Certificate in Psychosexual Therapy

This 8-day certificate course, facilitated by Cabby Laffy and Polly McAfee, is designed for qualified counsellors, psychotherapists or psychologists who would like to become more skilled in working therapeutically with psychosexual issues.

Course overview:

This 8-day certificate course, facilitated by Cabby Laffy and Polly McAfee, is designed for qualified counsellors, psychotherapists or psychologists who would like to become more skilled in working therapeutically with psychosexual issues. Through theoretical teaching and experiential work – including group discussion, case vignettes, and skills practice – you will gain conceptual insights, practical tools and more confidence to work with clients’ sexual concerns. These concerns may range from lack of sexual interest to pain during penetration, to difficulty asserting boundaries or communicating preferences, to recovery from sexual trauma, and the psychosexual impact of shame. The course also gives an overview of sexual anatomy for the purposes of enhancing pleasure. It looks at ways to help clients keep desire alive in long term relationships.

Our approach celebrates Gender, Sex and Relationship Diversity (GSRD), avoiding assumptions of normativity. We include the impact of societal and cultural beliefs on our sexual lives – along with the importance of social identity and positionality for sexual expression. The trainers advocate working with both/all partners where possible when treating psychosexual issues, and the course will include reference to working with individually and with couples/relationships.

This course has a sex-positive philosophy, in which sex has a valid place within therapeutic work. Overall, this training provides a practical toolkit of working with psychosexual material in therapy, backed up by current theory. It provides a platform if you lack confidence or specialist knowledge about working in the therapy room with sexual expression and sexual problems – especially when sexual issues are indicators that the conditions for good sex aren’t in place or something has gone off track with sex in a relationship.

About this course

  • Course Duration:8 days
  • Next intake:Spring 2023 (in person), Autumn 2023 (Zoom)
  • CPD Value:50 Hours
  • Level:Certificate (Level 5 equivalence)
  • Fee:£1,900 + VAT
Do you have a question? Get in touch with a member of the team who will be happy to help
Certificate in Psychosexual Therapy

This training provides deeper understanding and a practical toolkit for working with sexual issues in therapy. This equips you with more confidence and competence around psychosexual issues.

The course is designed for therapists to begin this training without any prior experience of working with psychosexual topics. However, those practitioners who already work with couples or relationship issues may find this training to be useful as an additional layer of learning, by adding further dimensions to this work.

This training is offered as a CPD programme (Continuous Professional Development). It is designed to give participants a CPD certificate as evidence of having taken additional specialised training in psychosexual therapy for couples and other types of relationship – to equip therapists with relevant knowledge and models when addressing sex in their therapy work.

This course rests on the existing scope of practice for which the participant is already qualified, such as psychotherapy or coaching, or client groups such as young people.

The syllabus includes:

    • Overview of psychosexual therapy as an educational and psychotherapeutic model, outline of homeodynamic model authored by Cabby Laffy
    • Considerations and process for intake, history-taking and assessment, and therapeutic process with couples and other relationships
    • Discernment between universal or situational factors along with conceptualisation of the psychosexual difficulty
    • Familiarity with sexual and reproductive anatomy, indicators of physcial dysfunction
    • Key interventions and when to use them, drawn from current models including “bodyfulness”
    • Dealing with common client presentations such as differing levels of desire, painful sex
    • Identifying and addressing physical issues with sex such as unreliable erections, lack of orgasm, vaginismus, premature ejaculation
    • Understanding preferences and desires, as well as how to communicate them
    • Exploring kink and BDSM
    • The debate around sex addiction or sexual compulsivity
    • Looking at the effect on sex of trauma, dissociation, and shame
    • Working with projection, transference and counter-transference also affecting the therapist
    • Creating your own model for approaching psychosexual health with clients

This course has a bio-psycho-social underpinning – where the body’s physiology and the client’s psychological process are considered within the sociological context.

The structure of the course includes:

  • Teaching material on all the course topics, including client-friendly diagrams or information sheets
  • Description of other services available to clients addressing psychosexual issues
  • Introduction to psychosexual tasks outside the session time
  • Discussions in the full group about the material being presented, including opportunities to ask questions and check understanding
  • Experiential exercises to embed understanding of the material presented
  • Work in small groups (dyads, triads) as skills practice to gain familiarity with the taught material for use in a therapy setting.

There are two options for taking this course. The first is by attendance only, where learning is absorbed by participation during the course days. For this option, there is no assessment other than attendance and participation. This route leads to the Certificate in Couple/Relationship Therapy awarded by The Grove.

The other option leads to the COSRT Level 5 accredited certification. This involves undertaking a written assignment of up to 2,500 words, with a quizzes on course content. The Certificate is awarded by The Grove, with an additional narrative and logo indicating that the assessments for the COSRT Level 5 certification have been achieved. Students can choose this option at any time during the course days.

