SASH Certifications

As the first of its kind, SASH offers certification opportunities in Problematic Sexual Behavior, Sexual and Relational Trauma, Sexual Wellness, and Sexual Offending. Clinicians can apply for one or more of the specialized certifications to emphasize their experience and knowledge as a leading professional in the industry. All qualified clinicians possess a stock of general human sexuality knowledge.
When all education/training, consultation/supervision and clinical experience requirements have been met an application can be submitted. The application and supporting materials will be evaluated by the application committee and a recommendation will be made for approval.
To truly accentuate your knowledge, holding three or more certifications opens eligibility to automatically be awarded the Distinguished Sex Therapist (DST) designation, communicating to the world your advanced expertise.


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Distinguished Sex Therapist (DST)
Automatically Awarded to Individuals with 3 SASH Certifications
Therapists seeking to obtain the Distinguished Sex Therapist (DST) designation represent the highest level of experience and knowledge in the industry. The Distinguished Sex Therapist credential communicates mastery in the field of sexual health.
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Certified Problematic Sexual Behavior Therapist (CPSBT)
Clinical professionals seeking certification as a CPSBT have an interest in treating individuals struggling with problematic sexual behavior (PSB). These clinicians understand the nuances of PSB and know that only through very specific therapeutic approaches can someone heal.
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Certified Sexual Wellness Therapist (CSWT)
Clinicians with an interest in helping individuals understand sexual wellness and the interplay of desire, pleasure, arousal, intimacy and other issues related to sexual well-being may seek the CSWT level of certification.
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Certified Sexual Offender Clinician (CSOC)
Therapists seeking SASH certification as a CSOC understand the unique qualities of this specialty and sexual offender treatments. The combined knowledge of clinical models/treatment and the legal system allow clinicians to be effective treatment providers.
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Certified Sexual and Relational Trauma Therapist (CSRTT)
Therapists seeking certification as a sexual and relational trauma therapist have a focus on improving the lives of survivors of sexually related trauma. These professionals are invested in helping those injured by the sexual behaviors of others to heal so sexual health and relationships can be celebrated and optimized.
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Credential Candidate

Individuals that have met the educational requirements for a SASH credential for licensed professionals but have not yet met the licensure requirements of their state may apply for a Credential Candidate designation.

Credential Candidates must maintain supervision until state licensure has been attained. Upon confirmation of the state license candidates will be awarded full SASH Credential status.

Certification Requirements

SASH maintains a standard that professionals need core knowledge about human sexuality and specific skills training in various topics to effectively work with a client. The following represent the general requirements and the core knowledge prior to seeking the skills educational requirements. 
Current Membership in the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)
1. A graduate degree in a field of behavioral health (e.g., psychology, social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy) from an accredited university, a medical degree (including Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), or an advanced practice nursing degree.

2. At least one year of licensure to practice independently as a mental health provider (e.g, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed psychiatrist, licensed professional counselor, licensed mental health counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed clinical social work, licensed psychiatric nurse practitioner, or equivalent) at the masters or doctoral level.

3. If the applicant holds a degree from a non-accredited institution, or is practicing outside the United States or the United States territory, they will provide documentation to demonstrate that the education and licensure/certification that they have obtained is functionally equivalent to these standards.
To be eligible for any of the SASH credentials, an individual must have coursework in the core knowledge areas listed below. These hours must be obtained from an accredited college or university, or alternatively from a continuing education organization, such as SASH, that is certified to provide CE credits from any of the approved organizations. At least ten (10) hours must be completed in-person or via synchronous e-learning.

Please note that the Credentialing Committee reserves the right to reject any educational credits, or to request additional education in any subject matter prior to awarding a certification

Human Sexuality Core Knowledge Areas

1. Sexual Development, Anatomy, Physiology, and Reproduction
   a. Sexual development across the life-span from a biological, psychological and social perspective
   b. Sexual and reproductive anatomy and physiology
   c. Sexual response cycle and models of sexual desire
   d. Theories explaining individual differences in sexuality
   e. Conception and childbirth

2. Sexual Health Challenges
   a. The influence of health and medical factors on sexuality (e.g., illness and infection, disability, mental health, medications, contraception and safer sex practices, fertility struggles, pregnancy and childbirth, pregnancy termination, sexually transmitted infection, physical injuries)
   b. Sexual functioning challenges and dysfunctions (e.g.. discrepancy in partner desire, absence of desire, difficulties attaining or sustaining arousal, difficulties with sexual pain and penetration, and orgasm difficulties
   c. The interaction of substance use/abuse and sexuality
   d. Sexually transmitted infections
   e. Sexual trauma (e.g., exploitation, abuse, harassment, and assault)
   f. Multiple theories of problematic sexual behavior

