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BESTCO Membership Categories and Requirements

In accordance with the BESTCO constitution, there are five categories of membership, as follows:

Associate Membership

  1. Current or recent graduate degree from a recognized university in a field such as social work, psychology, counselling, theology, nursing, medicine, etc.
  2. An official transcript of program in which highest degree was earned.
  3. Documentation of FULL membership in a Registered College; i.e., College of Social Work, College of Registered Psychotherapy, College of Occupational Therapy, College of Nursing or College of Physicians and Surgeons.
  4. Knowlegeable of and identifies with the ethical standards as established by the applicants Registering College (please submit a one page copy of the current version of your College’s ethical guidelines).
  5. Proof of professional malpractice insurance. Please provide policy number.
  6. A minimum of 2 years clinical experience related to couple and/or sex therapy following graduation from a Masters programme and after achieving full membership status in one of the 5 Registering Colleges; these are the Colleges of: Physicians and Surgeons, Psychologists, Registered Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Nurses and Occupational Therapists.
  7. a) Graduate level coursework in relationship therapy satisfactory to the Documentation Committee, b) At least 250 clinical hours of counselling/therapy for relationship problems/issues (POST-MASTERS), c) at least 50 hours of supervision of relationship therapy by an AAMFT or CAMFT approved supervisor, or equivalent, as determined by BESTCO (POST-MASTERS).
  8. Current or recent graduate level study in the field of sex therapy, which can be met by taking one semester of a sex therapy course or equivalent.
  9. Current letters of recommendation from two professional colleagues familiar with the applicant’s clinical experience and professional responsibilities. At least one of these references needs to be a current or past supervisor.
  10. Ability to qualify now, or willingness to take the necessary steps to qualify within three years, for Certified Membership status.
  11. Participation in and contribution to the clinical sessions of BESTCO.
  12. Payment of the annual fee, currently $115.00.

Certified Membership

A) Sex therapy training:
  1. 1 Sexual Attitude Reassessment course (SAR) or equivalent.
  2. At least 100 hours doing client counselling/therapy for sexual problems with both women and men.
  3. Read at the minimum four texts on sex therapy covering areas of assessment, treatment, and intervention, with both male and female sexual problems.
  4. Regularly read at least one sex therapy journal.
  5. 25-100 hours of supervision by an accredited BESTCO supervisor; the exact number of hours to be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the candidate and the Documentation Committee.
B) Relationship therapy training:
  1. Clinical membership in AAMFT or CAMFT
  1. Any further coursework deemed necessary by the Documentation Committee and your BESTCO supervisor.
  2. A total of 500 clinical hours of counselling/therapy for relationship problems/issues (at least ½ having been attained before becoming an Associate member).
  3. A total of 100 hours of supervision of relationship therapy by an AAMFT or CAMFT approved supervisor, or equivalent as determined by BESTCO (at least ½ having been attained before becoming an Associate member).
C) Progress assessment:

The Progress Assessment can take place any time up to three years after granting of an Associate Membership. Upon recommendation by the candidate's supervisor, the candidate will be requested to present a clinical case to three Certified Members; to respond to three standardized case vignettes; and engage in a discussion of general sex therapy issues. Progress Assessment fee is $50.00.

D) Case presentations:

In addition to the case presentation in (C) above, candidates will make one case presentation at a clinical session of BESTCO during the period of Associate Membership prior to the Progress Assessment. The cases will be approximately 20 minutes excluding questioning and feedback. A videotaped session, with critical sections pre-selected, can be used to meet this requirement.

E) Readings in sex therapy:

The Bibliography is intended for your use and guidance; you are not expected to have read all of these references.

F) Annual fee

At present the annual fee for Certified Members is $185.00.

Affiliate Membership

This is an exceptional category for individuals who are not sex therapists, but have made outstanding contributions to our understanding of human sexuality and have distinguished themselves in fields such as sex education or research. Affiliate Membership is by invitation only.

At present the annual fee for Affiliate Members is $85.00.

Associate, Certified and Affiliate Memberships all carry the expectation of regular attendance at meetings. Two missed consecutive meetings may result in suspension or termination of membership.


Certified members no longer active as clinicians in BESTCO.

Member Emeritus

Certified members who have made a special contribution to BESTCO, and are no longer practicing clinicians.

For information about becoming a member of BESTCO, please contact us