive Therapists was much better than services used in the past, compared to a 70% average. Plus, 45% said the clinicians at Inclusive Therapists were more qualified than those of services used in the past, versus a 37% average.

Best for Newcomers to Sex Therapy : Talkspace


  • Price: $276 - $516 monthly
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It 

Talkspace offers flexible options, including messaging therapy, which may make talking about vulnerable topics easier for those new to sex therapy. It also has an extensive network of clinicians, so couples have more options to choose from.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers messaging therapy

  • Huge network of therapists to choose from 

  • Easy to switch therapists 

Cons
  • Not designed specifically for sex therapy

  • May not be as personalized as other platforms

  • Expensive without insurance

Overview 

Talkspace is one of the oldest online therapy services around and has become a household name across the country. It’s known for flexibility and accessibility, as it offers three therapy tiers and price levels, accepts insurance, and has an extensive network of therapists who treat individuals, teens, and couples with a variety of mental health issues. 

Talkspace isn’t designed specifically with sex therapy in mind, yet as one of the largest online therapy providers, its large list of therapists and offerings make it easier to find the right fit. To find a sex therapist on Talkspace, therapy seekers can sign up for couples therapy and select sex and intimacy as the reason for seeking therapy. They’ll be provided with a list of clinicians to choose from, and they can also easily switch therapists to find a better fit.

Talkspace offers three subscription plans, two of which include messaging. This can be a lifesaver for couples who aren’t comfortable discussing intimacy issues openly, especially with a clinician they don’t know. Sex is a vulnerable topic, so the easier and safer therapy feels to newcomers, the higher the likelihood they’ll stick with and benefit from it. Additionally, messaging can help couples follow up on live sessions (if they’ve chosen the live session and messaging plan) throughout the week, which may enhance or expedite the healing process. 

Plans & Pricing

Talkspace offers three plan options at different price points.

  • Messaging therapy is $69 and up per week and includes unlimited text, video, and audio messaging with guaranteed therapist responses five days a week.
  • Live therapy is $99 and up per week and includes four live 45-minute sessions per month via live chat, phone, or video call.
  • Live + messaging therapy is $129 per week and up and includes messaging plus four live sessions.
User Satisfaction

Talkspace lived up to its reputation with some of our highest satisfaction scores; 90% of users rated it positively overall compared to an 84% average. Seventy-eight percent of users said their therapist met all or most of their needs, compared to a 77% average. Over 90% rated their therapist’s qualifications positively overall (92%), versus an 84% average, and 82% would recommend it to a friend, versus a 71% average.

Best Directory : American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT)


Why We Chose It 

Certification from this organization is the gold standard in sex therapy training and certification. Since all therapists in the AASECT directory are AASECT-certified, therapy seekers can find a quality clinician with relevant expertise more quickly than they might in another directory.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • All therapists are AASECT certified

  • AASECT certification requires extensive training

  • Therapist information clearly displayed

Cons
  • Therapy seekers make all logistical arrangements

  • Not all therapists take insurance

  • Site is designed primarily for providers

Overview 

American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) is an alliance of sex therapists, sexuality educators, and other professionals in the field who are dedicated to setting high standards in the industry. To maintain these standards, AASECT has strict requirements for AASECT certification.

AASECT certification is considered to be the gold standard in sex therapy education. It has stringent requirements, including peer review and supervised hours (this differs from the supervised hours that all mental health providers must complete before practicing). By seeking out a therapist on AASECT’s directory, couples take less qualified sex therapists out of the equation. This simplifies the therapy-seeking process, which may lead to more rapid results.

Considering how complex sexual issues can be, finding a qualified and experienced practitioner is a must. The AASECT directory helps therapy seekers do just that. Its training program recognizes that therapists should be prepared for a multitude of sexual issues, including sexual dysfunction, sexual pleasure, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual trauma or abuse, sex and disability, and sexuality over the lifespan. 

Plans & Pricing

Since AASECT is directory, prices, session frequency, and platform options depend on the provider. Some therapists may take insurance.

User Satisfaction

While AASECT was not one of the platforms we collected data on, its rigorous requirements mean that couples will get care from an experienced professional with expertise in sex therapy. 

