Title: “Extraordinary” sex coaching: an inside look
Authors: Patti Britton and Sarah Rose Bright
Year Published: 2014
Main Topics Covered: Sex Coaching, Sex Therapy Differences, MEBES© model
Written for: Sex Coaches, Therapists
Recommended for: Sex Coaches, Therapists, General Public
Perspectives taken: Sex-Positive, Self-improvement, Healing
Type of Resource: Journal Article
APA Citation: Britton, P. & Bright, S. R. (2014). “Extraordinary” sex coaching: an inside look. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 29(1), 98-108. doi:10.1080/14681994.2013.864385
In ‘“Extraordinary” sex coaching: an inside look,’ authors Patti Britton and Sarah Rose Bright explain what sex coaching is, how it differs from lifestyle coaching and sex therapy, and describe its value in today’s world. They give real-life examples of “extraordinary” client healing and an overview of the holistic MEBES © model, a sex coaching tool based on a combination of traditional therapies and Eastern philosophy that Britton created to help clients work through sexual concerns and relationship struggles (MEBES ©: integrating the mind, emotions, body, energy, and spirit).
The article outlines the roots of sex coaching and its evolution into a sex-positive, open minded, and body-based approach to addressing sexual concerns for individuals and couples. Sex coaching-done-right combines effective sex therapy methods and sex-specific personal coaching models, with sex education at its core. It is client-centred, present-focused, goal oriented, and results driven. Sex coaching is different from lifestyle coaching: sex coaches focus on a client’s sexual fulfillment using sex-specific models whereas lifestyle coaches focus on helping clients find a sense of meaning in life. Lifestyle coaches rarely focus on a client’s sexual fulfillment. Sex coaches each have their own coaching style and interact with clients in their own ways. Sex coaching addresses a broad range of issues, from individuals’ sexual dysfunctions to exploring and resolving issues within traditional and non-traditional (i.e. polyamourous / BDSM) relationships. Some sex coaches may use bodywork or touch in their practice.
How is sex coaching different from sex therapy? The authors discuss the main characteristics of sex coaching and suggest that most traditional sex therapy doesn’t measure up in many ways. They say that many graduate-level therapy programs have little to no sexuality training, and that most therapists who do have sexuality training focus on disease-based, let’s-see-what’s-wrong-with-you approaches because of insurance requirements (in the U.S.). On the other hand, the authors view sex coaching as “collaborative and cooperative, without trying to fix clients.” Sex coaching also focuses mostly on the here-and-now compared to some traditional therapies which focus primarily on the client’s past. Sex coaches can be flexibly responsive to their client’s needs and actively involved in their lives, such as by accompanying them to personal events and encouraging them to physically explore their own bodies and sexuality in-session. Overall, they acknowledge that some sex therapies have behaviour-oriented and present-focused orientations as well, and view sex coaching as a parallel and “complementary option for clients seeking sexual help.”
The authors give an overview of Britton’s MEBES © model, which outlines five elements of the sexual self and/or components of sexual relationship:
M: Mind (your thoughts about sexuality)
E: Emotions (your feelings about sexuality)
B: Body/body image, and behaviours (what you do sexually)
E: Energy (your sexual or life force energy and whether it is free to move within the self and to others or is stuck)
S: Spirit (your sense of your authentic sexual self and/or spirituality, sexual self realization and/or sexual ecstasy)
Sex coaching using the MEBES © model involves identifying what’s blocking the individual/couple in each element and creating concrete trackable “action steps” to work on. They give detailed examples of “action steps” for each element.
For sex coaching to continue to evolve, there needs to be more research studies, promotion to the public, and promotion to other professionals. Currently, there is no professional criteria or licensure for people calling themselves sex coaches. Ethical guidelines and standards are in development worldwide and the sex coaching requires a universal refinement of standards and ethics to “assure that consumers receive competent, proficient, compassionate, and qualified care.”
About the Authors (from the article):
“Patti Britton, PhD and MPH, is a world leader in sexology; she writes books, articles, curricula, is media savvy and a popular professional speaker/presenter/trainer in sex coaching and clinical sexology. She is an author of The Art of Sex Coaching and co-founder with Robert Dunlap PhD of the premier global online training/certification organization SexCoachU.”
“Sarah Rose Bright is a Sex and Pleasure coach/educator. She is at the leading edge of the development of Sex Coaching in the UK. She is the first certified professional sex coach and the only certified sexological bodyworker in the UK.”