3. Sexual Identity and Erotic Expression
   a. Sexual orientation
   b. Gender identity and gender roles
   c. Diverse sexual expressions and lifestyles (eg. consensual non-monogamy, tantra, BDSM)
   d. Social, economic, cultural, religious/spiritual, and familial factors influencing sexual behaviors and values
   e. The interaction of technology and sexuality
   f. Pleasure enhancement skills, techniques, and tools

4. Intimacy and Relationships
   a. Relationship dynamics and intimacy skills
   b. Sexual communication between partners
   c. Negotiating differences in sexual desire, interests, preferences, and values between partners
   d. Models of effective communication (eg, verbal and non-verbal communication)

5. Professional Development
   a. Ethics
   b. Professional communication skills (concerning clients, colleagues, and students)
   c. History of the research, theory, and treatment concerning human sexuality
   d. Methods and principles of sexuality research
   e. Careers in sexual health
To be eligible for any of the SASH credentials, an individual must have completed a group experience of no less than ten clock hours in which the individual processes, explores, and reevaluates their own beliefs, feelings, values, attitudes and trauma involving the topic of human sexuality and human sexual behavior. The experience may be done over multiple sessions, but each session must be conducted for a minimum of three (3) clock hours and must be conducted in a group setting.

For the experience to count as credit towards a credential, it must not have been conducted in the course of personal therapy. If the experience was conducted in the course of academic work the participant must show that it was experiential in nature and not a lecture-based learning exercise. The individual must be a participant in the experience, and not a facilitator

Certification FAQs

SASH maintains a standard that profesionals need core knowledge about human sexuality and specific skills training in various topics to effectively work with a client. The following represent the general requirements and the core knowledge prior to seeking the skills educational requirements.
Applicants that are interested in more than one certification and have the qualifications to apply for two or more at the same time will receive ⅓ off the second and sequential applications. The discount only applies to those applicants applying to more than one certification at the same time.
Recipients of 3 SASH Certifications are Automatically Awarded the Distinguished Sex Therapist (DST) Certification which represent the highest level of experience and knowledge in the industry
Yes, You can split the time between different requirements (e.g. 30 min towards anatomy and physiology, 30 min towards sexual health concerns etc.). However, you cannot use the same training twice.
Each application is reviewed by the credentialing committee. All applications with complete documentation will be reviewed within 30 days of receipt. Applications that lack all the necessary paperwork to process the application will experience delays. When additional requirements are requested by the committee, the applicant should seek to fulfill those requests in a timely manner. Items left unfulfilled may require the applicant to resubmit. Open applications that are incomplete will be kept open for a period of six (6) months. After that timeframe the applicant may be required to resubmit.
It depends, training that meets the credential training requirements may be eligible if the training is approved by a continuing education certifying body. Due to the diverse nature of each credential not all hours may be credited toward credential requirements. The committee will review all submitted education and training and if necessary, will request additional information to complete the application process.

Training organizations approved by the following continuing education certifying bodies likely meet the educational requirements of the individual certifications offered by SASH. It is the responsibility of the training organization offering continuing education to maintain their status as an approved provider from these organizations.

• American Psychological Association (APA)
• Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
• National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC- ACEP)
• National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
• Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB-ACE)
• Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)
• NAADAC-The Association for Addiction Professionals
• Local and state government organizations
• SASH Continuing Education Provider or Qualified Single Course Provider for SASH Credential CE’s
Any training can be submitted and is subject to review by the credentialing committee. If there are specific questions related to training credits please contact SASH by writing the Credential Committee at [email protected]. Put credential committee in the subject line..
The SASH annual conference is an excellent place to obtain hours and some sessions have a designation that identifies which education requirements are met by attending. SASH is only one place where hours can be obtained. There are other organizations that offer training meeting the education requirements. If you aren't sure, contact SASH for clarification.
You will be notified by the SASH Credential Committee once all documentation has been received and processing has begun.
Search the online directory of approved supervisors using the specific supervisor "credential type" as the keyword.
Find a Supervisor
You can submit a letter to the Credential Committee requesting that your hours apply to the desired certification. The letter will detail how you meet the different education and training requirements as well as professional practice in the field.
File a formal written complaint about a credential holder to [email protected]
Problematic Sexual Behavior is an a-theoretical term that describes behaviors which conflict with values, commitments, creates consequences, control is impaired, or violates rules of sexual responsibility.
Sexual Wellness is the ability of an individual to thrive in their own sexuality. This invokes knowledge of their own sexuality as well as the absence of dysfunction and the pursuit of pleasure.
Trauma is any life event that shatters fundamental assumptions of how the world works and one's relationship to the world.

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