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Sex Therapy Certificate

About the Program

The Sex Therapy Certificate Program, housed within the Center for Human Sexuality Studies (CHSS) at Widener University, was created to enhance the practice of Master’s or Doctoral-level clinicians who aim to specialize in sex therapy. The program’s team of skilled, knowledgeable, and active practitioners are devoted educators committed to training the next generation of sex therapists. The program equips students with a strong foundation in both sex therapy theory and practice, while also affording them the skills required for sex therapy certification by AASECT. It is one of the country’s few accredited sexuality programs.

Widener University, a fully-accredited institution of higher learning, serves as the premiere training institute for active clinicians in the field. The CHSS encourages meaningful relationships between faculty and students and facilitates peer-to-peer learning through small group discussions, role playing activities, and presentations. Most courses (e.g. sex therapy skills courses) are offered in a face-to-face format on weekends only to guarantee customized training with faculty, however other courses (e.g. introductory and supervision) may be offered in hybrid or online formats.

This certificate is available to clinicians who possess a license or are eligible for licensure. Medical providers, clergy, and other individuals trained at the graduate-level in counseling may also be eligible for the program if they aim to receive AASECT certification as a sex counselor.

Program Requirements

In order to receive the certificate, a student must complete the following courses (5 education and 4 supervision); the duration of the program is 18 months.

  • HSED 503, 592, 562, 662, & 669 (15 credit hours)
  • SUPERVISION 1, 2, 3, & 4 (12 credit hours)

Participation in 350 total clock hours of seat time, which includes:

  • 90 hours of core knowledge in Human Sexuality
  • 135 hours of Speciality Training in Sex Therapy
  • 20+ hours of Sexual Attitudes Reassessment
  • 50 hours supervision

(Seat time hours meet AASECT certification requirements as of 12/18/2018)

Note: The supervision component is only available to students who complete or are simultaneously enrolled in the education component.

Cost and Financial Aid

Cost information for this affordable program can be found on our graduate tuition and fees page. To explore loan and scholarship opportunities, contact the Widener Financial Aid Services Department.

Expert Trainers

Erika Evans-Weaver, PhD, LMFT


Dr. Erika Evans-Weaver is both an assistant clinical professor and the Director of the Sex  Therapy Clinic in the Center for Human Sexuality Studies. Dr. Evans-Weaver also maintains a boutique private practice in Flourtown, PA. Prior to her private practice, she founded an organization called Healthiher that was dedicated to providing health education to women of color. Dr. Evans-Weaver has also been employed as the Quality Assurance Director and Clinician at the Center for Families and Relationships. She worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist with organizations like Northern Homes for Children as well as a number of other agencies in the Tri-State area. She began teaching as an adjunct for Philadelphia University and La Salle University’s Graduate Psychology Department in 2008 and joined the faculty full-time at Widener in 2012. Dr. Evans-Weaver’s research is focused on best practices for the training of clinical practitioners. Her work interests are related to ethics, intercultural competence in clinical settings, counseling implications for victims of trafficking, and media influences on the identity development for women of color. Dedicated to providing assistance to victims of trafficking, she formed a network with other clinicians in Pennsylvania who are invested in providing clinical assistance to victims in need.

Sabitha Pillai-Friedman, PhD, LCSW, CST


Dr. Sabitha Pillai-Friedman is a relationship and sex therapist who has over 25 years of experience in providing individual, couple, sex therapy and clinical supervision. Her areas of interest and expertise include sexuality across the life span, sexual difficulties, sexual pain, sexual trauma, sexuality and illness. She is an American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) certified sex therapist and approved supervisor. Dr. Pillai-Friedman is also an Associate Professor at the Center for Human Sexuality at Widener University and the director of the sex therapy track. She maintains a successful private practice in the city of Philadelphia where she practices individual, couple and sex therapy and supervises aspiring social workers and sex therapists. Her strength lies in her ability to combine a successful academic and research career with clinical practice and supervision. She is on the health advisory board of several organizations providing support for people diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer and is actively involved in research on cancer and sexuality. Dr. Pillai-Friedman presents nationally and internationally on various topics related to relationships and sexuality and has written book chapters and journal articles on sexual fantasies, kink, religion and sexuality, sexuality and chronic illness, aging and sexuality, and the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) in the treatment of sexual dysfunction.

Philip A. Rutter, PhD, CST

rutterWith more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Philip Rutter is a counseling psychologist and clinical trainer/supervisor. Since 2009, Dr. Rutter has helped to build the sex therapy programat Widener to its current level of coursework and depth of content. He teaches clinical courses to prepare students in sex and relationship therapy provision and private practice strategies. Academic pursuits include several research foci including suicide assessment and prevention strategies, and Affirmative therapy practice to serve the Queer client population. Nationally, Dr. Rutter served  (2011-2012) as the Clinical Division Director for the American Association of Suicidology and as Vice Chair for the association’s Executive Committee. Sr Rutter also serves as associate editor for the Journal of GLBT Family Studies and for the Journal of GLBT Issues in Counseling. Dr Rutter is a licensed psychologist in PA and NJ, and became a Certified Sex Therapist in 2011, with therapy practice locations in Philadelphia PA and Pitman NJ.


If you are interested in the sex therapy certificate program, applications are open for the Summer 2019 cohort. The deadline for application is April 22, 2019. Please apply here.

If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please contact Dr. Sabitha Pillai-Friedman, Director of the Sex Therapy track at CHSS, at or Lori Carney, of the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Learning, at