The Anew Focus Training Institute (AFTI) was created by Dr. Karen E. Engebretsen-Stopczynski in 1998. It is dedicated to providing quality CONTINUING EDUCATION programs in the areas of Domestic Violence, Emotional Terrorism, Sexual Trauma, PTSD, Marital Problems, L/G/B/T/Q/I Relationship Concerns and Parenting Issues and ethical concerns in clinical practice for licensed individuals in various professions and disciplines. The institute also seeks to provide evidence-based research findings and emerging issues in the field of human sexuality and sexual dysfunction. Moreover, we aim to provide accurate and credible information to medical and mental health professionals, and produce educational program(s) that bring leading-edge concepts of research, clinical practice, ethics, and politics to health care professionals interested in human sexuality, sexual dysfunction, and related matters.


The AFTI Post Graduate Sex Therapy Certification Program is a 120 hour certification program that is designed to provide the necessary training and supervision to ethically and legally practice sex therapy in the State of Florida and other States that regulate the practice of sex therapy.

The NARRATIVE COURSE SUMMARY for the AFTI course is as follows

Sex Therapy is a highly specialized psychotherapeutic modality, often utilizing short-term behavioral and cognitive treatment approaches for sexual problems such as impotence, premature ejaculation, retarded ejaculation, painful coitus, disorders of desire and problems resulting from medical/neurological factors. Likewise, sex therapy helps patients explore the psychological reservations and conflicting beliefs and values that so often inhibit the expression of a healthy and fulfilling sexual experience. In addition, this course of study will regularly address the psycho-dynamic issues of disturbed relationships that have resulted from unresolved trauma and abuse.


 The focus of this program is based on understanding the impact of the psychological, sociological, environmental and biological factors that are involved in the development and maintenance of sexual identity, sexual orientation and sexual functioning from childhood throughout the life span. In addition to gaining expertise in specific sex therapy techniques, special emphasis will be placed on understanding the personal characteristics and dynamics of the sex therapist as they relate to the transference and countertransference issues in the therapy dyad.


 Each participant will be expected to: a) Review five (5) books related to sex therapy and provide a one-to- two page review. Participants will also give a brief oral presentation during class; b) Review five (5) articles related to sex therapy and provide a one to two page report on article and give a brief oral presentation on content; c) Keep a log of contact hours for forty (40) patients; d) Present one (1) case presentation during group supervision; e) Schedule the ten (10) hours of individual supervision to be completed by the end of the semester; f) Keep a journal documenting thoughts and feelings about transference and countertransference issues from course content, supervision (both group and individual), and case material with the goal of exploring these dimensions as they relate to professional development as a sex therapist. The journal entries will be used for supervision purposes and will remain your personal property to ensure personal safety and confidentiality; g) Complete a brief evaluation form following the completion of each section/class; h) Pass the comprehensive final examination by seventy percent (70%); I) Attend ALL lectures and supervision to obtain the 120 hour certification.


 In addition to completing the above requirements, each class meeting, participants will be expected to conceptualize a treatment approach for contemporary case studies that feature a variety of sexual and/or relationship problems. Criteria will be based on a) DSM-IV criteria; b) developmental considerations (i.e., sexual identity); c) historical factors (i.e. abuse dynamics); d) environmental influences (cultural, religious and family of origin expectations and mores; e) social stressors (i.e., gender role expectations,  peer pressure, economic/career constraints;  f) medical variables (i.e., physiological underpinnings, drugs/alcohol, prescription medication influences & physical disabilities); and g) sexual orientation.


Individual and group supervision will be provided by the clinical director, Dr. Karen E. Engebretsen-Stopczynski, in accordance with the requirements and guidelines as set forth in Rule 64B.7.004 and the ethical principles outlined by ASSECT. 


This training institute is approved for Continuing Education Credits by the CEBroker  FL Board of CSW, MFT, MHC (BAP 699, Exp. 03/31/13, pending re-certification), CEBroker FL Board of Psychology (PCE 91, Exp. 05/31/16), CE provider for AASECT (# 05-103, Exp. 09/31/10…pending re-approval)


CE provider for California Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE 3993) exp 03/31/15) This program meets the compulsory educational and supervision requirements needed to legally practice sex therapy in the state of Florida as outlined in F.S. 490-64.91 and provides the necessary credentialing to treat Juvenile Sex Offenders.