The training of sex therapists in South Africa : a multidisciplinary approach.
The high incidence of divorce and marital breakdown in South Africa warrants attention and organised prevention. There is no correlation between this high divorce rate and existing facilities or utilisation of these facilities. For the past fifteen years the writer has been involved in training of Marriage Guidance Counsellors and treatment of marital couples in distress. During this time limited facilities, the inability of some couples to utilise existing facilities and the resultant family disruption has become evident. In an effort to assess the most important needs of couples in distress and the ability of consultants in the helping professions to assist these couples this research was initiated. Previous findings that sexual dissatisfaction is one of the main reasons of marital breakdown has been confirmed as well as the fact that it is often a mere symptom of various difficulties and poor marital communication. It was also found that different needs regarding sex education and sex therapy exist in our multicultural society and that thorough recognition of these specific needs is required to offer meaningful assistance. Following this multicultural evaluative investigation which included a multi-disciplinary enquiry, data was summarised and a tentative training programme suggested. Final conclusions are not provided. Qualitative data to assist the practitioner has been summarised and a continuous feedback loop of evaluation and improved programme planning initiated in accordance with the requirements of illuminative action research.