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Cathy Saputo
Counseling  |  Wellness  |  Sex Therapy
Licensed Professional Counselor 
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist

Sex Therapy
Sexual health is an important part of whole health. Yet, it is often an area that is uncomfortable for clients and even therapists to address. 

​It is not unusual to feel like your sexual wants, needs, and fantasies are at odds with your actual behaviors. This may be due to shame, guilt, insecurity, misinformation, past hurts, a strong need to please a partner, aging, medical concerns, or many other reasons.   

As an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, my passion is to help individuals and couples of all gender identities and sexual orientations explore all facets of their sexual self by creating a safe, honest, and non-judgmental therapy environment to delve into and resolve issues.

I use an educational and talk therapy approach that helps clients improve their physical and emotional sexual health. My education in this area includes completion of The University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program in Sex Therapy (165 hours) as well as other sexual health specific course work.

Some reasons to seek sex therapy:

-You have concerns about sexual function or painful sex (erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, low libido, vulvodynia, vaginismus, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, STIs, etc.)

-You and your partner aren't on the same page sexually, desire or arousal are suffering

-Your use of pornography or online behaviors feels out of control ​

-You're body is not responding in the same manner as before due to a medical diagnosis such as cancer or diabetes

-You wish to sort out sexual feelings, intimacy issues, or distress related to sexual health

-You want to heal from sexual trauma such as infidelity, assault, a partner's unexpected sexual behaviors, childhood abuse, incest, harassment, or a non-consensual sexual experience

-You want to discuss concerns related to alternative sexualities (BDSM, kink, fetish) 

-You're seeking support to explore your gender identity or your sexual orientation

-You're wondering if a relationship style other than monogamy is right for you (i.e. consensual non monogamy, swinging, open relationships, polyamory, etc.) 

-You need education and support to better understand a family member or partner who identifies as transgender
“I appreciate that there is someone as calm as you to talk with about this. It makes me feel so much better.”
~ client testimonial referring to spouse's affair
My Approach to Sex Addiction or Out of Control Sexual Behaviors
I work with clients who may self-identify as a sex addict after finding this term on the internet or having been labeled as such by someone in their life. I prefer not to use the term addict when working with someone who is concerned about their sexual behaviors; whether it be online or offline activities.

I find labeling someone as a sex addict is potentially demoralizing, judgemental, pathologizing, and generally not helpful to treatment. Furthermore, there is no diagnosis in the DSM-V for sex addiction. Studies have yet to prove that chosen and preferred, repetitive, sexual behaviors have the same effect on brain chemistry that drugs or alcohol do. 

I work from a sex-positive approach influenced by the Out of Control Sexual Behavior model, developed by Doug Braun-Harvey and Michael Vigorito. I adhere to these six sexual health principles:

Protection from HIV/STIs and unintended pregnancy
Shared values
Mutual pleasure

Using this model I help clients who are questioning their behaviors or who are affected by their sexual activities regain control over their actions. Self-monitoring, exploring histories and patterns, and finding ways to better manage relationships are part of the treatment. No two clients are alike. 
I help each person reach their treatment goals at their pace.

If you're experiencing depression, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, problems at work or in school, financial issues, legal trouble, or declining physical health due to your sexual behaviors, consider sex therapy.

What the AASECT Certified Sex Therapist Credential Means
Anyone can call themselves a Sex Therapist without receiving any post graduate training in sexual health areas. Sex Therapist and Sex Therapy are not protected terms. AASECT Certified Sex Therapists recognize that rigorous training and supervision are necessary to support our clients in an ethical, legal, and compassionate manner.

AASECT certification requires 90 clock hours of academic coursework in sexuality education, 60 clock hours of sex therapy training, and 10 clock hours of structured exploration of feelings, attitudes, values, and beliefs regarding human sexuality and sexual behavior. In addition to academic hours, certification requires 300 hours of supervised clinical treatment of clients who present with sexual concerns and 50 hours of supervision with an AASECT Certified Supervisor of Sex Therapy. On-going training hours are required to maintain the certification.

I am the only Certified Sex Therapist in Macomb County and one of only 45 certified in Michigan. If you are considering meeting with a Sex Therapist, ask about their training, ethical standards, and credentials. Read more about the AASECT Sex Therapist Certification

Sex Addiction professionals are not Sex Therapists

Sex Therapy and Touching 
During sex therapy counselors do not have sexual contact with clients, in the office or anywhere else.  In fact, no form of touching is ever part of therapy. Sex therapy is a form of education and talk therapy used to address physical health, thoughts, behaviors, and emotions that may be related to sexual issues. 

Position on Reparative Therapy
I believe that same sex orientation is not a mental disorder and oppose any reparative or conversion therapy that seeks to cure an individual's sexual orientation. I do not believe that sexual orientation is something that needs to be fixed. In fact, for most, sexual orientation is fluid and can change over time. I hold this same belief about gender, for some it is on a continuum. I am an LGBTQIA affirmative counselor.

Wondering whether to come in alone or with a partner?

Give me a call and we'll talk about it.

Specialty areas include: Anxiety, Depression, Caregiver Stress, Chronic Illness, Couples and Relationships, Grief and Loss, Life Transitions, Open or Poly Relationships, Pre-marital Counseling, Quarter-life Issues, Sexual Concerns, Step-Parenting Challenges, and Trauma.

Individuals, and Couples ages 13 and up from all backgrounds and cultures are welcome. I am an LGBTQIA affirmative therapist and work with all sexual orientations and gender identities. 

​Ask about current Group Counseling.

Consultation to other Therapists and Healthcare Professionals is available. I supervise LLPCs to obtain full license in Michigan.