“Sex therapy requires specialized training, so having a directory of providers who are all certified in this field is an invaluable resource,” says Hannah Owens, licensed social worker and one of the subject matter experts we worked with on this project. “This directory guarantees that anyone you find in its database is a qualified sex therapist, as opposed to someone who may report that they treat sexual issues but does not have the qualifications required to be a certified sex therapist. The high level of training required to be listed in AASECT can only benefit the client, who can rest assured that they (and their partner) are receiving informed and affirming care from a professional.”

Best for LGBTQIA+ : TherapyDen


Why We Chose It 

Therapy Den offers inclusive, affirming sex therapy for the LGBTQIA+ community and offers extensive search filters to help couples find the right match.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Committed to serving the LGBTQIA+ community

  • Features therapists from the LGBTQIA+ community

  • Excellent search filters

Cons
  • Not specifically designed for LGBTQIA+ sex issues

  • Only some therapists take insurance

  • Availability varies according to location

Overview

TherapyDen is an easy-to-use directory listing therapists and psychiatrists across the country. Therapy seekers can search via a range of filters, such as LGBTQIA+ identity, ethnicity, gender, and spirituality, along with treatment approaches and specialties. Many practitioners have video introductions included in their listings, which can give therapy seekers a better feel for the therapist than a written bio alone.

The site’s home page features a carousel of trans therapists, indicating that it's a safe space for people of diverse identities. Couples can easily filter by the specialty “sexual issues” and the identity “LGBTQIA+ community” to find a clinician they feel comfortable with. As it's a directory, couples can reach out to as many therapists as they want to find the right fit.

Sex therapists at Therapy Den help patients with the wide spectrum of sexual issues that affect the community, including performance anxieties, desire discrepancies, eroticism, kink, sex after trauma, sex in neurodivergent patients, mixed neurotype couples, and emotional strain due to lack of intimacy, among other issues. 

Plans & Pricing

Therapy Den is a directory, so prices, session frequency, and platform options depend on the provider. Some therapists may take insurance.

User Satisfaction

Therapy Den is particularly good for LGBTQIA+ couples; 24% of users said it was better than services used in the past in terms of LGBTQA+ cultural competence, compared to a 23% average. Inclusivity appears to be important for users, as 35% of Therapy Den users said finding a therapist with a similar identity was important to them, compared to a 30% average.

Best for Communication Issues : Gottman Referral Network


Why We Chose It 

The Gottman Referral Network offers sex therapists who are trained in the highly regarded Gottman Method, a highly researched, evidence-based approach to couples counseling that emphasizes positive communication and intimacy building.

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • All therapists are trained in The Gottman Method

  • Method places high importance on communication

  • Includes international therapists

Cons
  • Not all therapists specialize in sex therapy

  • Not all therapists take insurance

  • The Gottman Method isn’t for everyone

Overview 

Sexual issues are rarely just about sex, but uncovering and repairing deeper issues requires trust and good communication. Practitioners at Gottman Referral Network, a directory that lists only Gottman Method-trained therapists, can help couples do just that. 

Creators of the method, John and Julie Gottman, laid out nine components of a healthy relationship—such as creating shared meaning—known as the “Sound Relationship House Theory.” The Gottman Method is an evidence-based, highly researched method of couples counseling designed to “disarm conflicting verbal communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy,” among other things. 

There is abundant evidence to show how effective the method is for couples. For example, a randomized clinical trial found one- or two-day workshops followed by nine counseling sessions to be effective in improving relationship dynamics, as did another study focused on improving married couples’ levels of intimacy.

For those who struggle with asking for what they want or whose communication leads to intimacy-crushing arguments and disconnection, Gottman Referral Network is a great option.

Plans & Pricing

Gottman Referral Network is a directory, so prices, session frequency, and platform options depend on the provider. Some therapists may take insurance.

User Satisfaction

Gottman Referral Network is well-liked by users, indicating that the evidence-based approach works: 79% percent of users rated it positively overall. Additionally, 78% said it was very likely they’d be seeing the same therapist in six months, compared to a 74% average.

