AASECT Certified Therapist Spotlight - Isa Jones, LMFT, CST
AASECT Certified Therapist, Isa Jones, LMFT, CST, answers a few questions for the Certified Therapist Spotlight:
1.Can you give me a quick rundown of what keeps you busiest these days?
I recently created the Scottsdale Center for Sex and Relationship Therapy, which is dedicated to empowering self, relationships and sexual health. It’s a wonderful space for AASECT trained Sex Therapists to collaborate and support one another in this work. My clinical practice keeps me very busy along with, supervising, traveling, nurturing relationships with family and friends, staying physically active, managing a bustling household with teenagers and learning from others.
2.Why was it important to you to become AASECT Certified
When I decided to become a Sex Therapist several years ago, I sat down and googled “How to becomes a Sex Therapist". I quickly found AASECT’s webpage, read the criteria for AASECT Sex Therapy Certification and started plugging away. I chose this path because AASECT seemed to be the most credible and well established organization governing the field of Sex Therapy.
3.How do you think being certified will benefited your work?
The extensive training I received from many thought leaders in the field (Patti Britton, Gina Ogden, Doug Braun Harvey, Stephanie Buehler, Stella Resnick, Tammy Nelson, Esther Perel, Marty Klein, Joe Kort, and so many more) along with Sex Therapy supervision that the AASECT certification requires, has empowered me to work with sexuality in ways that I could not have otherwise. Broadening my perspectives on sexuality has allowed me to transcend cultural bias and personal experience thereby creating an optimal space for clients who wish to resolve sexual challenges and experience more sexual fulfillment.
4.What are your main areas of interest within the field? What would you consider your special niche?
I’m very interested eroticism within oneself and within the context of long term love relationships… I’m developing my ideas around this and am in the beginning stages of writing a book/workshop about cultivating eroticism. I’m also highly interested in developing applications of the OCSB model in relationship therapy.
5.What has been the most exciting project you've worked on, and why?
I’m really excited about all of the projects I’m involved with!! Right now I’m working with Patti Britton on preparing for the first SAR in Arizona (that I’m aware of) as a pre-conference at SSSS in Nov. It’s been fun to reach out and form relationships with people in my local community who will participate in our panel discussions. I’m also collaborating with Charles Glickman to bring him to Arizona for a 4 hour Somatic Sexual Healing workshop (the same workshop he offered as pre-conference at AASECT Puerto Rico) in January for our local therapeutic community. Creating spaces for such amazing sex educators for my local professional community is very exciting!
6.What is the most challenging issue you face, and why? What helps you get through it?
Holding neutral space with clients who are in deep shame and conflict arising from rigidly held interpretations of religious ideologies where "masturbation is forbidden" and “your sexuality belongs to your partner" is really hard on me as a sex therapist. What helps me get through this is zooming out and trusting that everyone is on his/her/their own path, taking deep breaths before and after sessions, practicing gratitude and there was something about a quote I recently heard from Doug Braun-Harvey that I found helpful, “sometimes we just have to live with disappointment”. So simple and true.
7.What do you wish you knew when you were starting out in this field that you know now?
I’ve learned the importance of pacing myself and self-care. When I first started seeing clients I was clocking in long clinical days and coming in on my “off days” to accrue more clinical hours. Now I have found an optimal pace for the work I love to do. This has required me to uphold professional boundaries, even when it’s hard to do so. Saying “no” to clients and prospective clients has enabled me say “yes” to being present for each client I see while safeguarding me from burn-out and compassion fatigue.
8.Is there anything additional you would like to share with AASECT members?
A HUGE THANK YOU!! I went to my first AASECT conference in Miami and it was there that I felt “these are my peeps!”. I simply love, adore and respect so many of you in the AASECT community. The many people in AASECT I have interacted with have been so friendly, inclusive, warm and accepting. My dearest friends are AASECT Sex Therapists--it’s an incredible community. I am so grateful to the many teachers and mentors I have through AASECT. I also greatly appreciate the generosity of those who post their thoughts, ideas, expertise and resources on the listserv!! The listserv comments have been a great source of edification and learning for me!