Graduate Student Brings Online Advice to Clinical Sex Therapy Career
Tatyannah King’s interest in sex education and relationships put her on the path to becoming a clinical sex therapist in Widener’s dual MSW / MEd program.
- College of Health & Human Services
Tatyannah King has always had an interest in sex and relationships. As a young girl, her parents shared comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education with her. Those eye-opening conversations would eventually lead her to pursue a career as a clinical sex therapist.
“My parents taught me about sex at a young age. Of course, they saved me the graphic details, but they explained it as best as they could for someone as young as I was,” Tatyannah said. “In high school, someone said I talk about relationships and sex a lot so maybe I should start writing about it. I wasn’t really sure if people would want to read that.”
As an undergrad, Tatyannah began posting on a free blog about sex and relationship topics and realized that people did in fact want to read about the often-censored, but meaningful content.
“I think that knowledge about sex education and human sexuality genuinely saves lives, so you shouldn’t try to hide it from people,” Tatyannah said.
What started as small blog posts has turned into a series of publications in top national outlets including Buzzfeed and Cosmopolitan. The dual social work and human sexuality studies graduate student is using her growing platform to discuss sex and relationships in an effort to help others and reach her professional goals.
After earning degrees in psychology and Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Tatyannah wanted to purse an advanced education. When she started researching graduate programs in the field, Widener’s nationally recognized Center for Human Sexuality Studies kept coming up.
“I knew for a while that I wanted to be a sex therapist, but I didn’t know if any masters programs even had that as a specialty. When I searched sex therapy programs, Widener was the first one to pop up.” Tatyannah said.
In addition to her web research, she began asking others in the field where they had completed their education and found that many of them were Widener graduates. This solidified Tatyannah’s choice in becoming part of the Pride.
Her experience in the dual program has helped her to take what she learns in the classroom and put it to work in the world.
“I think that Widener does a great job at mixing both your knowledge that you need to know, like your core topics, with how to thrive as a professional in a business sense,” Tatyannah said.
She credits Associate Professor Sabitha Pillai-Friedman for inspiring her and serving as a career role model, citing Dr. Pillai-Friedman’s industry experience and knowledge of working with clients as invaluable.
In addition to her national media contributions, Tatyannah puts her coursework into action at her internship at Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), a Philadelphia-based program which helps survivors of sexual violence.
“[This internship] definitely will help me in my career because there are people who suffer from sexual trauma and I feel like as a therapist, especially a trauma-informed therapist, that’s something I need to have hands on experience with.” she said.