Best for Budget-Minded : Thriveworks


  • Price: Session rate varies by provider; $99 per session if not using insurance
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling
Why We Chose It

Thriveworks has affordable options for couples who want to build intimacy on a budget. Sessions start at $99 without insurance, plus it accepts an extensive range of insurance providers.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Sessions as low as $99

  • Accepts most insurance

  • High user satisfaction

Cons
  • Doesn’t serve every state

  • Practitioner availability varies

  • Membership benefits are limited

Overview

Thriveworks is an online therapy company that accepts a wide range of insurance providers and offers affordable rates. Without insurance, sessions start at $99 each. Thriveworks does require a $39 monthly membership fee which grants access to video content, a 24-hour “Ask a Therapist” service, and a “success navigator” to help with logistics. Those with lower incomes can email to request that the fee be waived. 

Thriveworks is a solid option for couples who are budget-minded and don’t mind doing a little digging to find the right fit. As it's not a service designed specifically for sex therapy, therapy seekers will need to use the search function to find the ideal therapist (select “sex therapy” under the “Help for…” filter). In-office therapy is also available in some locations. 

One drawback with Thriveworks is the availability of therapists who are qualified in sex therapy. Plus, Thriveworks doesn’t offer therapy for residents of Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, or West Virginia. This may make finding a therapist a little more time-consuming, as therapy-seekers may need to check for availability in their area more than once.

Plans & Pricing

A $39 monthly membership fee grants access to educational video content (on topics like relationships); a “success navigator” to help you schedule appointments; billing and payment assistance; and an “Ask a Therapist” feature which gets you answers to a question within 24 hours. 

Thriveworks offers a seven-day trial period. Fees vary based on the practitioner and location but start at $99 per session. It accepts an extensive network of insurance providers. 

User Satisfaction

Thriveworks does well overall in terms of user satisfaction. Of the users surveyed, 90% rated Thriveworks positively overall, compared to an 84% average. Just over half (52%) of users said they’d still be seeing the same therapist in six months, versus a 42% average. And 88% rated their therapist’s qualifications positively versus an 84% average.

Best for BIPOC : National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network


Why We Chose It

NQTTCN is committed to healing injustices and recognizes that marginalized people have largely been pathologized in mental health. Its goal is to make therapy more inclusive and celebrate differences as healthy and normal.

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • Designed to support POC

  • Is a health justice organization

  • Has culturally sensitive practitioners nationwide

Cons
  • Search functions are limited

  • Availability varies

  • No help getting started

Overview 

NQTTCN is a directory with an impressive mission—to be accessible, safe, and supportive to people who might traditionally have been pathologized or marginalized as a result of race, ethnicity, sex, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or lifestyle preferences. As a social and health justice organization in addition to a therapist directory, it serves as a community-building platform and educational resource for clinicians who are committed to mental health justice.

To find a practitioner on NQTTCN, couples must search via location. Unfortunately, there aren’t more detailed search filters to help narrow down the results to sex therapists, which can make finding one more time-consuming. That said, all practitioners found on NQTTCN identify as a person of color, which means BIPOC couples have a greater chance of finding the right fit.

Overall, NQTTCN is a safe space that embraces couples of all identities. All practitioners agree to a Statement of Community Care, which recognizes the intergenerational effects of systematic racism, sexism, patriarchy, ableism, and colonialism. 

Plans & Pricing

NQTTCN is a directory, so prices, session frequency, and platform options depend on the provider. Some therapists may take insurance.

User Satisfaction

Quality of care seems to be high among the therapists on the NQTTCN directory, as 76% of users were still seeing the same therapist they found on NQTTCN at the time of the survey, compared to a 74% average, Eighty percent said they’d still be seeing the same therapist in six months, versus a 74% average, and 69% said they’d still be seeing them in 12 months, compared to a 67% average. 

