What is a sexologist?
So you’re reading this and wondering, what the heck is a sexologist? What exactly do they do? This is the most common question I receive! Now, I can't tell you what every sexologist does, but I can tell you what a typical day in my life looks like. Let's start by breaking it down. A sexologist means a person who studies human sexuality and sexual behavior. Some may think that a sexologist and sex therapist are the same (which sometimes is true), but other sexologists work as researchers, educators, or public policy advocates.
What exactly does a sexologist do?
As mentioned above, there are many routes one can take as a sexologist, whether it be conducting research, providing therapy, sex education, or working with public policy. As a clinical sexologist, I work in a clinical setting, which means I perform sex therapy, assisting clients with a range of sexual concerns including sexual trauma recovery, mix-matched libidos, erection and ejaculation difficulties, painful sex, inability to orgasm, out of control sexual behaviors, lack of desire, and more. Some may think that this type of work includes physical contact from myself, but it does not. I may at times prescribe some type of physical homework, b but there is generally no physical contact in sessions; however, I do emphasize strengthening the mind-body connection. Using a combination of talk therapy techniques, somatic methods, and psychoeducation about sex and anatomy, I work with individuals and couples to increase pleasure and become their ideal sexual selves. In addition, as a Ph.D. student, I engage in quite a bit of research in the field of human sexuality and offer sex education through my appearance in podcasts, university lectures, social media, and blog posts (like this one!)
How does someone become a sexologist?
What's interesting about the field of sexology, is that there is no, one distinct path to getting there. They typically require an advanced degree like a master's or doctoral degree in a field such as psychology, sociology, human sexuality, or other related fields). Some schools offer a degree in human sexuality specifically, but because there are so few, many sexologists have educational backgrounds in other disciplines, depending on their specific interest. There are also training and certification programs in sexology, specifically, but they are not essential in becoming or identifying as a sexologist. Also, though board certification is not required, some may seek additional certification through professional organizations. For myself, my educational background is in gender and sexuality studies and biology at the undergraduate level, marriage & family therapy and sex therapy at the graduate level, and human sexuality at the Ph.D. level. And I did take the extra step to get certified by the american board of sexology.
How do I find a sexologist?
Unfortunately, these professional titles aren't currently regulated, which means that anyone can call themself a sex therapist or sexologist. If you are in search of someone who is certified, you can check the listing at the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) online directory. Lastly, if you are interested in working with a sexologist, I encourage you to ask about their area of focus and their background or credentials. That way, you can make the most informed decision about who to trust with your sexual health!
Who am I? A message from Holly…
My name is Holly and I am a Trauma-Informed and Board Certified Clinical Sexologist. I provide sex therapy and coaching to individuals and couples that are struggling with reaching their full potential. As a clinician, I am passionate about helping people achieve their goals and live happy, healthy, rewarding lives. I truly believe that trauma is the source of pathology, and that everyone has within them the capacity to heal. Furthermore, I am dedicated to fostering a safe environment, working with each individual to develop the necessary skills to achieve lifelong change to improve their quality of life. As your therapist, I can’t guarantee that I will be able to fully understand what it is like to walk in your shoes, but I can guarantee that I can help you to sort things out, let go of what does not serve you, and create the life you truly want. Peaceful. Connected. Powerful. And Pleasurable.
I offer a judgment-free zone, hold space for healing, and offer straight forward, no-nonsense feedback (if that’s what you need). Overall, I offer you the tools and guidance to get past your past and develop the necessary skills to achieve lifelong change and truly start living. - Holly Wood, MS., PhD(c), LMFT
Visit www.thehollywoodsexologist.com to learn more and request a consultation.