According to Kian de la Cour, lead trainer at UK Somatic Sex Education, practitioners may include genital touch within their scope of practice much as a pelvic floor specialist or midwife might. For some patients, it might not include any touching at all.
The therapy also takes serious training before practitioners can offer it.
A professional qualification is only gained after a period of training for seven months. The training amounts to more than 330 hours and includes in-depth anatomy, extensive hands-on and trauma-informed practice, plus 25 supervised sessions.
When all practical tests and assignments have been completed, the person is recognised as a Certified Sexological Bodyworker (CSB).
It is a growingly popular course too as one school, the Sea School of Embodiment, has trained over 200 practitioners in the UK since 2014.
So why would someone want to enlist their help?
There are several reasons one might go to a sexological bodyworker, says de la Cour. The most common reasons are that they:
De la Cour lists the benefits of going to a somatic sex educator: “In contrast to ‘fixing’ people, sexological bodyworkers coach, teach and support people to learn about their bodies. This approach, above all, empowers them to be healthy and happier with themselves.
“Practitioners offer a neutral space, free from expectations and performance, to practice and integrate new tools and techniques. Probably the most valuable aspect is being able to talk about what is being felt inside. Supporting people in exploring their sexuality, and working through sexual issues or concerns can be healing and cathartic.”