Compare the Best Online Sex Therapy of 2023

Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Growing Self Best for Married Couples $125 to $150 per session No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Video Chat Learn More
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Couples Therapy Inc Best With Retreats Weekend retreats starting at $3,500; 80-minute sessions at $150-275 No No Couples Therapy Video Chat Learn More
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E-Therapy Cafe Best for Military Couples $196-360 per month; $55 a session No No Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy Live Chat, Messaging, Video Chat Learn More
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Inclusive Therapists Best for Inclusivity Individual page: $29 ; Group plan: $119 ( Up to seven individual profiles) Yes No Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy N/A Learn More
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Talkspace Best for Newcomers to Sex Therapy $276 - $516 monthly Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) Best Directory N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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TherapyDen Best for LGBTQIA+ N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Gottman Referral Network Best for Communication Issues N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Thriveworks Best for Budget-Minded Session rate varies by provider; $99 per session if not using insurance Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network Best for BIPOC N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Sign Up Now
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Final Verdict

Growing Self is the best choice for married couples seeking to improve their intimacy levels with experienced sex therapists. Its compassionate clinicians can address issues like resentment, mismatched libidos or desires, and poor communication. Sessions are 45 minutes long, and rates are dependent on the clinician’s experience level, making Growing Self an accessible, affordable platform for couples seeking quality care.

Couples who won’t settle for anything less than the gold standard in sex therapy will benefit from the AASECT directory. All therapists are AASECT certified, which means they’ve gone through rigorous training and supervision to specialize in sex therapy. As it's a directory, couples will have more control over the therapy search process, though they’ll need to handle logistics on their own.

LGBTQIA+ couples might want to start with Therapy Den, as it has an extensive network of therapists who specialize in this population. Like AASECT, it's a directory that connects couples to both online and in-person sessions. Filtering for specific identities and issues is easy, and many clinicians offer video introductions, which makes it easier to find the right fit. 

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Sex Therapy 

What Is Online Sex Therapy? 

Online sex therapy addresses issues related to sexual expression and sexual health between couples or individuals. 

“Rather than traditional couples therapy, which includes both or all partners and addresses many aspects of their relationship, sex therapy is specific to the sexual needs and history of the client or clients,” says subject matter expert Hannah Owens. “This could involve multiple people who are in a relationship or just one person trying to improve their relationship with their sexual identity and behavior.” 

A sex therapist may help you address a lack of libido, mismatched libidos, mismatched desires, emotional issues that affect intimacy, sexual dysfunction (such as inability to climax or premature climax), and any other issues related to sexual health. 

Sex therapists must adhere to high standards and ethics around their practice. They do not have sexual contact with patients, physically touch them, or ask them to perform any sexual acts in their presence. Some sex therapy may involve addressing fears, phobias, and traumas, which means finding an experienced clinician is a must. 

Sex Therapy Treatment Approaches 

Sex therapists may draw from varied approaches such as psychobiological approach to couples therapy (PACT), an approach that’s based in neuroscience and other biological components of relating; cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), an approach that focuses on challenging limiting beliefs, thinking patterns, and behaviors; and psychodynamic therapy, an approach designed to bring up and work with unconscious material. 

Treatment approaches have also evolved in recent years, with more therapists focusing on mindfulness and uncovering the root causes of sexual dysfunction rather than prescribing medication. Some therapists may even incorporate alternative therapies, such as art therapy, into their practice. 

Who Should Consider Online Sex Therapy? 

Couples or individuals who feel dissatisfied with their sex lives, no longer have or enjoy sex, feel anxiety or fear around intimacy, or feel sexually incompatible with their partner may benefit from sex therapy. Yet you don’t need to wait for an emergency or until problems with sex threaten the relationship to seek sex therapy. Even if you have a healthy intimate life, sex therapy can enhance and strengthen it.

What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing an Online Sex Therapist?

The best online sex therapy platforms will have experienced sex therapists, ideally certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), which requires extensive education, certification, and supervised hours. Clinical sexologists are high-level experts in sexuality. 

However, licensed therapists and psychologists can provide sex therapy as long as they possess some form of specialized training in sexuality and sexual health.  For example, they may be licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, or licensed clinical social workers—as long as they have some specialized training and experience in sexual issues. 

Given the sensitive, vulnerable nature of sex, it's important to find a qualified therapist you can trust. The best therapists should be compassionate, empathetic, and confident working with sensitive material. Depending on the couple, the therapist should also be culturally inclusive, open to non-traditional approaches to sexuality, and trauma-informed.

