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“It was transformative.” — An interview with a Modern Sex Therapy Institutes’ alumna

Catching up with Lena Elkhatib, LMFT, CST

What’s your full name?

Lena Elkhatib

What is your professional title?

LMFT, CST
(Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and AASECT-Certified Sex Therapist)

What programs/certifications did you participate in?

The full Sex Therapy Certification program at Modern Sex Therapy Institutes (MSTI)

What is your specialty?

Relationship and Sex Therapy

Where are you practicing (company, location)?

Essentia Therapy, LLC in Chicago, IL

How did you learn about MSTI?

Through an instructor during graduate school

Why did you come to MSTI?

  1. Flexibility of program
  2. Reputation of workshop instructors
  3. Having a “one-stop shop” for everything I needed for certification (supervision, application assistance, workshops)

What from the courses(s) was most impactful?

This is hard to answer, as each course was so different. Overall though, I felt that with each course I left with immediately applicable treatment and intervention options. I also felt that all the courses complemented each other well, leaving me with a well-rounded and holistic approach to assessment and treatment, regardless of the presenting issue.

How did the learnings affect your practice?

It was transformative.
I always knew that I wanted to work with couples and people in relationships, but the more I learned about sex therapy, the more I realized I wanted to lead with sex therapy in my practice. In short, it shifted my approach entirely.

How did the learnings impact your personal life?

My personal and professional paths were very much intertwined. Much of what I learned in the courses allowed me to better reflect on and understand my own stances and beliefs around sexuality in a new, deeper way.

What’s your advice to other therapists considering continuing education or certification?

What you learn in graduate school will NOT prepare you to work competently with sex and sexuality! The VAST majority of my clients, even the ones that come in for general therapy, often times bring up topics related to sex, sexuality, or gender, and I believe it is our responsibility as practitioners to acquire proper training to know how to work with those areas (even if that means knowing when to refer out).

What topics are you interested in diving into next?

I have been spending much of my time working on digging more into sex therapy through the lens of diversity, and applying/modifying the training I have received to accommodate the needs of Muslim populations.

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“It was transformative.” — An interview with a Modern Sex Therapy Institutes’ alumna was originally published in Modern Sex Therapy Institutes on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.