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Associate Membership

  1. Current or recent graduate degree from a recognized university in a field such as social work, psychology, counselling, theology, nursing, medicine, etc.
  2. An official transcript of program in which highest degree was earned.
  3. Documentation of membership in a professional credentialing body.
  4. Knowledgeable of and identifies with the ethical standards as established by the applicants credentialing body.
  5. Proof of professional malpractice insurance with policy number.
  6. You are welcome to apply to BESTCO following graduation. Supervision will be required by a BESTCO Approved Supervisor in the areas of relationship and sex therapy.
  7. Current letters of recommendation from two professional colleagues or supervisors familiar with the applicant’s clinical experience and professional responsibilities.
  8. Participation in and contribution to the clinical sessions of BESTCO.
  9. Once the full application has been submitted to the Registrar, it will be forwarded to the Documentation Committee for review. The chair of the documentation committee will then inform you on the status of your application for associate membership.

At this point, the Associate member may begin the certification process as outlined in the welcome letter and as noted below.

Application fee: $50

Associate Member fee: $140/year

Certified Membership

Once you are an Associate Member, the certification process begins. The length of time to become certified depends of the following factors:

  • Up to 3 years if the applicant has 100 hours in the provision of relationship therapy, under supervision.
  • Up to 5 years if the applicant has no clinical experience.
  • Experience in sex therapy will also be evaluated, but experience in providing sex therapy is not necessary to begin the certification process, as it occurs with an approved ASTO supervisor. The number of supervision hours by a ASTO approved Supervisor will depend on the amount of sex therapy the applicant has provided under supervision prior to applying to ASTO.

Certification requires completion of the following:

A) Sex therapy training:

  1. Current or recent graduate level study in the field of sex therapy, which can be met by taking a Graduate level intensive sex therapy course.
  2. A Sexual Attitude Reassessment course (SAR) or equivalent. *Minimum 14hrs*
  3. Read at the minimum four books on sex therapy covering areas of assessment, treatment, and intervention.
  4. Regularly read at least one sex therapy journal.
  5. 100 hours in the provision of sex therapy under supervision (with a minimum of 25 hours supervision by an approved ASTO supervisor). The number of supervision hours will be determined by the Documentation Committee and provided to the associate member upon joining ASTO.

B) Relationship therapy training:

  1. Clinical membership in AAMFT


  1. Graduate level course work in relationship therapy and theories satisfactory to the Documentation Committee.
  2. At least 500 clinical hours of counselling/therapy for relationship problems/issues.
  3. At least 100 hours of supervision of relationship therapy by an AAMFT approved supervisor, or equivalent as determined by ASTO.

Certified Member fee $225/year

C) Mid-term Case Presentation:

Within the first 2 years as an Associate, a case (assessment and treatment) will be presented to the ASTO membership. This is outlined on the website under “how to become a sex therapist”.

No fee

D) Certification Assessment:

The Certification Assessment can take place within 5 years as noted in the associate welcome letter. To clarify, the candidate can complete the Certification Assessment:

  • within three years if the associate began the process with 100 hours of relationship supervision and 500 direct clinical hours,
  • up to 5 years if the associate had the above-noted supervision and clinical experience.

Upon recommendation by the candidate’s supervisor, the candidate will be requested to present a clinical case to three certified Members; to respond to three standardized case vignettes; and engage in a discussion of general sex therapy issues.

Certification Assessment fee: $50.00

E) Readings in sex therapy:

The Bibliography is intended for your use and guidance; you are not expected to have read all of these references.

Members are to attend bi-annual meetings. Two missed consecutive meetings may result in suspension or termination of membership.

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