A: I have an undergraduate BA degree in Psychology from the California State University, Sacramento, a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Humboldt State University, and a PhD in Health Behavior (Public Health), with a minor in Human Sexuality from Indiana University – Bloomington, School of Public Health.
In addition, I completed a practicum training in sex therapy at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, a Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the Ford Foundation at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the National Institutes of Health at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent Medicine.
However, there are many ways to become a sexual health educator and/or therapist. For anyone interested in health education, you can pursue a Bachelors degree in health education, community, or public health and complete a minor related to sexuality. A lot of people go on to earn a Master’s degree in public health (called an MPH). There are many universities that offer tracks in sexuality or sexual health promotion. A PhD is always an option down the road for those who are interested in sexual health research or a job in academia.
Another possibility is a degree in counseling or clinical psychology if one is interested in sexual therapy/counseling. Most States require a minimum of a master’s degree for one to be licensed to practice therapy. In some cases, a person might want to pursue a PhD in clinical or counseling psychology at some point if they are interested in certain types of jobs. For example, they want to become a college professor, researcher, or work in certain types of practice.
A good place to start is by researching these various options to see if one would be a good fit for you. You can learn more about becoming a certified sexuality educator or therapist from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (ASSECT) web site.
If you want to start gaining experience in this area now, you can seek opportunities with the Health Center at CWU or join an on-campus club that focuses on some aspect of sexual health education. You can also explore opportunities to volunteer in the community.