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  • What is ISTI?
    The Integrative Sex Therapy Institute (ISTI) is the expert in creating modern developmental programs and learning communities. On your path to certification and advanced degrees, ISTI has the resources and integrative training you need. ISTI fully integrates techniques, theory, and practice in both sexuality and relationships as part of our unique approach to elevating the work you do. We provide the support, experience, and complete program to change therapy to meet the modern relationship. ISTI is the acronym for the Integrative Sex Therapy Institute. Founded in 2014 as Sex Therapy U, Dr. Tammy Nelson and our Advisory board design a training curriculum for therapists to meet the challenging and changing social trends in society. Expert professionals share knowledge of their specialties relating to sex therapy and/or couples therapy. Tracks include Certified Sex Therapist (CST), Certified Sexuality Counselor (CSC), Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE), Certified Sex and Couples Therapist (CSCT), and recertification.
  • Is ISTI certified?
    Yes, ISTI is certified as a CE provider for continuing education by two prestigious organizations. ISTI is a certified Organizational Provider for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (#10-102B) and all courses are taught by a Ph.D., LCSW, MSW, or LPC. All courses are clinical in nature and instructors are experts in their field. ISTI maintains strict files for each course taught that include a syllabus, reference material, handouts and the presenter’s CV. This information is available for you if you wish to submit it to your certifying board. Integrative Sex Therapy Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Integrative Sex Therapy Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content. As a whole, the sex therapy and sex and couples therapy training programs do not have one unified certifying body.
  • Who accepts ISTI CE’s?
    We strongly recommend you contact your local certifying organization on courses they accept for CEs as these can vary by organization, state, and event. The (AASECT) American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists accepts certificates from the Integrative Sex Therapy Institute. Completion of our courses does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information contact, call 202-449-1099, or go to the AASECT website.
  • How do I start my certification?
    You can start taking classes at ISTI without enrolling as a student, but there are definite benefits to becoming a student including advance information of coursework, discounts, administrative support and much more. Begin your certification track by deciding which track will work best for you, your clients, and your goals. Read some of the details below or contact us for a short call to answer your questions personally. Next, go to the "Get Started" page and purchase your track. Once you've purchased it, you'll be issued a track of courses (suggested), a list of the standards you'll need to meet for your certification, and you'll gain access to thousands of hours of coursework. You select the courses you want to attend (live or recorded) and register yourself as your schedule allows. If you wish to substitute a recorded course or can't attend a particular day, we can make suggestions for substitute classes. About half-way through your coursework the ISTI team will check in to let you know how you are progressing and where you need to focus your remaining course hours. Some students start their track by taking the Integrative Sex and Couples Certification Training through PESI. The 14 course hours from PESI will transfer to ISTI and can serve as a stepping stone to certification. During the coursework you are encouraged to start your supervision early and have it be a companion to your time in the classroom. Our website contains ISTI approved supervisors or you can select some supervision from AASECT approved supervisors not affiliated with ISTI.
  • Do I have to become a student to take courses?
    No! Individuals may register for the whole program or take classes one at a time as you are interested in the topics. Often individuals pursue individual coursework when they are needing a particular topic for their population or to renew licensure/certification.
  • Can I take classes before I am licensed?
    You can take classes before you are fully licensed and before you have a graduate degree. When you have taken all of your courses and are ready to apply for certification you will need to be licensed and have malpractice insurance. You must also finish your clinical hours in order to receive your certification. In order to start supervision, if you want your hours to count toward your potential certification, you need to be licensed or working under a licensed supervisor at your place of employment. Certified Sexuality Counselors and Certified Sex Educators have different requirements.
  • What does it cost?
    Detailed information about the cost of attending ISTI for your CST or your CSCT is located here on our website. Purchased individually each course averages between $35-50/ hr. Registering for the whole program gives you discounts and a payment plan. CSCT Hours Required: 109 Does this include SAR: Yes Program Price: $3,999 CST Hours Required: 164 Does this include SAR: Yes Program Price: $5,999 CSCT & CST Hours Required: 209 Does this include SAR: Yes Program Price: $6,999 **Supervision hours are arranged directly with the supervisor and costs are not included in the pricing above.
  • Are there discounts, financial assistance, or a payment plan?
