This training will provide information and frameworks for understanding, assessing and treating dyspareunia (painful sex) through a psychological lens. This includes treatment for presentations such as vulvodynia, and vaginismus that can lead to dyspareunia.

Learn practical skills for working with clients to achieve meaningful treatment outcomes.

CPD hours: 4

Assessment guidelines

Downloadable assessment guidelines to assist you in session.

Developed by industry leaders.

Practical step-by-step instructions

Dr Ashton shares her insights from practice in the field so you leave with in-depth knowledge.

Join a community of peers

Attend group supervision and the end of your training. Meet like-minded practitioners and learn from each other.

Hi, I'm your trainer - Dr Sarah Ashton

Sarah (she/her) is the Director and Founder of the first psychology practice dedicated to sexual health treatment – SHIPS and is the Founder and Lead Training Author of Sexual Health and Intimacy Psychological Training. Sarah is a registered psychologist (AHPRA), board approved supervisor (AHPRA), member of the Society of Australian Sexologists and has worked with clients in the sexual health field for over 15 years. She is the Coordinator for the Sexual and Mental Health Primary Health Network, and a Sessional Lecturer at RMIT University. She is a published researcher in The Journal of Sex Research, Porn Studies, Feminism & Psychology, and has written articles for The Conversation and Red Magazine. Sarah has been a guest speaker on Joy FM and ABC radio. Sarah brings a warm, down-to-earth, compassionate approach to therapy and leading her practice. She loves what she does and wants to share this important area of knowledge with emerging and established practitioners.

Training Curriculum

  Introduction (Total listening time 5:49)
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  Introduction to sexual pain (Total listening time 5:53)
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  Psychological models of understanding sexual pain (Total listening time 29:12)
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  Assessment (Total listening time 8:17)
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  Treatment approaches (Total listening time 23:13)
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  Case Study (Total listening time 8:50)
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  Conclusion (Total listening time 1:56)
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Suitable for:

  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Counsellors
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Sex therapists
  • GPs
  • Students undertaking education in all of the above

Level of experience required:

  • Undertaking or completed qualifications in psychology or above disciplines
  • No experience with sexual therapy necessary

What is included:

  • Access to online training modules - unlimited time
  • Access to a 1 hour Zoom group supervision led by Dr Sarah Ashton, following completion of the course
  • Downloadable sexual history guide
  • Certificate of completion


  • 2-3 hours, plus 1 hour group supervision
  • CPD hours: 4

Duration of Access: 

Unlimited. Once you sign up, you can take as long as you like to complete the course.

Choose a Pricing Option

Check out our blogs & resources

SHIPS blogs are authored by our Psychologists and are written about topics we discuss with our clients in therapy.
They can be helpful resources for practitioners and clients.



Reasons Why Misogyny Can Increase Sexual Pain (Dyspareunia)

Painful Sex