The 5 Best Online Sex Therapy Programs of 2020

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Our Top Picks

When you are experiencing problems in the bedroom, sex therapy can help. Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy that relies on a number of techniques, including homework, to improve your sex life. Sex therapists are trained to help individuals and couples improve their sexual satisfaction and sexual interactions. Not every therapist is helpful at addressing sexual issues, as sex therapy is not part of most standard social work or psychology training programs.

Although a number of online therapy sites list sex therapy as one of their offerings, very few of them allow individuals to search specifically for sex therapists. Therefore, if you are specifically seeking a sex therapist, it will be important to ask any person you are matched with about their relevant training. Sex therapy does not necessarily require additional certification or licensure, but any reputable sex therapist should be licensed in a relevant field (e.g. social work, marriage and family therapy, psychology) and working within their scope of practice. Florida is currently the only state to license and regulate the practice of sex therapy. However, there are also professional organizations that certify therapists as having sufficient training to do this specialized form of work. The two most prominent such organizations are the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and the American College of Sexologists. Both of these organizations offer lists of certified sex therapists, some of whom practice online.

Note: Depending on the nature of your sexual concerns, therapists may also recommend that you see a medical doctor to rule out underlying health problems. This is particularly true if you are seeking help for specific types of sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction or pain during sex. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Talkspace

Talkspace

Talkspace

4.5

Where possible, sex therapy is often best pursued as couples therapy. Still, not everyone experiencing sexual difficulties is part of a couple. That’s what makes Talkspace a good option. Unlike many of the other online therapy websites, Talkspace offers both individual and couples therapy options. Talkspace also has both accurate and affirming educational content about sexual health and the role of therapists in helping with sexual problems. TalkSpace therapists are all licensed and verified, and a number of employers and health plans will cover the cost of using the service. 

Talkspace is one of the largest and best known online therapy sites. One of the advantages? There are multiple ways of being connected with a therapist. You can use an online matching tool or chat using an AI. That means it may be possible to identify those providers experienced in sex therapy as well as in working with your specific concerns. Another advantage of Talkspace is that they have so many therapists that it may be possible to find a provider who has expertise in your specific concern, or in some area that’s important to you. For example, you might be most concerned about finding a therapist who is understanding about your gender identity, or who knows a lot about sexual trauma. Talkspace also offers both asynchronous and live sessions.

Talkspace is a subscription-based site that costs anywhere from $65 to $100 each week. Some plans come with live video sessions, and live sessions can also be added on at an additional cost. However, not all therapists offer live sessions as an option. Couples therapy is more expensive than individual therapy, starting at $89/week for individuals who purchase three months at a time. 

Best Relationship Therapy: Regain

Regain

Regain

4.2

Regain is one of the very few sites that specialize in relationship and intimacy therapy. It is specifically designed to allow both members of a couple to interact clearly and transparently with a therapist. All written messages are visible to both members of the couple. Individuals also have the option of having private, live sessions with their therapist. This combination of openness and privacy is well suited for sex therapy. It allows the couple to work on issues specific to their sexual and romantic interactions while providing individuals’ space to address any underlying issues. 

When signing up for therapy at Regain, you have the opportunity to state your preferences for a counselor. Although all counselors on the site are licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers, or professional counselors, some couples may be more comfortable working with a therapist who is male or female, older or younger. In general, sessions on Regain do not happen in real-time. Text-based messaging is used to communicate back and forth at the convenience of the individual and the therapist. Real-time video or phone sessions can be scheduled as well. However, for couples to both be part of a real-time session, they must be in the same place. 

Regain costs between $40 to $70 per week, and subscriptions are billed monthly.

 

Best for Live Chat: BetterHelp

BetterHelp

BetterHelp

4.4

Like Talkspace, BetterHelp is one of the larger and more established online therapy sites. They have thousands of experienced counselors with specialties in a variety of issues. Unlike Talkspace, BetterHelp only offers individual therapy. Regain.us is actually their sister site for couples counseling. As with most of the larger online therapy sites, BetterHelp offers both messaging options and live sessions. Live sessions require you to pre-schedule with your therapist and can be set up as text-based chat, phone calls, or video sessions. 

The site costs $40 to $70 per week, billed monthly. Because of their large roster of therapists, it’s often possible to find someone who specializes in areas or interests that are important to you. The site offers access to LGBT-focused therapists and is one of the few sites that is specifically gender-affirming – asking about pronouns as part of the intake process. The intake process also allows you to identify “intimacy issues” as a specific reason you are seeking therapy.