    Dr. Tammy Nelson offers scholarships and internships throughout the year. These scholarships are specific to certain events, not for the entire program. Recipients of the scholarship cannot combine scholarships with student or early registration discounts. Scholarships are not limited to past recipients. There is no financial hardship requirement. Scholarships are not restricted, but priority will be given to LGBTQIA+ and marginalized students with an interest in certification in order to comply with ISTI's diversity and inclusion vision statement. This is not a working scholarship. There are limited volunteer, administrative, or internship positions available on an as-needed basis. Scholarships cannot transfer to other training sessions if you are unable to attend. Currently enrolled ISTI students are ineligible for this scholarship offer. Be sure to inform us at if you are interested in signing up for her mailing list or to be added to the scholarship interested list. We offer all students payment plans. Early Registration is offered for nearly every live course taught.
  • What is the difference between CSCT & CST?
    The future of this field demands that clinical professionals integrate both sex therapy and relationship counseling in order to keep up with the challenges of contemporary practice. Integrative Sex and Couples Therapy is a new field of learning for all therapists that builds on sex therapy and relationship therapy and adds a third area: alternative forms of treatment that are designed specifically to meet the contemporary needs of today’s clients. What are the learning standards for CSCT? AASECT uses Core Knowledge Areas (CKAs) and for ISTI we use three main categories of knowledge to insure that your coursework provides the best education available. At ISTI your coursework will include Sexual Therapy, Couples Counseling and Integrative Therapy. You can find a detailed explanation of the standards here. An ISTI Certified Sex and Couples Therapist (CSCT) is a licensed clinical mental health provider with a proficient level of expertise in both sexuality and relationship therapy as well as contemporary integrative alternative treatment interventions. A CSCT is trained to assess, diagnose, and provide in-depth relational and individual psychotherapy, as well as group and family therapy and has specialized in treating clients with sexual issues including, but not limited to: sexual function and dysfunction; sexual pleasure; sexual variation; sexuality and disability; sexuality and chronic illness; sexual development across the lifespan; sexual abuse, assault, and coercion; sexual orientation; gender identity, infidelity, trauma, open relationships and polyamory, virtual reality and online treatment, alternative forms of relationships, LGBTQIA+ issues, kink, BDSM, polyamory, as well as disability, illness, stress management and special training in diversity and intercultural issues. CSCTs have had at least some training in contemporary treatment modalities including art therapy and/or psychedelic treatment. CSCTs are versed in countertransference and the self as therapist. CSCTs can provide integrative relationship therapy to couples and groups, and may with specialized additional training, offer intensive psychotherapy and retreats. CSCTs have completed a SAR and must renew their certification every two years.
  • How do I start Supervision?
    Supervision is a foundational part of your training. You can learn about Dr. Nelson’s supervision for groups and individuals here, or join the wait list for supervision notices. The mission of The Integrative Sex Therapy Institute (ISTI) is to provide cutting-edge courses with training by the top leaders in the field; to provide the relationship skills students need to be informed and compassionate sex and couples therapists or coaches who provide the inspiration, connection, and healing needed in the world today.
  • What is your grievance policy and procedure?
    In most cases, emailing the Program Director or Executive Director allows us to begin resolving your grievance immediately. If this process is not satisfactory, ISTI adheres to a stringent grievance policy set out by AASECT (located here) and APA (located here). In all cases we strive to provide quality education in a changing field with an eye toward protecting the consumer. For more detailed description of the policy please visit our website.
  • What happens if I need accommodations?
    We value our online accessibility and meeting the needs of our students through a dynamic program. We are prioritizing the accessibility of our courses as we develop continued programming and publish webinars previously recorded. We are working to provide accessible materials for our eWorkbooks, handouts, and closed captioning for synchronous and asynchronous courses. Our courses are recorded using the best technology available at the time of the recording. In some instances these recordings are audio only or audio and video. These recordings, like many live events, may have variable quality. If you have any needs for additional support accessing our courses, please reach out to
  • Can I transfer any credits into your programs?
    Yes, you can transfer credits into the programs here. Typically, you can transfer up to 30 course hours depending on the quality and nature of that education. For more information, you can check out our page here on Transfer Credits.
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