S.A.R. by ISTI


Want Sex Ed for grown-ups? ISTI’s challenging and insightful 14-hour course in the Sexual Attitude Reassessment has helped hundreds of therapists. Sex for Therapists; Erotic Desensitization and Revision, Realities of Our Current Sexual World.



Upcoming Events for ISTI

Feb 22-23, 2024

Held via: Live Simultaneous Webcast

Guest Faculty: Anne Mauro, Amanda Wildefyre, Shadeen Francis

14 CEsRequirement by AASECT and ISTI for certification.

Tammy carefully designs this powerful workshop that satisfies the training requirement and brings your work to the next level.

Student discounts and scholarships are available, email our administrative team.

Want more sex ed for grown-ups? Interested in becoming a sex educator or a sex therapist? Join me online for a Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) workshop, for a closer look at what it means to be sexual in today’s age of erotic monogamy, dating, and the world of online visual stimulation. Find out about fetishes, S&M, open marriage, and so much more.

Feb 22: Thu (10 am – 1 pm Eastern / 7 am – 10 am Pacific) Unlocking Erotic Empathy: A Dive into Sexual Wellness, Social Justice, and Pleasure – Shadeen Francis, LMFT

Open your SAR journey with a reflective 3-hour session that will not only deepen your understanding of sexual wellness but also invite you to explore the intersection between social justice and sexual pleasure. We’ll delve into the often unexplored corners of pleasure, confront societal norms, and foster an environment where your beliefs and values about sexuality can be safely examined. This workshop will offer a “how-to” guide on processing your experiences throughout the SAR, equipping you with the tools for self-reflection, and cultivating a foundation for courageous and compassionate conversations throughout the rest of your journey.

Feb 22: Thu (2 pm –  6 pm Eastern / 11 am – 3 pm Pacific) Tying One On: A Deep Dive into the World of BDSM – Amanda Wildefyre

From consensual non-consent to fetishwear on celebrities, the influence of BDSM on American culture is growing daily. Through visual media and lectures are drawn from 30 years as a professional dominatrix, presenter Amanda Wildefyre will illuminate a wide range of BDSM themes, including sexuality and denial, bondage and body awareness, gender expression and power, and pain and erotic pleasure.

Feb 23: Fri (10 am – 1 pm Eastern / 7 am – 10 am Pacific) Sexual Terminology and working with challenging (2hr) and marginalized populations incl. MAP (1hr) – Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. and Miranda Galbreath

This course will review the dynamics of sex education, therapy, and counseling as it relates to the experience of our clientele, acknowledging that current research around human sexuality and treatment is mediated to a significant degree by limited research and lack of diversity and does not represent all cultures, races, genders or other variables. We will discuss how working with the most challenging and marginalized populations can create the most countertransference and this is where our triggers exist as clinicians. We will discuss the reality behind the myths of the most difficult clients. While many sex therapists and counselors avoid or shy away from any work with clients who are challenging, we will explore sexual terminology, and identify and dig deeper into clinical countertransference and therapist bias. This is a participatory class, come prepared to take notes, journal, share, and be present to your own feelings, reactions, and awareness of your place in the future of this field.

Feb 23: Fri (2 pm – 6 pm Eastern / 11 am – 3 pm Pacific)  Decolonizing Sexuality – Anne Mauro, LMFT, DHS, CSE, CST

This presentation will provide attendees with an introduction to the effects of colonization in North America on modern day American human sexuality. This course will explore historically relevant events and trends that created lasting, and at times, detrimental consequences on our sexualities. Together we will examine historical sexual traumas and learn how we as therapist and counselors have the potential to uphold harmful hierarchical binarisms through westerncentric cisheteropatriarchal practices.

What is a Sexuality Attitudes/Values Reassessment (S.A.R.) Training Experience?

A  structured group experience consisting of a process-oriented exploration of the applicant’s own feelings, attitudes, values, and beliefs regarding human sexuality and sexual behavior (e.g., a SAR). This training is not personal psychotherapy or an academic experience nor is the emphasis on cognitive information.

Participants will write a one-page comprehensive statement of his/her professional philosophy and goals of sex therapy including how the SAR affected that philosophy at the end of this course, to submit to AASECT.

World-Renowned Workshop

Using real case examples, video and hands-on interventions, and special expert guest lecturers, the workshop will focus on the dilemmas of low desire or non-sexual relationships that all couples face and that therapists of all backgrounds struggle within treatment.

The tendency to judge others’ sexual behavior as abnormal if it doesn’t align with our own erotic behaviors or beliefs is deeply entrenched in our psyche. In this training, we will work on being more open-minded and creating a non-pathological view of sexuality in order to work with individuals and couples fairly and effectively.

This workshop will help professionals by exposing them to a variety of sexual practices, and educating them on fetishes, paraphilias, and fringe behaviors, as well as expanding their beliefs about pornography, infidelity, homosexuality, open marriage, polyamory, and other practices around sexuality that may trigger personal issues, emotional responses, and resistance.

This is both a practical and fun workshop, with a judgment-free environment. There will be discussion, lecture, film, group experiential, with the possibility of guest lecturers. Handouts will include worksheets, workbooks, suggested reading lists, and other surprises.