Best for LGBTQ Individuals: Pride Counseling

PrideCounseling

PrideCounseling 

4.1

Pride Counseling doesn’t offer sex therapy, perse. However, for some LGBTQIA+ individuals experiencing sexual or relationship difficulties, it may be more important to have an LGBTQ competent therapist than a therapist with specific experience in sex. All of the counselors at Pride Counseling are not only licensed in their specific field, but they are also specialists in the LGBTQ community. 

There are a number of different ways to interact with your Pride Counseling therapist. You can exchange messages in your own time. You can also live chat – either by text, phone, or video. Depending on your needs and schedule, you can figure out what works best for you, and you can change it up as needed. Pride Counseling fees range from $40 to $70/week and are billed monthly. 

At this time, Pride Counseling only offers individual counseling, not couples counseling. 

Best for Religious Christians: MyCounselor Online

My Counselor Online

My Counselor Online

3.7

MyCounselor Online is a small, specialty website that provides Christian Faith-Based therapy both online and in-person (in Colorado, Florida, and Missouri.) As of March 2020, the site offers a connection to one of 16 professional counselors. One of the founders of the site is a Certified Sex Therapist, and the site offers supervision to all its therapists. As part of its focus on faith-based therapy, MyCounselor.online has a strong focus on relationship health. In fact, they are one of the only counseling websites that offer sex therapy as a specialty area. Specifically, the site offers referrals to Christian sex therapists, sex therapists who work from a context of religious faith. As religion and spirituality may play a role in many couple’s sexual difficulties, it can be enormously helpful to work with a licensed sex therapist who understands their faith.

In order to access care, individuals select the experience level of the therapist they are interested in working with. Then they schedule an appointment with the site receptionist in order to identify the therapist who will best fit their needs. Unlike many counseling sites, hours are restricted. Sessions are only offered live (online) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. 

How We Chose The Best Online Sex Therapy Programs

We chose the best online sex therapy programs by looking for services that were run by trained, licensed, and accredited therapists. Although very few online sites specifically offer sex therapy as a major modality, the sites we chose all have therapists with expertise in relationships and sexuality.

In addition, for those who need a more specialized sex therapist, links were provided to the bodies that accredit sex therapists. Those sites offer referrals for individual, trained sex therapists, many of whom offer sessions online. Our goal with choosing the top programs was to provide a range of options for individuals, couples, the LGBTQ+ community, and those who are religious. Not every sex therapist is right for each client that comes through the door. It’s important to find someone you feel comfortable with and who will work well for you.

What Is Online Sex Therapy?

Just like in-person sex therapy, online sex therapy is a form of talk therapy designed to help you address issues in your intimate life. Online sex therapy can be catered to either individuals or couples.

For couples' therapy, some therapists require all sessions to be done as a couple. Other therapists will meet with you each individually before starting therapy. Some problems that are commonly addressed during sex therapy include: a lack of interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, pain with sex, and difficulty with orgasm.

How Can Online Sex Therapy Help You?

Online sex therapy can help you address problems you are having in your intimate life. Sometimes, it’s hard to find a therapist who knows how to handle these issues, and who fits your schedule and takes your insurance.

With online sex therapy, you have access to a broader range of providers, including those who have expertise in sexual health. Whether you’re alone or in a relationship, sex therapy can help you improve your sexual health. Online sex therapy can be a good option if you need a more flexible schedule or if there isn’t a trained provider near you.

How Do I Know If Online Sex Therapy Is Right For Me?

If you are looking for help with a sexual problem, or with a sexual relationship, sex therapy can be a great option. Ideally, online therapy programs should be used by people who are very comfortable with online communication. If you are seeking therapy with a partner, both of you should feel similarly comfortable communicating online.

Additionally, when looking for a sex therapist you should decide on what is important to you, and try and find someone who meets those needs. That can sometimes be easier online than in-person, as there are relatively few providers trained in sex therapy. Never feel shy about trying to find a different therapist if the one you start with isn’t right for you.

How Is Online Sex Therapy Structured?

Online sex therapy generally starts with the therapist documenting your sexual history and then talking to you about what is happening in your sexual life that you would like to improve. You will then likely be given homework to do alone or with a partner in order to improve your sexual well-being. If there is a medical reason for your sexual health problem, the therapist may advise you to see a doctor before assigning homework.

What Does Online Sex Therapy Cost?

The cost of online sex therapy varies depending on the therapist and the site. Costs generally range from around $40 to $175 per week. Depending on the site you are seeking therapy from, how much is included in that fee will range substantially. If you are looking to see an individual sex therapist, either in person or online, the cost could range from an insurance copay to several hundred dollars per session. Therapists generally set their own rates, and they differ substantially from region to region.

Why You Should Trust Our Recommendations

The author of this guide is a certified sexuality educator and is working on certification as a sex therapist. She is a licensed, independent clinical social worker with a focus on gender and sexual health. All recommended sites and programs use licensed, accredited therapists. 

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