Beyond looking for a therapist you can trust, you should also consider a few other factors, including:

  • Price: Sex therapy is often not covered by insurance, so it’s important to shop around. Budget-minded therapy seekers should seek out services or practitioners who offer sliding scale rates or a fee structure based on experience. Keep in mind that the less experienced therapists will typically offer the lowest rates. Since sex therapy can be ongoing, choose a platform or practitioner you can afford over time.
  • Platforms: Online therapy is effective for sex therapy. Most platforms offer video sessions, allowing all three participants (the couple and clinician) to see each other and better gauge the session than with audio sessions, which may be confusing if there are more than two participants. Messaging options won’t be for everyone but can be helpful for newcomers to therapy, as discussing sensitive issues can be intimidating at first. Plus, messaging options combined with live therapy can help couples get support between sessions
  • Availability: Since sex therapy typically involves coordinating three people’s schedules, it's important to find a therapist who can accommodate both partners’ schedules. This may mean finding a therapist who works evenings or weekends. 
  • Types of therapy: Many therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves honestly discussing issues, fears, and concerns about intimacy, plus building new thinking patterns, behaviors, and communication skills. Other approaches (such as PACT) may incorporate awareness of the body more deeply, like the neurobiological aspects of attachment and emotional regulation abilities. Many therapists incorporate multiple modalities into their practice.

How Effective Is Online Sex Therapy?

Sex therapy has been repeatedly shown to be effective. In a randomized controlled clinical trial in 2022, researchers found that mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral sex therapy significantly improved sexual desire, sexual function, and other aspects of sexual dysfunction among women.

Another study focused on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a modality that emphasizes accepting and embracing difficult feelings and experiences which is frequently used by sex therapists. In the study, women who received eight ACT sex therapy sessions had improved self-efficacy and quality of life compared to a control group, even after a follow-up period.

Still, sex therapy is most likely to be effective if the couple or the individual are committed to change. Since it typically involves homework (such as practicing communication skills during intimacy), it can require a time and energy commitment. Couples or individuals will see the best results if they stick with sex therapy over time and are open to discussing vulnerable issues.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can Online Sex Therapy Help With Intimacy Issues?

Sex Therapy is designed to help couples and individuals have healthier, more satisfying intimate lives, whether it's with a partner or alone. Couples in sex therapy might work on communication, addressing emotional issues, or reducing shame around sexual expression, all of which inhibit intimacy. Individuals in sex therapy can work on personal issues affecting intimacy so they’ll have healthier sex lives with future partners. This might mean learning to communicate more clearly or working on feelings of self-worth and deservingness.

What Happens in Online Sex Therapy?

Sex therapy is primarily talk therapy, so couples and individuals can expect to discuss concerns, desires, or other issues relating to their sex lives. Couples go to therapy together, though some therapists may also want one-on-one time with each person. A sex therapist will help couples or individuals identify areas of change if they haven’t identified them already. Typically, couples will get homework between sessions to help them improve intimacy and resolve issues.

What Therapy Methods Are Used in Online Sex Therapy?

Therapists typically use talk therapy, such as CBT, which helps couples reframe their thoughts to be more conducive to intimacy. Some therapists may use body-based approaches, such as PACT. A PACT-informed therapist may gently point out changes in your posture, body movements (such as crossed arms), or facial expressions that indicate various emotional states. They may also guide couples to attune to these changes in each other, thus building intimacy.

Methodology

To assess the best sex therapy services, we compared user survey data for 55 online therapy services and 25 directories reflecting factors like overall satisfaction, type of therapy offered, therapist specialties and modalities, therapist qualifications, cost, and quality of care. We also had our subject matter experts weigh in on these topics. To get the full picture of each platform, we tested services ourselves whenever possible. Finally, we used information provided from the companies themselves via surveys and interviews with clinicians.

We favored platforms and directories that did well overall, plus did well in terms of offering sex therapy from qualified providers using a range of modalities. We also looked at other factors that might contribute to helping couples improve intimacy, such as culturally sensitive care, inclusivity, and a trauma-informed approach. We favored platforms with clinicians who used a variety of treatment approaches and modalities to treat sexual issues. On the other hand, we also favored platforms specializing in one or a few evidence-based approaches that are known to be effective for sex therapy.

Young woman sitting in the living room at home and having a video call online therapy session with her therapist

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