  • Participants will learn how to create a safe, non-pathological environment around sexuality in their treatment of couples and individuals.
  • Participants will learn about alternative sexual practices and the variety of open monogamy practices in the current culture.
  • Participants will be able to communicate their own countertransference and resistance that may have been unconscious and triggering in the treatment of couples with sexual issues.
  • Participants will identify fetishes, paraphilias, and fringe behaviors and how to treat them, when possible.
  • Participants will process their own emotional, somatic, and psychological responses including resistance and vicarious trauma that may be triggered by issues around pornography, sexual exploitation, and BDSM.
  • Participants will expand their knowledge and challenge their beliefs about pornography, infidelity, homosexuality, open marriage, polyamory, and other practices in relationships that may be counterintuitive to their own beliefs.

Participants will explore their own countertransference and how to use it to benefit clients and themselves, in the almost-never-talked-about conflicts around couples and low desire.  How much sexuality education is necessary to help couples move into healthier and happier relationships? What are we comfortable with?  Does it matter if we ourselves are happy in our own sex lives?

Do psychotherapy, couples therapy, and sexuality counseling help or hurt?  Modalities of treatment will focus on the sex therapy movement and how it integrates with couple’s therapy to help heal.


AASECT Requirements and Certification Review:

Meets Requirements for AASECT Core Knowledge Areas:

Sex Ed: A, C, D, F, J  Sex Therapy: C, E, F

CSCT Category 1b, 2b, 3b

Pre-Certification Assessments available with Dr. Nelson
  • What courses apply toward certification?
  • What should you register for next?
  • Do webinars count?
  • What have you already taken that can apply toward AASECT Certified Sex Therapy or AASECT Certified Sexuality Counselor certification?

Sign up now for a PRE-CERTIFICATION REVIEW meeting – One Hour Consult – includes 1 CE toward CKA “o” includes paperwork review. We will also work with your supervisor and help you to plan your training to complete your Certification training, supervision, and SAR within the shortest amount of time, giving you the most contemporary education and convenience possible.

About the Trainers:

Amanda Wildefyre (she/her) is a professional dominatrix, humorist, and filmmaker known for her innovative approaches to female Domination. In a career spanning three decades, her specialties include male genitorture, sissification, bondage, latex fetish, and long-term immersion scenarios. She currently studies with the Institute for Sexuality Education and Enlightenment.

Shadeen Francis (she/her) is a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified sex therapist, graduate professor, and author. Her clinical work focuses on demystifying pleasure, building emotional intelligence, and the intersection between sexual wellness and social justice. Shadeen is a sought-after speaker who has been featured on national media platforms like ABC, NBC, FOX, and the New York Times, as well as sharing clinical insights with recognized brands like Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Essence, and Tinder, among others. An avid writer, Shadeen has authored several textbook chapters on topics ranging from sexual fluidity to leadership in education. Known for her signature brand of warmth and humour, Shadeen’s work is always inspired by her commitment to helping people live lives full of peace and pleasure.


Anne Mauro, LMFT, DHS, CST, CSE is a Licensed Couples and Family therapist, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapist (AASECT) certified sex therapist, AASECT certified sexuality educator, and American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) clinical supervisor. She has earned her M.A. from Antioch University Seattle (AUS) and a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her private practice, Mending Connections, in Tacoma, Washington, specializes in couples counseling and sex therapy. In partnership with a colleague, Anne is also an AASECT continuing education provider, which gave her a platform to co-create the Beyond Settler Sex SAR. She also created and taught the course titled Colonization and Sex at Antioch University Seattle. Her first publication, More Than Ebony and Ivory: Complexities of sex therapy with interracial couples, can be found in An Intersectional Approach to Sex Therapy: Centering the lives of indigenous, racialized, and people of color. Anne serves the sexuality community as the AASECT Awards Committee chair and a member of the AASECT Ethics Advisory Committee.


Tammy Nelson Ph.D. is a sex and relationship expert, an international speaker, and author of several books including, “Integrative Sex & Couples Therapy,” “Getting the Sex You Want; Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together,” “The New Monogamy; Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity,”  and “When You’re the one Who Cheats.” She is a Board Certified Sexologist, an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, and a Certified Imago Relationship therapist, a TEDx speaker, and the host of the podcast The Trouble with Sex.

All lectures will be taught by top experts recognized in the field of human sexuality both nationally and worldwide. Other faculty may be announced at a later time.

Carefully review the attendance policy here. 

Included in your tuition: eWorkbook for SAR by Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. with additional reading material and resources. A suggested reading list will be sent upon registration. All classes are approved for CE’s through AASECT. AASECT CEs are accepted and approved by APA in most states. Please contact your local certifying organization for detailed information. To learn more about AASECT certification requirements, go to www.aasect.org.

*Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information, please contact info@assect.org.

This course does not provide APA hours or CEs.

** You will receive a refund less $50 deposit for your registration if you cancel within one week of the course. If you cancel with 24 hours’ notice for any reason, you will receive a refund less $100 deposit. If you cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice, you forfeit your tuition but may use your payment at any other time, for any other course.