Cognitive Behavioral Couples Sex Therapy (CST)


Barry McCarthy uses the four-session assessment model of Cognitive-Behavioral couples sex therapy to address sexual dysfunction and dissatisfaction in couples and individuals. Recorded lecture at the Integrative Sex Therapy Institute. 6.5 CEs (asynchronous)


Taught by:  Barry McCarthy, PhD

Designed for: Therapists, counselors, mental health practitioners

Course includes: A 4-part recorded webinar.

6.5 AASECT CEs available in these Core Knowledge Areas (CKAs): 

Sex Education: A, C, D, E, F, H, I, M, N, O

Sex Therapy: B, C, E

ISTI CSCT knowledge categories: 1a, 1c, 1d, 2a

Sexual dysfunction and dissatisfaction is a very common mental health problem for individuals and couples, more common than anxiety and depression combined. This clinically-oriented class will address the most common male and female sexual problems with an emphasis on the cognitive-behavioral model of assessment, treatment, and relapse prevention.

We will describe the four-session assessment model which begins with a couple session to reinforce that intimacy and sexuality is best understood as a couple issue, the second and third sessions as an individual psychological/relational/sexual history, and the fourth session is a 90-minute couple feedback session that bridges the assessment and treatment phases. The most common therapeutic contract is a 6-month good faith effort to create a couple sexual style focused on desire/pleasure/eroticism/satisfaction.

Sexual problems are dealt with directly with an emphasis on psychosexual skill exercises. The most common female sexual dysfunctions are female interest/arousal disorder and sexual pain (dyspareunia). The most common male sexual dysfunctions are premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculatory inhibition (delayed ejaculation). The psychobiosocial model of assessment and treatment is utilized rather than the bio-medical model. A relapse prevention plan and follow-up sessions are integral to successful sex therapy

  • Clinically-oriented workshop focuses on direct treatment of sexual problems, especially sexual desire.
  • Exploration of the four-session assessment model
  • Description of the psychobiosocial model of assessment, treatment, and relapse prevention
  • New model of female responsive sexual desire as first class rather than inferior
  • Developing an individualized relapse prevention plan

In this course:

  • Participants will have the skills to conduct a comprehensive four session assessment of individual, relational, and sexual problems.
  • Participants will learn a range of strategies and techniques to help couples integrate intimacy and eroticism to create strong, resilient sexual desire.
  • Participants will utilize the psychobiosocial model to assess and treat male and female sexual dysfunctions.
  • Participants will help clients develop a couple sexual style which maintains strong, resilient sexual desire.
  • Participants will confront the individual pass-fail perfect performance model and replace it with the Good Enough Sex (GES) model to enhance sexual satisfaction.
  • Participants will learn to implement psychosexual skill exercises to enhance desire/pleasure/eroticism/satisfaction.
  • Participants will design an individualized relapse prevention plan to maintain therapeutic gains and enhance their intimate sexual relationship.

Meet your instructor:

Barry McCarthy, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology at American University, a diplomate in clinical psychology, a certified sex therapist, and a certified couple therapist. He has published more than 110 professional articles, 29 book chapters, and 14 books. Barry has presented more than 450 professional workshops in the United States and internationally. In 2016 he received the Masters and Johnson award for lifetime contributions to the sexuality field.


**This program meets the educational requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 6.5 CE credits – asynchronous. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information please contact or go to  Please contact your local certifying organization for detailed information on courses they accept for CEs.