We also recommend that any practitioner who provides couple/relationship therapy seeks supervision from a suitably qualified professional, to support this important area of work.

The award of the Certificate in Couple/Relationship Therapy will be issued upon completion of the course, provided that a minimum 80% attendance has been met and the course fee has been paid in full. If these criteria are not met, a CPD attendance letter will be provided – or the student can submit a written reflective piece covering the content that has been missed, which will be marked before the full Certificate award is issued.

A digital certificate is provided as a matter of routine. Paper certificates despatched by Royal Mail are available upon request. Replacement certificates are available on request.

We also recommend that practitioner undertaking sex therapy seeks supervision from a suitably-qualified professional, to support this important area of work.

This intake takes place on Zoom.

Friday and Saturday dates in 2022:

16 & 17 September
14 & 15 October
18 & 19 November
16 & 17 December

Times each day:
10am – 4:30pm.

This intake takes place in person, held in the training venue at NCVO, London N1.

Friday and Saturday dates in 2023:

17 & 18 March
14 & 15 April
12 & 13 May
16 & 17 June

Times each day:
10am – 4:30pm


This intake will takes place on Zoom.

Friday and Saturday dates in 2023:

15 & 16 September
13 & 14 October
17 & 18 November
15 & 16 December

Times each day:
10am – 4:30pm

£1,900 + VAT = £2,280 payable in full or by instalments. A non-refundable deposit of £300 is payable to secure a place on this course. After that, the total remaining payable must be reached by 6 weeks before the final weekend of the training.

The course fee includes all training materials and the CPD certificate.

When training is held at a venue (rather than by Zoom): tea, coffee and biscuits are provided during the course. Lunch is not included in the course fee. There are many shops and cafes nearby offering refreshments and lunches.

After paying the deposit of £300 including VAT, the remainder of the fee can be paid by instalments as indicated on the invoice. Some reduced-fee places may be awarded depending on student circumstances, subject to availability. The course fee can also be invoiced fully or partially to an employer or funding organisation. Please contact us for details.

Prefer to study in person?

Enrol for the Spring 2023 intake

Venue details: NCVO in London N1

Meet the trainers

Cabby Laffy

UKCP registered and NCP accredited Psychotherapist

Cabby Laffy has been a facilitator of training and workshops since 1991.

Polly McAfee

Graduate of the Diploma in Integrative Psychosexual Therapy

Polly McAfee is is a graduate of the Diploma in Integrative Psychosexual Therapy.

Application criteria

Applicants are expected to be qualified and experienced professionals in a mental health or helping profession, who are established in their practice. This will be covered in the application form. All applicants are expected to:

  • be qualified and experienced in their field
  • be full members of their professional body with a code of ethics and complaint procedure for publiprotection (such as but not limited to BACP, UKCP, COSRT, BPS, AHPP, NCP, NCS, ACC)
  • hold professional liability insurance
  • have supervision arrangements in place for their client work as well as access to support for any clinical or organisation practice they undertake during the course

Professional standards

The Grove Practice is accredited by NCIP (National Council for Integrative Psychotherapists) as a CPD training centre. As such, all The Grove’s courses are awarded NCP accreditation for CPD (Continuous Professional Development).

This accreditation provides reassurance regarding high standards of teaching and course content.

The Grove’s Certificate in Psychosexual Therapy has been awarded Thematic Training Accreditation by COSRT at Level 5. This accreditation is a mark of endorsement by a leading professional body in the UK, mapping in equivalence to the RQF levels regulated by OfQual – although The Grove’s courses are not Ofqual-regulated. Participants who successfully complete this course can use this training certificate as evidence of CPD hours required for ongoing membership of COSRT.

This course is taught at Level 5 equivalence. This is a post-qualification training which requires overt theoretical evaluation, self-reflection, and interpretation of how to apply the models in mental health settings such as clinical practice or multi-disciplinary teams in organisations. The Grove is setting its own courses at a training level in line with industry-wide language for evaluating the academic level of the course.

The Grove’s courses have been successfully recognised as CPD for members of the following membership bodies: BACP, UKCP, COSRT, NCP, NCS, AHPP, ACC, BPS, among others. Organisations such as universities, schools and colleges, several NHS trusts, Relate, MIND, and Place2B have also supported some of their therapists in taking training with The Grove. This is a mark of unofficial validation of our courses as worthy of being listed on the CPD logs by members these organisations and therapists.

We are proud of the multi-disciplinary nature of our courses, where learners from a variety of mental health backgrounds and other related fields are welcome, subject to fulfilling our application criteria.

About this course

  • Course Duration:8 days
  • Next intake:Spring 2023 (in person), Autumn 2023 (Zoom)
  • CPD Value:50 Hours
  • Level:Certificate (Level 5 equivalence)
  • Fee:£1,900 + VAT
Do you have a question? Get in touch with a member of the team who will be happy to help

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