Sensate Focus Therapy, also known as SFT, is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on enhancing physical and emotional intimacy between partners. Developed in the mid-20th century by renowned psychologist Masters and Johnson, SFT was the culmination of years of research and experiments in human sexuality.

Sensate Focus Therapy emphasises the importance of taking a gradual and systematic approach towards intimacy. The therapy typically begins with non-sexual touching and progresses to sensual and gradually more intimate activities. By focusing on the present moment and the physical sensations experienced during each exercise, people can deepen their connection, rebuild trust, and overcome issues related to anxiety, performance, or past experiences.

This training will teach you how to develop an SFT plan for clients, customise it for their individual needs and identify barriers and future treatment targets. This includes customisation for clients who have experienced sexual trauma, neurodivergent clients, and trans and non-binary clients.

CPD hours: 3

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. 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 has developed and delivered training for the community, professionals and clinical psychology students. 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.

Step-by-step practical instructions

Dr. Ashton shares her insights from practice in the field so you leave with in-depth, practical knowledge. Study at your own pace. Start and stop lessons and modules as you need.

Downloadable homework guide

This homework guide will help cement your learning during the Sensate Focus Therapy course.

Join a community of peers

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

Training Curriculum

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  History of Sensate Focus Therapy
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  What is Sensate Focus & why does it work?
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  Introducing Sensate Focus Therapy to your clients
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  The 'hand exercise' - to demonstrate theory and practice
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  Sensate Focus exercises - developing a plan
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  Therapeutic processing
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  Alterations & accommodations
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  Assessing clients needs and customising
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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
  • Certificate of completion


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

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.



Sex & Embodiment

How to understand and heal sexual pain

Dissociation & Sex