How I Became A… Couple & Sex Therapist

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Do you have an academic interest in sex and sexual difficulties, and enjoy working with people? Couple and sex therapy may be an intriguing career option...

“I didn’t even know you could make a career out of that!” is a very common comment that myself and many sex researchers/educators/therapists receive. This comment is quite often followed by the question “how exactly did you get into that?” or “how do I get into that field?”

How I Became A…

A bunch of us Kinsey Confidential bloggers, educators, and writers got together recently and decided to do a series of “How I Became A . . .” to give our readers a taste of just how diverse each of our paths have been to get us into this field!

My Journey

First I wanted to be a paleontologist. Then I wanted to be an NBA player… then I thought I wanted to be a lawyer… and then I wanted to study relationships…

My interests in dinosaurs and basketball were satisfied by the Toronto Raptors Universal Studios, and church ball (never mind I didn’t make it past 9th grade hoops). Law school began to fade when on the day I was scheduled to take the LSAT, I came down with a violent cold, throat cankers, and pink eye.

Where It Began

In reality, I realized that when it came to corporate law, basketball, or dinosaurs, I was more interested in the money, the prestige, and the fun than I was in putting in the necessary work.

There was one area of life, however, that I never tired of studying: the psychology of relationships. Or, as one psychologist I know calls it, “WTF is going on?” THAT was something I could do for a career – thinking, reading, teaching, and researching relationships, and how to answer questions like, “Why do my partner and I keep getting into the same fights over and over again?” or “Why on earth, if Cosmo says I can have amazing sex every day of the year, do my partner and I feel so anxious in bed?”

I really enjoy researching these questions, and discussing them with students. I also LOVE working with individuals and couples directly on repairing and improving their relationships.

Where I Am Now

After graduating from Gonzaga University (Yep, I try to pick good basketball schools – do you see a theme here?) in 2009 with a master’s in community counseling, I entered the Counseling Psychology program here at IU. During my time so far, I have had opportunities to teach, conduct research, and work with couples and families. I have also invested a lot of time and money in trainings outside of school to become a better couple and sex therapist.

Where Am I Going?

Working with relationships directly through couple and sex therapy is very challenging AND very meaningful. Whatever the future holds, I hope to make this method of healing relationships a part of my professional life. The counseling psychology program has allowed me to do most of what I’ve wanted to do. I have even been able to take classes in sport psychology, in addition to minoring in human sexuality. I still haven’t figured out how to work dinosaurs into the equation, however.

Adam Fisher, M.A.

is a Ph.D. student in Counseling Psychology at Indiana University. Adam's professional interests include couple & sex therapy, parent education, and working with college students. His dissertation is investigating the effects of religious belief change on romantic relationships.
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